InfoComm 2017 Roundup: Tom Edge, Ron Willis & Seungho Jang
- Jun 28, 2017
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 Tom, Ron & Seungho noticed at the show, that give a good idea of where the industry is headed.
While ClearOne was first to market a few years ago with a multi element “steerable” microphone array, Shure’s very successful MXA series of microphones is clearly the market leader. Several manufacturers are now trying to differentiate their new offerings in this market segment.
Of interest is a new “auto steering” microphone, Devio, from Biamp, and a microphone with some 8000+ mic elements from newcomer Nureva. Devio can automatically track a sound source as it moves around the room, while Nureva’s microphone auto calibrates for whole room coverage from a single wall mounted ‘sound bar’ style microphone/speaker array. It will be interesting to see if Nureva can take their technology to the next level to include manual configuration. Biamp Devio will be a good solution with small/medium stand-alone VTC capable AV system integrated rooms.
Microphone array products from Shure, Sennheiser, ClearOne, Biamp, Nureva and other manufactures become replacement of analog microphones. The Sennheiser tracking array sounded bad, hollow and far away and they were in a 6’x8’ room. We then walked to the Shure booth, the 910 units sounded great with a 13’ ceiling and a 12’x20’.
Direct view LED offerings continue to grow, with many of the manufacturers from China. Of concern is a recent revelation that many of these devices do not meet FCC compliance requirements for EMI emissions. Some of the North American manufacturers are fully compliant, but evidently the presence of an FCC compliance label does not assure that the devices have been tested in an accredited lab and meet the requirements. Unfortunately, it’s the owners who are suffering when the FCC, in response to complaints, shut down the displays until they are fully compliant and levy fines. Pricing still needs to come down in order to compete effectively with large flat panel or projection display systems, including the costs of aligning the panels for a seamless display.
OLED is gaining traction in the consumer marketplace. Unfortunately, static image “burn in” harks back to the early plasma display days, and is of concern in commercial applications.
Panasonic camera auto-tracking software is impressive. Other camera tracking system required second camera with tracking signal device, which required a presenter carry with. Epson introduced additional 4K and higher brightness laser projectors. Epson Smart Glasses are interesting products to apply future site survey, design and so on.
The trend toward a single platform which would support a unified platform for the transportation of audio/video, control zero latency. This task was moved forward with the creation of the SDVoE “Software Defined Video over Ethernet “alliance, which was championed by several manufactures to include Christie Digital, Sony, ZeeVee and Aurora. This is an interesting development which could lead to standard platform for the AV industry.
On the other side of the house there were several manufactures, such as Evertz AV which have developed a standard a lone high bandwidth 10GB uncompressed enterprise solution to support AV over IP. While the push was to standardize, the implementation of H.265 was slowly growing and should increase with the high bandwidth solutions.
Many manufactures introduced their version of AV over IP solutions. We would be careful to specify AV over IP products in our project. Based on the experience, we should consider internal bandwidth of managed network switcher itself. Except enterprise Cisco core switcher, typical managed switchers have maximum 10G bandwidth. In theory, ten (10) AV over IP encoder/Transmitter could connect to one switcher no matter how many ports are available on the switcher. Also, not only AV over IP signal, control, Dante and IPTV signals are transmitting over the AV network switcher.
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Most of the major Medical Simulation manufacturers have jumped unreservedly into the VR market with current offerings. While Samsung/Freeman’s VR Pavilion certainly plays to the entertainment aspect, we think that it is much more than that. Jay Ticer, discipline leader for medical equipment planning in New York, can speak to the use of VR in laying out medical equipment in a virtual space so that the medical team can test if there are incompatibilities with their workflow. Before VR, the only way to truly test this was to build a mock up, with all of its associated costs, time and space requirements.