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InfoComm 08 in Review

Aug 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Trevor Boyer

Newsworthy AV products and trends at this year’s show.

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Yamaha has released so many high-profile digital consoles in the past few years that a new analog board is actually big news. Available in 24-, 32-, and 40-channel configurations, the new IM8 line is built in the Japanese factory that makes the company's PM boards. According to Yamaha, the focus with the IM8 is on high sound and build quality. Also somewhat new from Yamaha is the PM5D EX 96-channel board, which is essentially a 48-channel PM5D combined with a DSP5D digital-signal-processing unit that doubles the brain power of the PM5D console and thereby doubles its channels.

Roland's version 1.5 update of its RSS M-400 V-Mixer digital console made possible several new capabilities that were based on user feedback. These include a number of shortcuts to speed the setup process, the addition of eight matrices, user-interface enhancements, direct channel-output assignment for multitrack recording, and a more flexible compressor and gate functions.

Known for its Audio Spotlight super-directional loudspeaker panels, Holosonics has introduced a much smaller companion amp (about one-sixth the size of the previous model) for the AS-16 and AS-24 loudspeakers.

Auralex introduced its fabric-faced acoustic Ceiling Tiles for installation in new and existing drop- and suspended-ceiling grids. They're available in standard grid sizes, or they can be customized in size and thickness. A noise-ratio coefficient of .80 means the tiles can help control many common acoustical problems.

The Aviom 6416m mic-input module demonstrated at InfoComm provides 16 mic-level inputs with switchable pads, DB25 mic split, gain control in 1dB steps, phase and filter controls, and 48V phantom power. These and other features are remote-controllable through Aviom's A-Net protocol with the Remote Control Interface (RCI) and Mic Control Surface (MCS).

Known for its audio-for-video products, Azden has recently branched out into classroom amplification systems. The company has been OEMing all the components of the new IR-CS system to other manufacturers for a few years, but this is a newly branded package. The IR-CS includes a pendant mic with an emitter, a handheld mic, a dual-channel receiver, an infrared sensor, and four 6.5in. ceiling loudspeakers. There's also an IR-WS system that employs wall-mounted loudspeakers.

Revolabs' audioconferencing systems have found their way into many wood-paneled executive boardrooms, but the company is now going after all the other conference rooms in the building. Designed to be plug-and-play, the Fusion system is an eight- or four-microphone wireless audioconferencing system that sits on a tabletop instead of in a rack. It's not controllable via AMX or Crestron, but it is designed for rooms that might already have a plug-and-play videoconferencing setup. Via a videocard input, the Fusion base station hooks up easily to a videoconference codec. Packages include eight microphones, a recharging tray, and a receiver.

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