NSCA 2005 Hot Picks
Held for the first time in 1981, the National Systems Contractors Association's (NSCA) Systems Integration Expo has seen many changes since its beginnings as a tabletop exhibition. These changes have reflected industry shifts and technology advances, as well as the constant redefinition of the systems and services pro AV systems integrators (or as they were called in the early years, ?sound contractors?) provide for their customers.
Crestron UPX2 Universal Presentation Processor
Crestron's UPX2 Universal Presentation Processor provides total control at the presenter's fingertips, housing a complete AV presentation system into a sleek, self-contained package. The touchscreen layout is both user-friendly and intuitive — even the most techno-phobic presenter should feel comfortable using this system.
The UPX2 integrates a seamless video switcher, a multi-window processor, a multi-channel video scaler, a line doubler and de-interlacer, a wireless pen-based annotator, and a touchscreen controller on an embedded PC platform. The UPX2 provides a single, multi-window display that integrates simultaneous display of control interfaces for room control and AV equipment with preview displays for multiple video sources and computer applications. All of these features come at a list price of $9,000, not including the touchpanel.
JBL Professional VERTEC DP Series Loudspeakers
JBL's highly successful VERTEC line array products have gone powered, with the addition of new DrivePack amplifiers from Crown Audio. The modules, which attach to the rear of the VERTEC speaker enclosure, feature Crown's exclusive “Balanced Current Amplification” technology and Class I circuitry with temperature-compensated modulation. The units include an auto-sensing Universal Power Supply and a fan-free, passive cooling design. JBL DrivePacks deliver voltage rails of up to 120 V peak, with three-channel units offering a full rated output power of 6,300 W peak, 3,150 W continuous. The standard input module from sister-company dbx features analog audio inputs and onboard DSP technology. Precision bandpass limiting, pre-equalization filters and automatic self-test functions ensure optimized performance.
The optional networked DPCN (CobraNet-compatible) input modules from Crown allow JBL VERTEC DP Series systems to link seamlessly into Harman Professional's new HiQnet system. With optional network modules installed, users have remote access to system functionality and digital speaker presets using the distributed-intelligence architecture of the HiQnet protocol and System Architect software. The JBL VERTEC DP Series lists for $5,799-$7,999.
Lumens PS600 Document Camera
There are many document cameras on the market, but the new Lumens PS600 has some unique features that really impressed booth visitors. What's cool about this new product is that it enables presenters to rotate the camera head 90, 180, and 270 degrees and uses a new “automatic step-zoom” function to improve the display of printed documents. The PS600 is also the first document camera to capture and store 32 image frames internally —quadrupling the current industry standard of eight frames. It even features a Compact Flash (CF) card slot for additional frame storage and transfer of captured images to any PC. It offers frame rates up to 20 f/s for solid video performance.
In addition to the traditional RS232 protocol, the camera can be networked via Ethernet support, which translates into reduced programming costs at installation sites. For marketing teams, the PS600 also includes an RGB and CMYK color adjustment capability, which allows color presentations to be more exact — a feature of particular interest when presenting a color document with matched results onscreen. The PS600 lists for $2,995.
Rane MA-4 Multi-Channel Amplifier
Rane introduced a new single rack, four-channel power amplifier, which generated significant interest in its booth. The 100 W per channel, MA 4 amplifier weighs only 8 pounds, thanks to its universal-voltage switching power supply. It offers a long list of unique features ranging from constant load power to built-in automatic redundancy switching to advanced dynamics control, qualifying the MA 4 for many fixed installation applications such as music and paging systems, small conference rooms, and speech reinforcement applications requiring multiple amplifiers. Advanced dynamics control algorithms adapt to changes in temperature, load impedance, and sensitivity setting — a nice package for only $1,399 list.
Sanyo PLV-WF10 Projector
Debuted at last year's NAB show, the Sanyo PLV-WF10 made its NSCA premiere this year. Designed for the professional/commercial world, this large-venue widescreen (16:9) projector is targeted for small auditoriums, large university classrooms, corporate conference rooms, sports bars, and casino sports books where widescreen video is a significant component in the mix of subject matter. Sanyo has combined high-resolution, widescreen LCD panels with a two-lamp, 4,000 ANSI-lumen light engine to produce a large venue video projector unlike anything else on the market — especially at $12,995. The PLV-WF10 incorporates advanced image processing featuring Sanyo's exclusive, 10-bit motion adaptive de-interlace image processing circuits, which provides highly improved playback of moving images. This was born out in Sanyo's booth demo, which literally stopped traffic in its aisle. The 1080i signals are converted into progressive signals while 2:3 pulldown doubles the resolution of images from DVD playback. It's also networkable with an optional board, which allows for simple control and management of the projector via a Cat5 network connection. The network board, which can memorize and store up to 55 PC modes, can also be used in parallel with RS232 controllers.
Tannoy VNET Loudspeakers
It appears that more loudspeaker manufacturers are moving toward powered loudspeakers, and some are going even further. Once you put the amplifier in the loudspeaker, it just makes sense to include signal processing, network control, and monitoring functions, which is what Tannoy has done with its new VNET Series of installation loudspeakers.
All VNET-enabled products feature high-performance DSP, mains auto-sensing Class D amplification, network control, and diagnostics. The loudspeakers are factory calibrated for optimum individual performance and ship with VNETWARE software, which is an intuitive Windows interface that controls all of the critical install functions and provides the interface for the ongoing monitoring of critical system status and performance data — all in real-time.
VNET will support “Free Network Topology” using twisted-pair cable and RJ45 connectors. Each speaker will contain a unique address so a user input won't be required to configure the network nodes. Each loudspeaker in the system can be individually optimized and acoustically profiled, taking into account its exact position within the venue relative to the room boundary and its own performance relative to the acoustic properties of the room. The Series also offers bi-directional communication between the speaker and a PC via an RS485 interface, which provides access to each speaker for configuration. Speakers will also maintain functionality in the event of a PC crash or fault occurring in another node on the network. List price: N/A.
Vaddio CeilingVIEW Mega-Pro Visualizer
Visualizer cameras are becoming more popular for corporate, educational, medical presentation, and training applications. Because they're inconspicuously ceiling mounted, camera quality is critical, especially for text- or graphic-intensive images.
The new Vaddio CeilingVIEW Mega-Pro Visualizer Camera system is designed to provide system integrators with an easy to install in-ceiling mega pixel visualizer system. It features the new Sony 3 CCD Mega-Pixel High-Resolution Camera with technology that uses three advanced HADD CCD imaging sensors capable of providing SXGA resolution images with outstanding color imaging.
It offers a 12X optical auto-focus zoom lens for up to 48X zoom when used in combination with its 4X digital zoom. It can also change from 4:3 to 16:9 aspect ratios and allows for optional analog RGB distribution over Cat5. If that's not enough, it has a high-resolution capture mode for capturing an image in SXGA resolution. The camera is enclosed in a recessed metal plenum-rated ceiling backbox enclosure with ceiling tile support and a decorative ring. It lists for $6,995.