I took my third business trip post-vaccination today and headed up to New York City for Sony’s first-ever AV Tech Expo at its 25 Madison Ave. location. I’d say it was worth the masking, walking and mouth-sweating (inside the mask).
The expo was primarily focused on the new B (for high-brightness) and C (for high-contrast) series Crystal LEDs. Remember, these are new, less expensive (but still high-performance) versions of the microLEDs we’ve seen in Sony’s booth since 2017.
Sony’s Crystal LED C-series and B-series.
Sony’s AV Tech Expo also included an up-close and personal look at the new 4K resolution 100-inch LCD (yes, 100-inch) and the industry’s only full 4K resolution 3840 x 2160 LCD projector. And … wow. It was sort of a 4K buffet of good, better and best for AV integrators and rental/stagers, too. The 100-inch LCD is the “good” (if you can call it that) with the native 4K SXRD projector taking the honors as the “better.” Of course, the “best” is the Crystal LED. In fact, I opened today’s rAVe [TV] show — our weekly livestreamed TV show that’s all about AV — with a live look at each one of these products. You only need to catch the first fives minutes or so to get the full tour of the event from NYC.
Here’s the video:
The best part (to me) about the event was the detailed look at the Sony EDGE Appliance, the AV industry’s best-kept secret. EDGE is a USB camera-tracking system that uses AI to recognize and follow a meeting leader/lecturer; a video analytics platform, an AI-based chroma-key system that does not need a green screen and is without the all-familiar Zoom halo that appears around our heads while using virtual backgrounds; a handwriting extraction appliance that can see what someone writes on a whiteboard, chalkboard or notepad and projects that to the audience watching from afar; and, obviously, it’s a streaming codec for any video platform — all in one box! I think one of the reasons it’s a well-kept secret is that you have to demo it to understand it — but it’s my favorite product that Sony sells today. Although, I do love that new 100-inch LCD!
Sony’s BRAVIA line at its AV Tech Expo.
By the way, here’s a demo video I recorded with Sony’s best trainer on the EDGE Appliance, Kiana Pompa, last year. I’ll bet you’ll want to sell it. You’ve gotta watch this:
Finally, I ended the day with a one-on-one interview with Sony’s own Rich Ventura, vice president of B2B at Sony Electronics Professional Solutions Americas. He talked to me about where he sees the sweet spots in the new product lineup. This is the first public appearance of the C-series and B-series microLEDs and the 100-inch LCD. The next time you can see them will be at either CEDIA Expo in September or at InfoComm in October — will you be joining me?
Finally, in case you want to see the Sony-streamed version of this event in NYC, you can still catch it all via the virtual version right here.