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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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AMX was busy this year. Perhaps most intriguing for integrators, the company is leveraging its own technology to make it easy to set up control systems. With AMXmeetingroom, integrators can generate a program file for a room's control system by simply answering a series of questions on a Modero touchpanel about the intended functions of the room. The company also announced its acquisition of U.K.-based IPTV software manufacturer Atrium Group Developments and its flagship Vision2 software. The content-management system could be a solution for hotels, colleges and corporate campuses, or residential buildings for the Internet- or intranet-based storage and retrieval of both on-demand and live video.

On its AutoPatch side, AMX introduced 72 new fixed-matrix switchers ranging from 32 I/Os to 64 I/Os. The Octaire line is designed for analog video distribution (composite, S-Video, component, and RGBHV via BNC connections). It is set to replace the 8Y series. AMX touts the compactness of the line (4RU enclosures) and its ease of installation.

Crestron introduced 70 new products. Here are just a couple highlights of that massive rollout. First is the Isys TPS-6X 6in. touchpanel, a full-motion videopanel that communicates via Cresnet or Ethernet (wired) and via RF and IR (wireless). The new Media Presentation Controller (MPC) line of classroom systems connect, control, and route AV presentation equipment for one-projector applications. Crestron also previewed its new software designed to harvest data on energy use, efficiency, and cost for all the systems run by Crestron panels in a particular building. Green Light software can calculate carbon output and energy savings over a period of a few months up to five years.

Extron Electronics demonstrated the long-awaited new version of its GlobalViewer AV system monitoring and control application, GlobalViewer Enterprise. Instead of clicking through a succession of web pages to check multiple rooms, users now can see the rooms of a whole building on one screen. Lamp times, power states, and connection status are all displayed along with scheduling and other information.

The Sansonic HNB Digital Communication System — introduced a few years ago — added video, infrared control, and wireless microphone capability this year. The system comprises various combinations of wall-mounted modules for specific functions. These install in standard electrical wall-mount boxes, and they can be fitted out with familiar household trim plates. Inputs can be wired or wireless. System setup is so easy that the company says the first commercial installation was done before the manual was written.

Fiberplex unveiled its LightViper Shadow combined-media transport system for audio, video, and control signals over fiber in high-density combinations. There's the capability to send up to 256 bidirectional audio signals or 128 channels of video, sound, intercom, and control data. Consisting of the MP16 Audio Module and the STP64 Combined Media System, the Shadow uses three 2.5GHz bandwidth master multiplexers — and all optics are SFP-connected.

Communications Specialties introduced its Pure Digital Fiberlink 3150 series for carrying HD-SDI video via fiber in industry-standard SMPTE 292 and 259 with or without embedded audio. The system reclocks the input signal to maximize stability at the input prior to transmission and offers a reclocked SDI loop-through and two reclocked and equalized SDI outputs.


Premier Mounts had quite an eye-catching new custom mount at the show: a suspension cable mount that hung Panasonic's huge 103in. plasma screen from the ceiling. The 200lb. SCM-103 has a maximum weight capacity of 1,600lbs. Another option, and perhaps even more impressing from an engineering perspective: the TWM-103, a tilt wall mount for the same huge screen. Appealing to a much wider audience of integrators, Premier also introduced the PDS and PDS Plus line of projector mounts designed for educational installations. Supporting projectors weighing up to 75lbs., the new mounts feature a low-profile universal mount and have four-axis tilt and rotational adjustments, with a 33-degree tilt range (+/-16.5 degrees) and a 15-degree roll range (+/-7.5 degrees).

Peerless showcased its PRG Precision Gear Projector Mount at InfoComm. The product allows easy image alignment via the adjustment of two knobs — pull the handles out, adjust tilt with one hand, and roll with the other.

Chief Manufacturing introduced MountBuilder, which it's calling “a visual product configurator” for dealers and installers. It's available online at In terms of new hardware, Chief introduced the innovative Fusion Mounting System, with sliding bars to help eliminate stud-placement and centering problems.

2008 Pick Hit Award Winners

  • Sanyo LP-XP200L projector
  • Hitachi CP-A100 projector and StarBoard FXDuo-77 whiteboard
  • ProjectionDesign F10 AS3D stereoscopic projector
  • Canon Realis WUX10 projector
  • Westinghouse Digital M470SWP LCD and digital-signage software
  • Sharp XG-P560W projector
  • Da-Lite 3D Virtual Black screen
  • InFocus IN3100 series projectors
  • Extron GlobalViewer Enterprise management software
  • FiberPlex LightViper Shadow
  • Sansonic Wired HNB modules
  • Rane Mongoose and Mongoose Tracker software
  • Avocent Emerge MPX HD Multipoint Extender

Read more about the 2008 Pick Hit Award Winners.

SVC's Bennett Liles contributed to this report.

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