InfoComm 2017 Roundup: Peter Berry

InfoComm, North America’s largest audiovisual trade show for creative and technical professionals, welcomed more than 40,000 visitors and had nearly 1,000 exhibitors this year. With some of the latest technologies for display design, infrastructure, and audio at the show, the establishment challenged visitors to walk the floor and ask themselves “What Will You Create?”


Here are some products and systems Peter noticed at the show, that give a good idea of where the industry is headed.


Commercial Flat Panel Display

I spent a lot of time with LG, NEC and Samsung looking at their 4K commercial grade displays. From what I saw, I believe that Samsung have edge in the areas of price, product range and display quality. While LG make some very nice looking LCD displays, they are very heavily invested in OLED and I’m not sure that it’s a viable technology for Commercial display in a 24/7 environment. Samsung’s QLED displays look as nice as LG’s OLED’s and will probably be more durable for commercial use. NEC are way behind at the moment, with a limited offering of 4K.

In addition to the display technology, all 3 manufacturers are offering their own version of “built-in” smart technology. LG is including WEB OS on their monitors, Samsung will be offering the “Tizen” OS on their next generation monitors and NEC, while still retaining the OPS slot for onboard computers have also developed a less expensive option that uses the “Raspberry Pi” computing hardware on a relatively low cost add-in board. All 3 of these options will offer some form of streamed video decoding.

Direct View LED

The SONY “Crystal LED” looks stunning but is still very expensive. The Leyard/Planar 0.7mm Dot Pitch direct view looks similar to a 1080P LCD Monitor but can obviously be built much bigger.

One other technology that I saw that was interesting was the Panasonic “Link Ray”. This uses light from LED displays to push content to users smartphones. It could be very useful in a retail or mixed-use environment.


I didn’t really get much time at all in the audio pavilion. The one important point to note is that the ClearOne beam-forming microphones are now on version 2 and they now get their power directly from the DSP rather than needing an in-line power injector. Perhaps more importantly, the ClearOne DSP’s now support Dante, so they can be made part of a Dante network.


Crestron really do seem to have hit a home-run with the Mercury. While I was a little dubious at first, they keep adding features and so far our Clients seem to like it. In addition, the introduction of the CCS-FF2 system with built in Air Media for very small rooms, along with the new generation of DMPS with built-in Air Media means that they have a complete eco-system that ranges from the smallest to the biggest rooms.


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