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InfoComm 2004: It's a Wrap!

Jul 1, 2004 12:00 PM, By Mark Johnson


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InfoComm visitors had no shortage of options.

Premier Mounts debuted the PBL-UMS universal projector mount. Features on the mount include 360-degree rotation with ±20 degrees of tilt and roll, ceiling- and wallmount capability, height adjustment from 9 to 12½ inches, and a cable-routing channel. Also announced was an upgraded series of universal flat-screen mounts, the MS1 and MS2.

InfoComm 2004 in Atlanta was hot, and it wasn't just because of the humidity. More than 22,000 people attended the show during the three days of exhibits and the educational and training sessions prior to and during the opening of the exhibit halls. At times the exhibit hall was seemingly endless (particularly when walking from one end to the other) with 647 exhibitors (150 more exhibitors participating compared with 2003).

The Streaming Media Pavilion sponsored by Video Systems, SRO, and Sound & Video Contractor magazines was widely attended and facilitated by Stephen Porter, who coordinated participation from key industry manufacturers as well as discussion topics, and he moderated panel discussions. Porter's recap of the events at the pavilion is available online at www.svconline.com. Sound & Video Contractor also inaugurated Pick Hit products for the InfoComm show. Pick Hits are products selected by a panel of judges who walked the show floor and selected 19 new products as Pick Hits of the show. Go to www.svconline.com to find out what the Pick Hits for InfoComm 2004 were and for “Picture This” columnist Jeff Sauer's view of InfoComm 2004.

SO MUCH TO SEE

Turnkey digital signage solutions, command and control, and interactive displays were numerous throughout the exhibit space. In addition, many new and soon-to-be-released products were shown by the record number of exhibitors. Some of the highlights from the show floor were:

Advanced Media Design introduced the MediaPointe Envoy. Designed for federal government and military applications, the MediaPointe Envoy features a shockmounted rack, allowing the Envoy to be deployed under difficult conditions including rapid climate change and rough terrain.

Altinex announced that a lifetime warranty will be applied retroactively to all MultiTasker modular switching, distribution, conversion, and control products purchased since January 1, 2004. Also announced was a PC-based control system for MultiTasker products, OnGoer, by third-party developer Simtrol.

The Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta played host to InfoComm 2004.

AMX Corp. launched a number of new products, including a new line of wireless 802.11g Modero touch panels, called the VG Series. These 12-, 15-, and 17-inch panels have support for streaming video and audio and RGB/component connectivity. AMX also introduced Take Note, an interactive collaboration tool that provides onscreen annotation capabilities for the Modero touch panels.

Analog Way debuted the Octo Quattro, an entry-level computer and video seamless switcher. The Octo Quattro features four universal AV inputs, autoimage centering, autopixel clock, and autoscan. Also shown was the CentriX computer and video high-resolution mixer seamless switcher intended for installation and large events.

Atlas Sound announced the Varizone Advanced Matrixed Digital System (AMDS). The Atlas Varizone uses an audio matrix to route audio. Zones can be created (and subdivided and combined), enabling entire facilities to be rezoned. The Varizone is also IP addressable, allowing access via a LAN, a WAN, or the Internet to load audio programs, schedule activities, or monitor the system. The system also allows volume levels and speaker delay times to be set remotely.

Audio-Technica exhibited its Artist Elite 5000 Series wireless system. Receivers may be linked to form a complete system in which the built-in IntelliScan capability can automatically determine and set the best available frequencies on all linked receivers. Receivers also include Ethernet ports, enabling monitoring of system parameters, including RF and audio levels and battery life.

Barco Events launched the Folsom Encore Presentation System. The system provides source selection, advanced windowing features, seamless switching, video effects, and integrated control for video presentations. Seamless wide-screen and independent display applications are supported. The Encore Video Processor incorporates universal analog and digital video inputs. The controller runs on an embedded Real-Time Operating System to provide high reliability, rapid power-up, and true real-time performance.

Audio-Technica AT5000/4000 Series

Biamp Systems unveiled the Nexia, which comprises the Nexia PM (presentation mixer), offering four mic/line level inputs, six stereo line level inputs, and three stereo line level outputs. The Nexia CS (conference system) provides ten mic/line level inputs and six line level outputs. The Nexia SP has been designed for loudspeaker processing with four line level inputs and eight line level outputs. An Ethernet port is provided for software configuration and control, and an RS-232 port is for third-party controls. Also announced was v. 3.3 software for the Audia digital-audio platform.

Bosch Security Systems introduced the DCN Next Generation (NG), a digital, hi-fi, 32-channel conference microphone system. The DCN NG incorporates plastic optical fiber to ensure noise- and interference-free transmission. Ground loops or any of the other drawbacks of electrical transmission are eliminated because it's optical. The plastic fiber exhibits the durability of electrical wiring and can be assembled on-site with dedicated tools.

ClearOne Communications launched the RAV, a complete package for standalone audio conferencing, enhanced audio for videoconferencing, or a group interface for Webconferencing. The RAV 600 includes a mixer integrated with a telephone interface and amplifier, two RAV microphone pods, two Bose ceiling- or wallmount speakers, a wireless control unit, and RAV-ware software. The RAV 900 adds an additional microphone pod and both models include Ethernet control and configuration capabilities.

Communications Specialties debuted the Pure Digital Fiberlink 7220 Series, designed to transmit high-resolution RGB (up to WXGA) and stereo audio over one single mode or multimode fiber-optic core. Applications include digital signage, corporate studios, auditoriums, stadiums, theaters, transportation hubs, and so on.

Chief Manufacturing introduced the Vista Series universal mounts for flat-panel displays. The GSU fixed universal plasma mount holds the plasma against the wall at a distance of 1;⅝ inch and includes a built-in lateral shift. The GTU tilt universal plasma mount provides 30 degrees of gravity-centered tilt (15 degrees up and down) and mounts into the wall at a depth of 3¼ inches. The GSM LCD TV fixed wallmount places the screen less than an inch (0.56 inch) from the wall. The GPM LCD TV tilt wallmount features hand-tilting of the screen and pivots 15 degrees up/down or left/right about the center of gravity.

Bosch DCN Next Generation

Electrosonic showed the VN-Glimpse RGB adapter, a new addition to its Visionetwork range of command and control products. The VN-Glimpse distributes digital or analog RGB computer signals, mouse, and keyboard control to networked viewing terminals across IP networks. Also shown was the HD FrEND video player appliance.

Extron Electronics announced that its manufacturing operations have been ISO 9001:2000 certified. Extron also introduced the HAS 822M, a motorized Hideaway Surface Access enclosure for tabletop access to AV connectors and controls. The HSA 822M can be raised and lowered through contact closure or by pressing on the top surface. The HSA 822M is available in black anodized or brushed aluminum finish.

Harman Pro Group announced several new products from its professional and commercial brands: AKG Acoustics introduced its new WMS 400 UHF wireless system. The WMS 400 receiver can locate a clear frequency and transmit the data through infrared to the transmitter. Dbx Professional Products debuted the Purple Series 162SL compressor/limiter featuring dbx's proprietary AutoVelocity attack and release circuit. In addition, BSS Audio showed its control capabilities for third-party multimedia and electrical components through the Soundweb 9010 Jellyfish controller.

Hitachi Software introduced the StarBoard P-55X, interactive 55-inch plasma display. The interactive digitizer requires no overlay on the 55-inch screen, and presenters can run annotated computer applications or digital video on the plasma screen using a supplied pen or any nonelectronic stylus. Networking software lets the P-55X communicate with other StarBoard systems and allows for simultaneous viewing and annotation by multiple systems connected either locally or across the Internet. The StarBoard P-55X bezel frame with sensors is available as a standalone device.

Lighthouse Technologies announced the Supervisor LH, a display optimizer specifically designed to convert input formats into resizable content to fit any shape of LED video display. The Supervisor LH accepts both digital and analog formats, including standard and high-definition television and computer graphics, to create digital content for LED display screens and panels.

Meyer Sound exhibited its new self-powered 700-HP, which comprises two 18-inch drivers with 4-inch voice coils and neodymium magnets. The 2-channel class AB/H amplifier provides total peak power of 2,250W (1,125W per channel). Maximum output is 139 dB peak SPL at 1 meter within its operating frequency range. Designed for stage or ground placement, the 700-HP includes plastic skids on the bottom of the unit. The skids align with slots on the cabinet's upper surfaces, ensuring aligned stacking. An optional rigging kit is available.

NEC-Mitsubishi announced a new 40-inch LCD, the LCD4000e, for applications in theaters, bars, sports venues, health clubs, and other leisure and entertainment facilities. The LCD400e features WXGA resolution, 15:9 aspect ratio and a 170-degree horizontal and vertical viewing angle. NEC-Mitsubishi also showed a 21.3-inch UXGA LED backlit LCD monitor.

Philips Electronics showcased the Adtraxion total digital signage solution. The Adtraxion offers a choice of LCD or plasma displays in sizes from 30 to 50 inches as well as 17- and 19-inch touch-screen monitors. Also included is content delivery and distribution, client-server platforms, scheduling software, local content storage media, remote diagnostics, and display control facilities. Philips also showed the MiraVision Mirror TV: 17- and 23-inch LCDs integrated into a mirror.

Polycom introduced an Ethernet Interface accessory for its Vortex installed room voice system. The Vortex Ethernet interface allows for remote configuration and control of Vortex products through TCP/IP. Integrators can configure, monitor, and troubleshoot installations from a remote location. Also exhibited was the VSX 3000 integrated personal videoconferencing system. The all-in-one system includes a videoconferencing codec with a built-in camera, a microphone, speakers, and a 17-inch display that can also be used as a PC monitor.

Lighthouse Technologies Supervisor LH

Panasonic showed the PT-D5500U and PT-D5500UL one-chip DLP projectors. They feature a sealed, dust-free, fluid-cooled optical system. Contrast ratio is over 1000:1, and resolution is 1024-by-768 XGA. The projectors incorporate Panasonic's dual-lamp system. In addition, the PT-D5500s have a wired LAN connector, RS-232C, and external remote terminals.

QuVis showed the Ovation, designed for fixed display installations, which supports more than 50 video formats, including NTSC, PAL, and HD. The Ovation can be configured to provide more than ten hours of playback at 1080i resolution.

Sharp previewed the 45-inch model LC-M4500 for digital signage or information display applications in restaurants, airports, hotels, transportation centers, retail outlets, museums, casinos/sports books, stadiums, and educational facilities. The 60,000-hour life backlight can be run continuously for about seven years. The backlight can be replaced in the field.

SLS introduced the PL6 and PL6C in-wall loudspeakers featuring a polycomposite woofer and a PD ribbon tweeter. Also shown was the RLA/3 ribbon line array. The system features a 6½-inch woofer and an SLS PRD500 planar ribbon driver.

Telex SoundMate

Smart launched the Sympodium MP250 interactive lectern. The MP250 features a prewired multimedia cabinet, an interactive pen display, and a multimedia switch, which controls data, video, and audio for as many as four peripherals. The pen display allows presenters to annotate over video, record audio and data, and control computer applications.

Sonic Foundry debuted the Mediasite VL400 standalone multichannel recorder for videoconferencing applications. The VL400 will capture and synchronize audio, video, and supporting visuals presented during a videoconference. The material is then available for on-demand playback with no post-production or processing needed.

Sony Electronics introduced the PCS-TL50-series desktop videoconferencing solution. An all-in-one conferencing package, the system features a pan-tilt-zoom camera embedded in a 20-inch-wide LCD that doubles as a PC monitor. Also, the PCS-TL50 includes a codec, a microphone, and speakers. The PCS-TL50 comes with both IP and ISDN connection capabilities.

Tandberg showed its Media Processing System, which enables large organizations to connect a combined total of 96 video and audio sites into meetings. The modular design allows more sites to be added in the future.

Telex Communications, Pro Audio Group exhibited the Telex SoundMate personal listening systems. The ST-300 base transmitter includes digital channel controls, a backlit LCD, and control of input and RF transmission levels. The SR-400 receiver includes a backlit LCD channel display, one on/off volume control, and a high-frequency boost. The PST-170 transmitter includes a backlit LCD channel display, input gain-adjust, and an auxiliary input for recorded messages. Electro-Voice (EV) launched the Zx5, 15-inch, 2-way high-impact composite enclosure loudspeaker. The Zx5 is available in two coverage patterns (60 by 60 degrees or 90 by 50 degrees). EV Zx5 loudspeakers are available in black and white for indoors and dedicated PI versions for outdoor applications.

TOA introduced its 700 Series mixer/amplifiers that feature six switchable microphone/line inputs, two dual RCA aux inputs, slots for 900-series modules for custom configurations and 25V, 70.7V, and 4ž amplifier outputs.

Electro-Voice Zx5

Toshiba introduced the T90 DLP projector series consisting of three models: the TDP-T90U, TDP-TW90U and TDP-T91U. The projectors are based on the TDP-T90U format, displaying 2,000 ANSI lumens, native XGA 1024-by-768 resolution, and 2000:1 contrast ratio. The TDP-TW90U features wireless functionality, and the TDP-T91U includes a detachable document camera.

VCON showed the HD300 high-definition set-top videoconferencing system, which offers videoconferencing, streaming video, and multipoint conferencing in one system.

Vista Systems introduced the Spyder video processors. The 200 and 300 Series Spyders accept a wide variety of video inputs and outputs to an equally wide variety of displays and recording devices for picture-in-picture, edge, and border blending. The products within the series are modular and can be used standalone or in conjunction with other units for expanded I/O capabilities.


Mark Johnson is editor of Sound & Video Contractor. He can be reached through e-mail at mjohnson@primediabusiness.com.



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