Volume 8, Issue 5 — May 6, 2015
By Scott Tiner
Data and privacy concerns are the topic of constant news and media coverage. Who is watching you when, who is gathering data on you and what type are questions that are always being asked. Our network security teams are very educated in these areas and work tirelessly to make sure our institutions (and therefore our customers) data is protected.
We continue to look for solutions with a privacy component not necessarily related to data, but more because people are nosy. I have written on several occasions about our class capture options at the college, along with the web conferencing that we have put into many classrooms and meeting spaces. All of these systems have cameras and microphones and the ability to web conference. Several of them also have the ability to record what happens in the space. A few of them have the ability for teleconferencing.
We are not as worried about students filming something that happens in a class and using it an inappropriate or out of context manner. The fact is that with mobile phones and other devices, a student already has access to technology in order to secretly record a class. Let me be clear that I am not saying this is not a problem. It can be, especially in a college classroom where lots of thoughtful and charged conversations can happen. It would be very easy for someone to turn a recording into something that taken out of context looked very bad. What I am saying is that I don’t think the technology we put into rooms aides that type of invasion of privacy.
The type that I am most concerned about is people, students, faculty or staff who want to hear conversations of which they should not be part. In some cases, our technology could facilitate that. The easiest way to do such a thing would be to walk into a room before a meeting were to occur, and start a recording onto a USB stick. Then, after the meeting ends retrieve the stick. Very non-technical, but very effective.
In the fall, we read about an uproar at Harvard in which researchers were using cameras in classrooms to study attendance. They did not identify anyone, they did not keep the pictures, and all images were stills. Yet, the fact that they took images without someone’s permission upset many students and faculty. At my institution, we realized we should be taking steps to prevent this before it became an issue.
Our first step is to add privacy buttons on every touch panel. This is a button that appears on every screen of every touch panel in a room with cameras and microphones. Users can simply press that one button and the cameras are shut off, microphones are muted, any recording taking place stops, our USB-computer bridge is muted and our phone line is put on hook. With that one button press, the person in the room is able to ensure privacy. Of course, someone in the room could still record with a phone, but that has already been the case for years.
The problem we have with this approach is that you need to know the button exists and you need to remember to use it. Chances are most of our room users never even consider the possibility; many not even realize that there are cameras and microphones in the rooms. We have considered options, similar to On-Air lights that show a clear indication if the cameras are on, and if they are recording or streaming. We think that’s not the most aesthetically pleasing solution to address the issue. We have thought about flashing images on the touch panel when recording or streaming, in order to catch someone’s attention, but still weren’t sure if that would actually be effective. Perhaps the best solution is also the most difficult to implement: Making the camera and microphones opt-in, rather than opt out. That is to say, if you want to use the cameras, mics, etc., you need to press buttons to turn them on. This puts the onus on the person using the equipment, which is certainly rarer than people who go in the room and don’t use it. The question then becomes how do you make it easy for them to turn everything on, AND turn it back off when done? As schools continue to work as their own integrators, these are the types of questions and solutions that external integrators can provide for us. This is where their experiences dealing with so many customers will help us think problems through.Leave a Comment
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|Google Classroom: Moving to the Digital Class|
By Richard Blackwell
My youngest daughter was accepted into a new public charter school to open in the fall of 2014. The school caught our attention because they planned to be a high tech school issuing laptops to all children, as well as use video based learning and very little paper. The summer before opening they asked for parent volunteers to assist with planning and installation, so having previously stayed at a Holiday Inn Express I felt qualified to help with the technology planning.
On the first meeting, we had an open slate and so began planning how teachers/students would use the available technology in our envisioned “flipped” classroom, and how we would create the back office support to meet their needs. Truthfully, we had no idea how little we knew or the challenge ahead.
We began discussing the parameters of the school and given that the base plan was that each student would work from a laptop, we felt that the initial decision on the laptop type would send us down a path that would determine many of the other choices we needed to make. The movement towards one-to-one student to computer has been growing rapidly in the last couple years, so there was a lot of experience to draw from on the internet as well as several local private schools that had already taken the leap in technology.
Our choice for laptops really came down to operating systems: Android, Windows or Mac. There was a lot of energy and momentum for MacBook Air based environment, but the school is a public charter school, so funds were going to be limited and since technology was a large part of the budget our decision effected other budgets. In the end our decision was made by the budget and we chose the Chromebook. Only later would we discover how good a decision this was.
Once the operating system was determined we then began to plan for the back office needs to support all these devices and meet the teacher’s educational needs.
- We wanted WAPs placed in every classroom and common areas.
- Classroom printers needed to be Wi-Fi enabled.
- Classroom interactive whiteboards needed to be Wi-Fi enabled.
- School office printer needed to be Wi-Fi enabled.
- Teachers needed:
- Ability to show video’s and or push them to student laptops.
- Track assignments
- Communicate to students and parents
- Post assignment scores
- Post end of session grades
- Make lesson plans
- Teachers desired to do all these tasks from as few applications as possible.
- A robust firewall that could manage/protect a large group of hormone raging teens.
- Later we discovered we needed to manage what students loaded to their laptops and also push out applications required by the teachers.
In our research for management applications we discovered the just released Google Classroom, and it was quickly clear to us the decision for Chromebooks was better than we thought — Google Classroom is a free application. Prior to this find, we were looking at several very qualified products, but none of which were free and were going to hurt our stretched budget. Google Classroom allowed us to manage every Chromebook, including which apps were needed as well as those that should not be there. Our state just established a state-wide online standardized testing system and they supported Android, so we were able to push out the exam authentication as well as set each laptop into kiosk mode preventing students from accessing any other application during the exam. I have made it a standing rule never to work with 1.0 software, but in this case we really did not have any choice. While bugs were not an issue, features started out on the thin side. To our relief, Google has worked to continuously push new features (the great thing about web-based applications is that you upgrade one service, not every laptop), and we have found all the early needs were addressed.
Teens with laptops require you to have a good firewall. I must say that even I was shocked by some of the search terms we found used, and it has been an uphill battle to stay ahead of all the inappropriate web sites the kids found. Additionally many parents were not ready for children with laptops and we quickly received parent requests to block where their children surfed. Home laptop policing was not really in our job description (I mentioned we are all volunteers, right?), but after a call with Google we discovered that we could store online lists of blocked; sites, terms, URLs and web site categories. This effectively created a firewall anywhere the laptop found an Internet connection. By the way — Google support was great any time we needed them.
Recently we discovered another reason our decision for Chromebook was a good one: Kids drop laptops all the time. Many public school families can’t afford laptop replacements, especially several times in a year. The Chromebook screens were by far the most likely failure point, and we found that letting the parents buy the replacement part (~$50 – the IT volunteers replaced the broken LCD screen) made cost of ownership much more affordable. Just look up the cost to replace a MacBook Air screen.
Now six months in, we see a solid program in place. As a parent, I’m very pleased with what the children can do in class and very excited about where Google is going with the Classroom.
Tapestry Public Charter School — Atlanta, GA.
- Asus Chromebooks (students)
- DELL Commercial W-IAP WAPs (with site manager)
- DELL Commercial SonicWALL Firewall (even us volunteers figured this out)
- DELL Discovery Education HD video caching server – stored most videos locally.
- DELL Inspiron Laptops (teachers)
- 100MB commercial cable modem
- Apple iPad (teachers)
- Smart Boards
- Wi-Fi printers
Google Classroom for Education — 100% cloud based
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|Extron Attempts to Set Standard for Claiming 4K Compatibility – Offers it Up to All 4K Manufacturers|
By Gary Kayye
There is no doubt that the next battleground for signal routing and distribution will be in the realm of 4K resolution gear. Consumer TVs, Netflix broadcasts, digital signage and commercial AV applications are all pushing 4K resolutions from everything from improving the movie watching experience to full-screen collaboration in BYOD Huddle Rooms.
And, there are dozens of manufacturers out there that have launched 4K resolution switchers, cables, distribution amplifiers, splitters, signal boosters and anything else you can imagine that’s required for getting a signal from one place to another.
But not all 4K is equal. In fact, just a simple Wikipedia search will tell you that 4K includes six different resolution standards from 3840×2160 through to 4096×2160 up all the way to 5120×2160 (yes, even that is technically part of the 4K plethora of standards). But, it isn’t as simple as resolution — what about frame rates, color bit depth, etc.? Why do you think that nearly all 4K you’ve seen so far at trade shows is done at 30 Hz and not 60 Hz or 120 Hz? Simple: bandwidth.
In fact, nearly all of the 4K demos you’ve seen thus far are either direct from the source to the display (without any signal roughing in-between), compressed, or actually 30 Hz. Hardly any hardware has even attempted to do uncompressed 4K any other way — until 2015. And now, we have a handful of manufacturers specifying 4K resolution capability — but at what frame rate? At what color bit depth? What’s their sampling rate? Most manufacturers don’t give us those specs.
Extron says it always will. Calling its 4K guarantee a True4K Specification, the company hopes to help the industry, overall, to adopt a standard-way to get all manufacturers to spec 4K performance the same — thus, as the product is specified by an integrator or systems designer, they know what it is capable of doing.
In fact, for each of Extron’s 4K solutions, they’ll see the True4K logo and True4K specification that includes the technical information they need to know about product performance. Extron says that the True4K specs will include complete information regarding resolution, color sampling and color bit, sampling and frame rate.
In addition to True4K specifications, Extron Institutes (their educational offerings) now include new training that provides vital information that AV system designers need to know in order to successfully design 4K video systems that perform reliably and meet customer expectations. And, they’ve made available a free technical white-paper that you can get here called “Hitting the Moving Target of 4K” that is an in-depth discussion and explanation of 4K video in its current state, and what’s to come as technologies and industry standards continue to evolve.
Finally, Extron is challenging the other industry manufacturers to adopt this standard and add these specifications to their 4K products. It’s time to be truthful and help the industry be successful with 4K. We can’t imagine any manufacturer wouldn’t do this. But, it will take you, the integrators, pushing them. Doesn’t it make sense? Don’t you want to know which 4K signals your 4K-capable systems are really able to route?
Here is an example of how the True4K spec reads in product literature on Extron’s website.Leave a Comment
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|Chief Ships Fusion Wall Mounts and Accessories|
Chief is now shipping the newest Fusion mounts — everywhere in the world — and a new line of accessories is also available and works across wall, free-standing and ceiling mounted Fusion solutions.
According to Chief, their engineers and designers held extensive interviews with installers and also watched installations in process to note any trouble spots they could solve.
The new fixed and tilt mounts still include the hallmark 4 Cs of Fusion — including Centerless lateral shift, ControlZone height and roll adjustment, Centris low profile tilt and ClickConnect tool-free latching.
- Set screws – keep the mount rigid and stable throughout the life of the installation
- Nesting spacers – can be stacked to achieve any depth and reduce waste
- Teardrop design – speeds up and eases installation through use of lag screws
- Magnetized ClickConnect – makes it easy to store and access pull cords
- Redesigned end caps – allow cables to be routed behind the poles
- Additional lateral shift – shifts wall plate around electrical and low voltage boxes on the wall
- Enhanced security – integrated security lever makes safeguarding displays easier
- Extension rod – provides better accessibility to ClickConnect on extra large mounts
- Interface hardware box – when displays will be mounted at a later time, hang interface hardware on mount rails without losing pieces
New accessories include above/below shelving, side covers, speaker adapters and CPU holders. Single stud adapters are available for medium Fusion mounts. The shelves can be installed above or below the display, and all new FCA8XX accessories work across the wall, freestanding and ceiling Fusion mounts, making inventory easier.
For a full list of upgraded models, new part numbers and tech drawing downloads, go here.Leave a Comment
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|EduCOMM Expo 2015 to Debut In Atlanta This Fall|
EduComm Expo (ECE), is a new trade show debuting in Atlanta in September, described by show planners as an “educational conference and tradeshow exclusively focused on the needs of those responsible for implementation, oversight, and management of internal digital campus communication technology initiatives in higher education.” It takes place at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2015.
The two-day educational conference and show floor exhibits will focus on the future of campus communications and education technology, including the way in which technology enables communicating with students, faculty, administrators, staff, alumni, visitors and fans. Featured will be digital display solutions ranging from kiosks to video walls, communication software, remote and on-campus collaborative learning technologies, as well as mobile, desktop and audio applications that serve colleges and universities — of which there are close to 5,000 in the US alone.
An immersive educational conference will offer seminars and workshops both days that will educate attendees on best practices and the best ways to deploy, utilize and manage these technologies so that those responsible for creating, implementing and maintaining fluid and effective technology solutions will now have one place they can go to acquire these skill sets, examine all the latest technologies first hand, and learn to extract additional value from these investments.
For more information about EduCOMM Expo, or to register to attend the Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2015 event go here.Leave a Comment
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|AmpliVox New Adjustable Version of the Patriot Lectern Ships|
AmpliVox Sound Systems’s has launched a new height-adjustable version of its Patriot Lectern. The 3045A Patriot Lectern is equipped with a push button, electric silent lift mechanism that adjusts the working surface height from 36 to 56 inches and any height in between.
The Patriot’s power lift mechanism allows the lectern to adjust to presenters of all heights while providing perfect sound amplification for audiences up to 2,500 and rooms up to 20,000 square feet. It’s made from solid lacquer-coated hardwood base and fabric-covered, customizable top.
Sound-equipped models of the Patriot deliver crystal clear sound with an integrated 50W amplifier, sensitive AmpliVox Electret Condenser Gooseneck Hot Mic, Bluetooth streaming capability, and optional 16 channel UHF receiver for wireless mics. The wireless version also supports a Dual Presenter Option, allowing one presenter to wear a wireless mic while a second uses the on-board gooseneck mic. The lectern moves easily on four hidden industrial casters and features a drop top reading table that can be used in either flat or slanted positions. The Adjustable Patriot is available in two styles: the Patriot 3040A Series with an open back and spacious storage shelves, and the Patriot Plus 3045A Series with an integrated cup holder, reading light and storage drawer.
Here is where you can see it for yourself.Leave a Comment
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|The World’s First 50 Gbps Digital Backplane Comes from Extron’s New XTP II Switchers|
Extron’s new XTP II CrossPoint matrix switchers claim the world’s first 50 Gbps digital switching backplane (think: uncompressed 4K).Extron says the XTP II enables the deployment of an AV system infrastructure with a switching bandwidth that exceeds the data rate required to distribute 4K/60 video with 4:4:4 chroma sampling at 16 bits per color. These matrix switchers can be configured with a variety of boards, including the new XTP II HD 4K PLUS input and output boards that support HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2, a new family of XTP 4K fiber optic boards and endpoints, or any of the existing products in the XTP Systems family.
XTP II CrossPoint matrix switchers are engineered to exceed the bandwidth required by HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.3 signals. Three modular frames are available for 16×16, 32×32, as well as larger 64×64 I/O sizes, and can be configured with XTP II HDMI input and output boards, which offer the highest level of HDMI 2.0 performance with a full 18 Gbps data rate throughput at each port. The XTP II boards are also HDCP 2.2 compliant, ensuring reliable switching of encrypted, 4K video content. To streamline integration, all products within XTP Systems are compatible with one another. This enables complete end-to-end system solutions, and provides a wide range of possibilities for future system upgrades to support emerging video standards and formats.
Here are all the specs.Leave a Comment
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|Barco Hints at New ClickShare and We Know What It Will Be LikeExactly three years ago, Barco announced its wireless presentation and collaboration (BYOD) system called ClickShare. The product has generated a lot of buzz and steady sales growth since it was launched, and it is now the reference for wireless presentation and collaboration. With an exciting product development roadmap ahead, Barco is determined to facilitate collaboration in today’s knowledge economy. Barco said it’s shipped over 80,000 units already.
To design ClickShare, Barco set up an in-house incubator team to develop a wireless presentation system. As the first of its kind, ClickShare quickly became a leading wireless mirroring product. For the past three years, the ClickShare portfolio has grown with the addition of the CSM-1 product, the introduction of the ClickShare management suite, and the addition of new features and functions — including synchronized sound and full mirroring from mobile devices.
ClickShare’s popularity is indeed on the rise. And, many manufacturers have emulated the product and some are even using the same Barco-owned AWIND chip-set. And, Barco has hinted to the market that, in the next few months, we will see more new ClickShare products. The development of the ClickShare product portfolio continues. In the coming months, new products will be launched to serve all segments of the Corporate AV market. “Collaboration is becoming very important in knowledge working environments,” Jan Willem Brands explains. “Users demand flexible, easy-to-use technology that simply facilitates getting their message across. ClickShare provides an excellent answer to these needs.”
Here is what we think we will see over the next year from the ClickShare development team:
- A 4K version: Expect Barco to launch a 4K version with four 1080p outputs — count on it!
- Expect a version that allows for non-compressed video at all resolutions
- Expect a feature that will allow ClickShare to have devices connected as distance-sources
- Watch for an eight-button (eight-source) version
- Watch for Barco to allow multiple ClickShare connectivity and collaboration
- ClickShare will integrate Skype for Business (or something equivalent)
- Agree? Want to see these features added to ClickShare? Comment and Share this article!
ClickShare is here.Leave a Comment
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|Kramer Intros Combined HDMI and VGA Over HDBaseT Wall Plate and Auto Switcher|
Kramer announced today the release of the WP-5VH2 ultra HD HDBaseT active wall plate auto-switcher — specified to manage 4K with EDID management, HDMI, VGA, unbalanced stereo audio, plus HDMI audio embedding and de-embedding and stretching.
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In spaces where power sources are difficult to reach, the unit can be powered remotely via HDBaseT using a Power over Ethernet injector (e.g., Kramer PSE-1).
The Kramer specifies that the WP-5VH2 can transmit data to a compatible receiver (e.g., the Kramer TP-588D or Kramer TP-580RXR) up to 100 meters with 4K and up to 180 meters with 1080p60 via an CAT6a twisted pair cable.
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|Atlona’s New 4K Switcher Aimed at Classroom MarketAtlona’s new AT-UHD-CLSO-601 switcher and its receiver (the AT-UHD-EX-100CE-RX) have started to ship. Aimed at classrooms and meeting rooms, it’s a six-input (four HDCP-compliant HDMI and two multi-function analog inputs, allowing digital or legacy analog sources) 4K resolution (@30Hz) with built-in scaling and dual mirrored HDBaseT and HDMI outputs.
Designed as an all-in-one room controller, the AT-UHD-CLSO-601 switcher also includes a microphone input with phantom power, auto-switching, signal transmission up to 100 meters, PoE (Power over Ethernet), multiple RS-232 ports, balanced analog stereo output, and a web-based GUI. The AT-UHD-CLSO-601 is Atlona’s first multi-format switcher with Power over Ethernet and HDBaseT, permitting signal transmission — including AV content, control, Ethernet and 48V power — over a single cable as far as 328 feet (100 meters).
Capable of EDID management for optimizing video resolution and audio delivery, the switcher includes control via a handheld IR remote control as well as 3rd party control via IP, IR, or RS-232 formats ports or, of course, via front panel control.
The AT-UHD-CLSO-601 accepts up to four digital sources (HDMI, DVI or DisplayPort) via four HDMI inputs as well as two 15-pin HD (VGA) ports for analog sources. Connection on the two analog sources does include stereo audio input and RS232 for bi-directional pass through of control system signals. With dual, simultaneous HDMI and HDBaseT outputs, it allows a system to drive two different kids of displays (analog and digital) in a room.
The AT-UHD-EX-100CE-RX is the receiver for the switcher designed (requiring no separate power connection as it uses the HDBaseT standard). The receiver supports 4K/UHD video @60Hz, provides pass-through of HDCP 2.2 content, supports EDID communication, and employs HDBaseT technology for extending signals, including multi-channel audio in formats up to Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HDTM Master Audio. The output of the switcher is converted to 4K 30Hz.
The receiver allows cable runs up to 328 feet (100 meters), utilizes IEE 802.3af standard 48V Power over Ethernet, and provides pass through of bi-directional Ethernet and control signals. It features a quarter rack width metal enclosure for installation with rear panel I/O ports for uncluttered wire management.
All the tech details for the switcher are here and for the receiver, they’re here.Leave a Comment
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|Extron Adds DTP Transmitters for 4K DisplayPort and HDMI|
Extron just launched the DTP T DWP 4K 232 D and DTP T DWP 4K 332 D, two input Decora-style transmitters for sending DisplayPort or HDMI, audio, and control over a shielded CATx cable to Extron DTP-enabled products. The DTP T DWP 4K 232 D extends signals up to 230 feet (70 meters), while the DTP T DWP 4K 332 D extends signals up to 330 feet (100 meters). Both DTP T DWP 4K D models provide one HDMI input, one DisplayPort input, and independent analog stereo audio connections. They support video signals at resolutions up to 4K, including 2560×1600 and 1080p/60 Deep Color. Analog stereo audio embedding and RS232 remote control facilitate integration in demanding professional environments. Integrator-friendly features include EDID Minder, auto-switching between inputs, remote power capability, and bidirectional RS232 and IR pass-through for remote AV device control.
The DTP T DWP 4K 232 D and DTP T DWP 4K 332 D help ensure optimal system performance by automatically adjusting color bit depth based on the display EDID, preventing color compatibility conflicts between the source and display. In addition to RS232 input selection, these transmitters can be set up to automatically switch when they detect a source, making them ideal for automatic routing and unattended operation. They also feature independent connections for embedding stereo analog audio onto the DTP video output signal. For added installation flexibility, the DTP T DWP 4K D transmitters can be remotely powered by Extron DTP-enabled products over the twisted pair cable. They offer an HDBaseT output mode that provides the additional integration convenience of a twisted pair output that is compatible with any HDBaseT-enabled display.
Here are all the detailed specs.Leave a Comment
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|Mersive Finally Does Android Mirroring on Solstice|
Mersive has added Android mirroring on their Solstice wireless presentation and BYOD collaboration system.
Dubbed the Solstice Pod, the newest addition to the Solstice wireless presentation and collaboration product line combining Solstice Software with an Android-based hardware platform to create a wireless media streaming solution for collaboration in meeting rooms and classrooms.
Both Solstice Software and the Solstice Pod feature Android mirroring support from mobile devices running Android 5.0 Lollipop. The addition of Android mirroring support with Solstice further expands the ability for users to share content seamlessly from their mobile devices to the Solstice display without the need for video cables, increasing the flow of information in the meeting room for improved collaboration and decision making.
Features on the Solstice Pod:
- Unlimited users sharing unlimited content
- Android Mirroring support on devices running Android 5.0 Lollipop
- Desktop streaming with synchronous audio
- Native support for 4K displays
- Remote configuration via a web browser
- Continuous software upgrade path
- Built-in WAP capabilities
The Solstice Pod lists for $799 for the Small Group Edition (SGE) version and $999 for the Unlimited users version. Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|Vaddio’s AV Bridge MATRIX PRO Ships|
Vaddio is shipping its new AV Bridge MATRIX PRO that adds audio and video mixing functionality directly to your PC for any UC application (Skype, WebEx, etc.). It’s an AV encoder with simultaneous IP and USB 2.0 streaming, a four input seamless HD video switcher, three built-in Quick-Connect interfaces for Vaddio cameras, an 8×4 audio matrix mixer/switcher with acoustic echo cancellation (AEC), four audio ports for Vaddio EasyUSB microphones with built-in AEC and a web server for configuration programming, control and remote management.
The AV Bridge MATRIX PRO is aimed for simplified AV from cabling to control in applications such as a distance education classroom, house of worship, large meeting venues, and other markets. It facilitates the use of multiple cameras, microphones and displays and allows for sound and video mixing. Users retain all the capabilities of traditional conference rooms with the added capability of cloud connection and content distribution.
Control for the AV Bridge MATRIX PRO is provided via the embedded web server with a simple user interface. Simply connect the AV Bridge MATRIX PRO to the network and the user has access to video and audio configuration, matrix mixing and routing, streaming (USB and IP simultaneously), room labels, networking, security, diagnostics and image controls. Full specs are here.Leave a Comment
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|Listen Technologies and OWI Form Partnership for Custom Products Aimed at Educational Market|
Listen Technologies has partnered with loudspeaker manufacturer OWI to offer a customized Listen Technologies assistive listening system (OWI-KSTM-LT-84) compatible with the OWI self-powered speaker amplification system serving the educational market. Recent changes made in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) classify classrooms as an “assembly area where assistive listening systems are now required whenever there is a sound system that is integral to the use of the space.” The customized Listen Technologies/OWI assistive listening system has been developed to serve this need. Listen and OWI worked together to develop the product, including collateral/support materials needed to easily interface the OWI-KSTM-LT-84 system with the OWI products. The OWI-KSTM-LT-84 is an IR assistive listening system designed as a budget-conscious solution to meet the needs of educators and students from kindergarten through higher ed.
OWI is here. Listen is here.Leave a Comment
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|Pakedge Intros New Access Point in WK-1According to Pakedge, the WK-1 is an enterprise-grade 802.11ac wireless access point with a built-in 2×2 radio (claiming speed three times the speed and throughput of wireless-N access points).
Available in white, making it ideal for most indoor installations, the new wireless-AC access point can also be painted to blend in to almost any architectural environment. It will also be available in black which might be used in auditoriums, theaters, or other dim lit conditions.
Powered by PoE+ and with a high signal-to-noise ratio, it delivers a clear signal from anywhere – making it ideal in hard to reach places. Included brackets allow the WK-1 to quickly and easily be mounted to standard or drop-tile style ceilings and walls. Because it is PoE powered the WK-1 does not need to be plugged into a power outlet, allowing integrators more freedom in deciding where the WAP could be placed.
The new, improved GUI makes set up easy. Redesigned for a more unified look to facilitate a more consist experience across the Pakedge platform, the new WK-1 user interface is what Pakedge says is intuitive and incredibly simple. Integrators can access the GUI, set up preferences, and upload firmware in a matter of minutes.
The WK-1 is the most recent Pakedge product to be enabled for the manufacturer’s Custom Engineering program, which burns integrators’ preferred configurations into the firmware. This means an integrator can still make configuration tweaks on a customized wireless, but can revert back to their preferred customization by hitting the factory default button. This essentially condenses your best system integrator’s knowledge and experience and programs in directly into the devices.
In addition, these customized units are co-branded with Pakedge — the integrator’s logo will be visible from the device interface and on the serial number label. The Pakedge Custom Engineering is intended to help dealers scale their business a little more, extending their market reach to new customers more efficiently and effectively while still gaining a profit.
Here are all the detailed specs.Leave a Comment
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|Hypersign Integrates Google and Samsung to Create Digital Signage Offering for Education|
Hypersign today announced the availability of a new digital signage solution for K-12 in collaboration with Google and Samsung Electronics America. The bundled offering enables students and staff to receive a wide range of content on digital signage and desktop PCs such as standard school broadcasts to timely alerts for emergency preparedness.
With the combination of Hypersign’s own software, Google’s Chrome and Samsung’s Smart Signage, information can be accessed and updated in real-time from anywhere. The platform includes:
- Hypersign is a cloud based, easy to use digital signage platform that allows users to create and publish a wide range of content, which can be distributed to digital signs and desktop PCs from anywhere and managed from one central location.
- Google’s Chrome Devices and Management allows school administrators to manage their organization’s Chrome devices, including Chromeboxes, from one central web dashboard that can be accessed from anywhere and any time.
- Samsung Smart Signage Displays are designed to improve student engagement and deliver dynamic, cost effective messages. In addition, Smart Signage provides a simple, easy-to-use interface eliminating complicated set-up and installation.
This partnership is referred to as the “theconnectEDU” and will focus on improving communications between school administration, students and other stakeholders using easy to use tools and best in class products. theconnectEDU package of a Samsung Smart Signage Display, Google Chromebox Device Management and powered by Hypersign Software will be available from over 250 IT and AV resellers in the US. The release of the solution will coincide with a series of live broadcasts through Google’s Hangout on Air to be held May 5th, 6th and 7th. To learn more, go here.Leave a Comment
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|wePresent Debuts WiPG-2000 Wireless Classroom System, Allows Up to 64 Users to Connect|
wePresent is a professional wireless presentation system that allows up to 64 users to collaborate and give a wireless interactive presentation from their Windows/Mac computer, smartphone or tablet. The newest version, dubbed the WiPG-2000, is a wireless collaboration system that outputs 1080p @ 30fps video in four split-screen displays on one screen. wePresent connects to any display by HDMI or VGA and when connected to a local area network, wePresent allows presentations from networked computers and supports a pass-through internet connection. Windows, MacBooks, iOS and Android devices can all connect it all for presentation sharing.
The WiPG-2000 features include:
- 1080pHD resolution up to 30fps video
- Quad-screendisplay mode
- USB Control of projecting computers by mouse or touchscreen
- USB Document Viewer & Video Player
- PowerOverEthernet (POE)
- Gigabit Ethernet LAN Port(10/100/1000)
- One to four distributed video (One device to four screens)
- Driverless Universal Multi-Touch (UMT) Support
- On-screen annotation via a virtual whiteboard
It will ship by InfoComm and all the detailed specs are here.Leave a Comment
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|Christie Debuts Five New 3LCD D Series Projectors|
Christie unveiled five new 3LCD digital projectors today spec’d with brightness ranges of 6,000 to 8,000 lumens with a single lamp (and an optional 0.38:1 Ultra Short Throw lens). The D Series are all 10,000:1 contrast ratio and come in resolutions of XGA (1024×768), WXGA (1366×768) and WUXGA (1920×1200).
Christie D Series are what the company calls “whisper-quiet,” aimed at higher education, corporations, museums, houses of worship, government facilities and selected rental and staging environments. Christie’s totally new aesthetic is used on all five new D Series models.
The new Christie Connect option with Wireless USB option provides monitoring and collaboration capabilities in multi-user environments. Users also benefit from professional tools including HDRC-Liteloc for “stunning images” even as the lamp ages, and the new Advance Color Management system provides separate controls for hue, saturation and luminance to create lifelike images.
Christie D Series features include:
- Optional* Ultra Short Throw (UST) lens with a 0.38:1 throw ratio
- Portrait or landscape mode provides installation flexibility
- XGA, WXGA and WUXGA resolutions
- Single-Connect cable option: Christie OneConnect — via HDBaseT
- 3G-SDI (WUXGA only)
- Multiple lens options
- Third party control system integration via AMX and Crestron
Christie D Series ships in May 2015 and here are all the specs.Leave a Comment
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|New Extron H.264 Media Player and Streaming Decoder Ships|
Extron is shipping its new SMD 202, the latest addition to the company’s H.264 Streaming AV product line. The SMD 202 is a compact, high performance media player and live stream decoder used in H.264 streaming applications. It provides the flexibility to present the signal from a locally connected AV device, decode a live streaming source, or play back media files from internal memory, removable SD card, local USB or network storage. The SMD 202 supports a wide range of container formats and streaming protocols, making it adaptable for use with a variety of encoded media. Advanced signal processing, scaling, and aspect ratio management supply high quality signals to AV displays.
The SMD 202 is adaptable to different network conditions and streaming requirements, offering both push and pull streaming configurations. Audio output signals are available as HDMI embedded audio as well as analog stereo audio, making it directly compatible with embedded display speakers or existing audio systems. An intuitive, interactive on-screen menu simplifies setup and source selection using front panel buttons or the optional handheld IR remote control. Designed for pro AV applications, the SMD 202 can be controlled using Ethernet, RS232, IR and wired IR interfaces.
Here are all the specs.Leave a Comment
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|AVF Debuts Industry’s First SMART kapp Mobile Stand — Also Handles 80″ LCDs|
Audio Video Furniture (AVF) has debuted what is believed to be the SMART kapp’s first mobile stand. Dubbed the AVF SYZ84, the stand uses modern ball-bearing wheels that allow it to be easily moved all around a facility. The hollow, center-mounted column has grommets both in the top and bottom for passing cables inside — giving the stand a clean aesthetic and making it convenient to distribute all the connected cabling as well as power. Available in white & black metal it comes in two configurations, SYZ84-K (white only) and SYZ84-S/XL (white or black) and can mount either SMART kapp (42″ or 84″) as well as any monitor from 40”-84” — or, monitors weighing up to 160 pounds.
The adjustable monitor mounting bracket allows for height and pitch adjustments and is made of heavy-duty steel. Using 4″ wheels, the ADA-compliant AVF SYZ84 has a base design to allow access to the monitor without tripping over support legs.
More information is here.Leave a Comment
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|Mackie Upgrades and Expands ProFX Series|
Mackie today announces the launch of ProFXv2 Series Professional Effects Mixers. The redesigned ProFXv2 series features an all-new preamp design and powerful new effects engine, delivering unmatched sonic performance for live sound applications. The series has been expanded with two new models, the four-channel ProFX4v2 and the 30-channel ProFX30v2, opening up the no-compromise ProFX toolkit to a wider range of applications.
To achieve the performance that ProFXv2 claims, Mackie has designed the all-new Vita preamp, designed specifically for the highly-dynamic world of live sound. A huge step up from the original ProFX series, Vita preamps are virtually noiseless, even at high gain levels. The Vita design features a Class-A front end, dual feedback stabilization and bias current optimization for unmatched low-noise performance.
Also contributing ProFXv2’s excellent sonic performance is the all-new ReadyFX effects engine. This new engine employs floating-point DSP, designed for the processing of high-quality audio signals. With more horsepower and all-new algorithms, ReadyFX delivers results that add depth to any mix, with premium sound that elevates live performances. Each ProFXv2 mixer features a choice of 16 reverbs, choruses and delays, each extremely useable for a wide array of sonic applications.
Each ProFXv2 mixer features multi-band GEQ, critical for tuning mains to get the best possible sound in any venue. Onboard GEQs are also great for eliminating nasty feedback from stage monitors. Each model features a flexible mix of I/O and, with six models available, covering applications ranging from 4 to 30 inputs, there is always a ProFXv2 mixer right-sized for your application.
The ProFXv2 Series features a wide range of models, each with their own complement of I/O and features to suit nearly any live sound application. There are three compact models – ProFX4v2, ProFX8v2 and ProFX12v2. These utility workhorses deliver professional live sound features in compact designs perfect for smaller applications. The ProFX16v2, ProFX22v2 and ProFX30v2 not only offer the higher-channel count needed for bands, Houses-of-Worship and more, they include additional features for professional applications. They each feature 4-bus architecture for additional mix management and dedicated inline channel compression on select channels that add life and punch to guitars or bass and increase the presence of any voice.
The ProFXv2 series expands on the models available in the line with the new ProFX4v2 and ProFX30v2. The ProFX4v2 is the most feature-rich ultra-compact mixer on the market. No other mixer of this size and price features the comprehensive toolkit that ProFX4v2 provides. It’s ideal for cafès and other small performance venues. It’s also perfect for vocal-only reinforcement in band rehearsal spaces. The ProFX30v2 extends the line into truly professional applications. It’s ideal for live sound venues looking for a higher-channel count solution without needing excess outboard gear. Bands that bring their own PA to the venue will also appreciate the flexibility and power of the ProFX30v2.
Mackie ProFXv2 series mixers will be available beginning May 2015. The series includes six models that range in list from $169.99 to $1149.99 and all are here.Leave a Comment
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|HARMAN’s Crown Introduces XLS DriveCore 2 Amplifiers With Upgraded Features and FlexibilityHARMAN’s Crown Audio today announced the introduction of the XLS DriveCore 2 Series two-channel power amplifiers, offering a host of upgraded features including more flexible DSP band pass filtering, selectable input sensitivity, remote sleep mode trigger and sleek new styling.
Four new XLS DriveCore 2 models are available including the XLS 2502, XLS 2002, XLS 1502 and XLS 1002, with power ratings from 350 to 775 watts per channel at 4 ohms and 1100 to 2400 watts at 4 ohms bridged. Setting new performance and value benchmarks at their respective price points, Crown’s XLS DriveCore 2 Series amplifiers feature HARMAN’s exclusive DriveCore amplifier circuitry that combines high power output with exceptional energy efficiency, all under 11 lbs (5 kg).
Crown XLS DriveCore 2 amplifiers now offer a bandpass filter on each channel in addition to the previous low and high pass filters, enabling more precise DSP tuning. All models allow the front-panel LED indicators (except the clip and thermal indicators) to be turned off if desired, reducing distraction in dark venues. All the amplifiers have selectable input sensitivity of either 1.4 Vrms or .775 Vrms, facilitating their use in a wider variety of applications and enabling the amplifiers to be driven at full power no matter what the input is.
XLS DriveCore 2 amplifiers now offer a remote sleep modetrigger function, to reduce power consumption from a distance. The amplifiers also feature a display sleep mode that turns the display lighting off after a specified time. All models provide a security setting that disables the front-panel menu buttons; the menu is locked and unlocked by entering a simple button combination. In addition, a system reset function enables all factory settings to be restored.
Power ratings of the XLS DriveCore 2 models (per channel into 4 ohms) are as follows: XLS 2502, 775 watts; XLS 2002, 650 watts; XLS 1502, 525 watts; XLS 1002, 350 watts. All incorporate Crown’s DriveCore Class D amplifier design, which is the size of a postage stamp yet combines the amplifier driver stage into the power output stage along with additional audio-signal functions to provide remarkably efficient, cool-running operation that conforms to HARMAN International’s GreenEdge environmental initiative. All the amps are just 2U rack spaces high.
Crown XLS DriveCore 2 amplifiers can power 8- 4- or 2-ohm loads and can be bridged for 8- or 4-ohm mono operation. Additional features include:
- Peakx limiters that deliver maximum output while protecting the speakers
- balanced XLR
- 1/4-inch and RCA inputs
- touchproof binding post
- Speakon outputs
Crown XLS DriveCore 2 Series amplifiers will be available in June 2015 at prices ranging from $299 to $599. All the details are here.Leave a Comment
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|Extron Introduces 4K HDMI Twisted Pair Transmitters with Input Loop-Through for DTP Systems|
Extron just introduced the DTP T HD2 4K 230 and DTP T HD2 4K 330, transmitters for sending HDMI with embedded audio and bidirectional RS232 and IR signals over a shielded CATx cable to Extron DTP-enabled products. The DTP T HD2 4K 230 extends signals up to 230 feet (70 meters), while the DTP T HD2 4K 330 extends signals up to 330 feet (100 meters). Both models provide one HDMI input with loop-through to support local monitoring of digital video, and one DTP output. They support video signals at resolutions up to 4K, including 1080p/60 Deep Color. The transmitters offer features such as EDID Minder, Key Minder, bidirectional RS232 and IR pass-through for remote AV device control and compatibility with HDBaseT-enabled devices.
The DTP T HD2 4K 230 and DTP T HD2 4K 330 also have a buffered HDMI input loop-through for local monitor support or system expansion. They provide automatic input equalization that conditions incoming HDMI signals to compensate for signal loss over long input cables. Automatic color bit depth management based on the display EDID prevents color compatibility conflicts between the source and display. The transmitters can be remotely powered by Extron DTP-enabled products over the twisted pair cable. In addition, the DTP T HD2 4K 230 and DTP T HD2 4K 330 offer an HDBaseT output mode that is compatible with any HDBaseT-enabled display.
Here are all the detailed specs.Leave a Comment
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|Panasonic Claims Lightest 3-Chip DLP Laser Projector with PT-RZ12KU|
Panasonic’s new PT-RZ12KU laser projector is a three-chip DLP that’s specified at 12,000 lumens at native 1920×1200 resolution with a 120 Hz frame-rate. Integrate with two DIGITAL LINK (HDBaseT) ports, the PT-RZ12KU is aimed at the rental and staging markets but can be used in auditoriums, bars and even lecture halls. One unique features with the projector is it allows for vertical, horizontal and tilting 360-degree projection because of the laser light source.
The PT-EX12KU incorporates two 380-watt lamps to get the 12,000 lumen spec with a 4000:1 contrast ratio. The image quality is also supported by the Pure Color Control function and full 10-bit image processing system. The Pure Color Control function independently controls the light intensity of yellow coloring. This provides rich overall color expression while maintaining brightness. It’s also integrated with an Eco Filter which minimizes the need for filter maintenance for up to 12,000 hours. It weighs in at just under 95 pounds.
All the detailed specs are here.Leave a Comment
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|Extron XTP Now Does Long Haul 4K Video Extension Over Fiber|
Extron has added fiber optic products to the XTP Systems family. The new XTP 4K Fiber input and output matrix boards, transmitters and receivers enable long haul extension of 4K video, multi-channel audio, bidirectional control, and Ethernet over one fiber optic cable. The XTP CP Fiber 4K I/O boards and XTP 4K Fiber extenders are HDCP‑compliant, and enable high performance transmission of computer and video resolutions up to 4K with 4:4:4 chroma sampling. Shared capabilities include support of data rates up to 10.2 Gbps, 12‑bit Deep Color, 3D content, and HD lossless audio formats. Extron’s proven EDID Minder and Key Minder technologies ensure quick and reliable signal switching and distribution. XTP matrix switchers can be configured with XTP Fiber 4K I/O matrix boards to support XTP fiber optic transmitters and receivers installed at remote endpoints.
The XTP fiber optic products are compatible with the XTP Systems family, and share many of the features and capabilities found on other XTP boards and extenders. For streamlined integration, the XTP FT HD 4K transmitter includes an HDMI Loop‑through with selectable audio control and enables embedding of analog stereo audio signals while the XTP FR HD 4K receiver provides selectable HDMI audio pass‑through, audio de‑embedding to digital S/PDIF or analog stereo audio outputs, and relays for environmental control at the destination. The XTP SFR HD 4K fiber optic scaling receiver also features Extron Vector 4K scaling technology to support modern and legacy display devices. All XTP devices are compatible with one another. This compatibility enables complete end-to-end system solutions, and provides a wide range of possibilities for future system upgrades to support video standards and formats of 4K and beyond.
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