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Iconyx Tames a Legendary Landmark

Beijing, China – October 2013… An icon of the modern People’s Republic of China, Beijing’s Great Hall of the People is truly a towering architectural achievement. The 1.9million square foot (171,800 sq m) hall, overlooking the city’s Tiananmen Square, was originally constructed in just 10 months, officially opening in September 1959 to mark the 10th anniversary of the PRC. Designed by Zhang Bo, it has since become famous worldwide as the home of the National People’s Congress.

Most recently, the Great Hall was once again on the global stage as the historical 12th National People’s Congress convened in March. But as the world watched Xi Jinping become the new president of the People’s Republic, a small group of audio technicians and specialists were busy ensuring that a very discreet, very special audio system was helping delegates to hear every moment with perfect clarity.

Renkus-Heinz Iconyx digitally steerable column arrays now form the backbone of the sound reinforcement systems within the iconic building. Commissioned by the Management Office of The Great Hall of People and designed by China’s Radio, Film & TV Design and Research Institute (RFT), the new system takes in six large conference rooms and, most impressively, the Great Hall’s famous and striking conference auditorium.

The high-profile, high-pressure project offered a unique set of challenges for contractor Beijing Zhongdahuatang Technology Co Ltd., particularly the Great Hall’s massive conference auditorium. The circular chamber can accommodate an audience of thousands, measuring approximately 130 ft (40 m) in diameter, with a 33 foot (10 m) ceiling. Not surprisingly, the room’s acoustics are less than ideal. As a Beijing Zhongdahuatang Technology Co Ltd. spokesperson explains, “the auditorium has a very difficult acoustical environment, with reverberation problems and reflections.”

With its elaborate and ornate decor recognizable by billions, the room’s aesthetics were also a foregone conclusion. The room would require a system that could deliver clear speech intelligibility and flawless coverage while remaining virtually invisible to onlookers.

A single pair of Renkus-Heinz Iconyx IC32-R-II column arrays provides the ideal solution. Installed to the far left and right side of the Chairman’s position, each column is made up of arrays of coaxial transducers, each with its own triple tweeter array. The Iconyx beam steering technology makes it possible to achieve even coverage in even the most problematic spaces by focusing sound where it needs to be, and away from reflective surfaces.

“The Iconyx IC32-R-II columns now provide consistent SPL wherever an audience member might be, whether they are in the front of the hall, the middle or at the back of the auditorium,” reports Beijing Zhongdahuatang Technology Co Ltd. “Even though the auditorium has such a difficult environment, the Iconyx beam steering technology covers the whole auditorium with evenly distributed sound while avoiding the walls, the ceiling and delegate microphones.”

Nor have the IC32-R-II columns infringed upon the all-important décor. According the technical team, “the thin cabinet design makes the columns easy to conceal within an installation – you hardly notice that there is a column speaker there.”

Iconyx technology has been deployed elsewhere throughout the complex, including the six smaller conference rooms, each measuring 1000 s.f (300 sq-m) seating 90 people. Each room has been equipped with two IC8-R-II columns, concealed within the marble walls to once again ensure the most discreet solution possible. Despite the highly reflective atmosphere within each of the spaces, the Iconyx columns are successfully delivering clear speech in every area.

The completed system is a triumph for the team at Beijing Zhongdahuatang Technology Co Ltd., and for Iconyx technology, solving one of the toughest acoustic environments in one of the highest profile buildings in the world. And while that success will be obvious to all who hear the system in action, the loudspeakers themselves will remain out of sight.

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Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Renkus-Heinz, Inc. is the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of audio operations networks, digitally steerable arrays, powered and non-powered loudspeakers, system specific electronics and fully integrated Reference Point Array systems.

Extron Announces Two Input XTP Wallplate Transmitter for Digital and Analog Signals

Extron Electronics is pleased to introduce the XTP T UWP 302, a two-input XTP wallplate transmitter that provides the convenience of connecting local source devices at a wall or other locations including a lectern or floor box. This XTP transmitter mounts into a standard three-gang junction box, and sends HDMI or RGBHV video, audio, and control up to 330 feet (100 meters) over a single CATx cable. It is HDCP-compliant and supports computer-video to 1920×1200, including HDTV 1080p/60 Deep Color and 2K. For simplified integration, the XTP T UWP 302 features automatic switching between inputs with selectable prioritization, and can be powered over the same CATx cable. The XTP T UWP 302 is designed for use in XTP Systems for signal distribution and long-distance transmission between remote endpoints. more

Extron Now Shipping Media Presentation Switcher with DTP Extension

Extron Electronics is pleased to announce the immediate availability of the MPS 602, a simple-to-use, six input media presentation switcher for digital and analog sources. It offers digital video switching with three HDCP-compliant HDMI inputs and one DTP 230 twisted pair input, and analog video switching with two RGB inputs that are digitized for distribution to the digital outputs. For increased flexibility, the MPS 602 includes a DTP 230 twisted pair output and an HDMI output that are switch-selectable. The DTP 230 input and output extend video, audio, and bidirectional control signals to DTP 230 transmitters and receivers, each over a single CATx cable up to 230 feet (70 meters). The MPS 602 also includes several audio switching and processing features, available power amplification, plus flexible control options for complete switching and distribution with local and remote display support. The MPS 602 is available in three models: a non-amplified version with a variable preamp output, the MPS 602 SA that adds a stereo 4/8 ohm power amplifier, and the MPS 602 MA with a mono 70 volt amplifier. more

ICONYX Delivers For New State-Of-The-Art International Terminal at LAX

Los Angeles, CA – October 2013… When the Port of Los Angeles began construction on the new, expanded Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX three years ago, there was an unspoken understanding that the new structure would have to be an architectural tour-de-force, and a befitting ‘first impression’ for this iconic international city.

Indeed, anticipation turned to pride when the stunning new terminal was unveiled at a special commissioning ceremony on February 18th. Among the attendees were past and present Los Angeles mayors, along with airport officials, and the joint design team from Fentress Architects and HTNB Corporation.

Expansive and airy in design, the new terminal greets international travelers with a bright, open floor plan, high ceilings, and enough glass to pull in the welcome glow of southern California’s most ample natural resource.

With its towering walls and abundant reflective surfaces, the Fentress and HTNB teams knew early on that the new space would present some unique acoustical challenges. They turned to Whittier California-based VSA Associates, an acoustical consulting firm with more than 20 years’ experience and a client list that includes Hilton Hotels, Caltrans, and Arizona State University.

What VSA’s design team created was a sophisticated system based around ICONYX digitally steerable arrays from Renkus-Heinz. As Michael Kalmanson, Vice President at VSA Associates, explains, “the ICONYX systems allows us to direct sound exactly where we needed it to be, while avoiding difficult reflective surfaces or wasting energy outside of the listening areas.”

The new International Terminal features 14 ultra-modern gates with facilities to accommodate today’s larger, trans-oceanic aircraft like the Airbus A360 and Boeing 747-B. A combination of IC16 and IC8 arrays are deployed throughout the terminal, all fully concealed within the structural detailing. “We selected IC16s or IC8s, depending on ceiling height and how far we needed to throw the sound,” says Kalmanson.

But the undeniable crown jewel of the new terminal is the 150,000-square foot, $1.9 billion Antonio R. Villaraigosa Pavilion, home to premier dining, shopping and relaxation services, along with an equally impressive AV information hub.

“At 80 feet high with tons of glass, the pavilion was one of the more challenging spaces,” admits Kalmanson. “We opted for the ICONYX IC16 arrays there, and then dialed in the multiple steering lobes to target individual listening areas while ensuring that sound didn’t splash into the aisles or up onto the walls.”

Kalmanson continued, “The ability to define multiple steering lobes from a single array is one of the most compelling aspects of the ICONYX system—especially for a job like this. You can literally steer a portion of the array down 30 degrees, the next part down 15 degrees, and the final portion straight out. It’s extremely sophisticated equipment that offers an amazing amount of control.”

Pulling everything together for the expansive new terminal is a multi-zone paging system from Innovative Electrical Design [IED], which synchronizes the massive flight information displays and PA systems throughout the pavilion and terminals. The IED system combines the audio into zones for easy operation and adjustment during heavy traffic times.

“In most places, the ICONYX arrays are assigned to their own paging zone, but in some instances we combined multiple arrays into a group zone,” says Kalmanson. “Each zone is tuned perfectly for the space. We even have ambient noise compensation, which automatically raises or lowers the output depending on crowd noise.”

Hawthorn, CA-based Direct AV handled installation duties. Working closely with the architects, Direct AV ensured a highly finished installation, with minimal visual impact. As a result, all ICONYX arrays are flush mounted into existing structural elements throughout the terminal, with only their grills visible to visitors.

While Kalmanson comfortably credits the power of the ICONYX system as an essential ingredient in the successful design, he also notes the support provided by Renkus-Heinz directly.

“I simply don’t know of a better product for jobs like this than ICONYX,” he concludes. “But I’m also pleased that Renkus-Heinz was so involved, from modeling the spaces in EASE, to ensuring that we had exactly what we needed to meet our schedule from start to finish. I couldn’t be happier.”

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Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Renkus-Heinz, Inc. is the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of audio operations networks, digitally steerable arrays, powered and non-powered loudspeakers, system specific electronics and fully integrated Reference Point Array systems.

Extron Now Shipping VN-Matrix Codec for 3G-SDI Over IP

Extron Electronics is pleased to announce the immediate availability of the VNC 325 3G-SDI, a VN-Matrix series codec that streams SDI, HD-SDI, or 3G-SDI video and embedded audio over standard IP networks. The VNC 325 transports low latency, production-quality SD or HD video with embedded audio. Two channels of audio can be streamed with video in low bandwidth applications or up to 16 audio channels can be streamed in ancillary – ANC data blocks of four channels. Form factor improvements from the VN-Matrix 300 Series make it compatible with Extron rack mount accessories. more

Renkus-Heinz ICONYX Brings Clarity to Beirut Parliament

Beirut, Lebanon – October 2013… The tall, domed central hall of the Lebanese Parliament building in Beirut has long been known as an acoustically challenging environment. But after many years and numerous attempts, a recent renovation has brought the building’s rogue reverberation under control, bringing clarity and high intelligibility to the iconic space with Renkus-Heinz Iconyx digitally steered array loudspeakers.

The building, designed in 1931 by Beaux-Arts architect Mardiros Altounian, is believed to be on the site of the Roman Forum of Berytus, where the Roman School of Law stood before being leveled by the great earthquake of 551 AD. During Lebanon’s civil war, the structure suffered considerable damage, and its renovation is a symbol of the vision involved in the reconstruction of Beirut city center.

The parliament building’s architecture, in particular the dome, has long presented challenges with reflectivity and poor speech intelligibility — certainly a major drawback for any debating chamber.

Today, the building is a blend of heritage architecture with a modern interior complete with contemporary high-tech amenities, including a pair of Iconyx steerable arrays specified and installed by system integrators Mac Audio sarl. Mac Audio specified Iconyx, using its beam steering capabilities to focus audio beams on individual seating areas and away from the roof and walls. The project proved an interesting and enjoyable audio challenge, said Nader Arzouni, General Manager of Mac Audio. “We deal with all the Lebanese Republic’s government departments,” he said proudly, “including the Prime Minister’s office and parliament buildings.”

The ground floor’s main area, with seating for 165 including 128 deputies, is covered by two Iconyx IC8 columns, with a pair of IC7 mechanically steerable units for the  president’s podium. Two IC16s serve the balcony level, where up to 100 guests can be accommodated.

Two Shure feedback eliminators, one for the balcony and another for the main hall, a Crest Audio rackmount mixer and a single XTA DP448 controller to add even more flexibility to the main floor’s IC8s, complete the system. A final touch was the provision of Renkus-Heinz SGX41 compact cabinets for the Prime Minister’s residential palace.

As the technical skills of the system operators can vary widely, Mac Audio preset the system so that very little adjustment is needed, making life as simple for them as possible.

“It’s all very good,” said Nader Arzouni, “a very flexible, modern system that has completely eliminated all the old intelligibility issues and delivered crystal clear sound that parliament is delighted with.”

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Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Renkus-Heinz, Inc. is the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of audio operations networks, digitally steerable arrays, powered and non-powered loudspeakers, system specific electronics and fully integrated Reference Point Array systems.

Matrox Monarch HD Now Shipping Worldwide

Award-winning streaming and recording appliance lets professional video producers simultaneously stream a live event and record a mastering-quality version for post-event editing

Matrox® Video today announced that the new Matrox Monarch HD™ video streaming and recording appliance is now available through a worldwide network of authorized dealers. Priced at just $995 US (€799, £699) not including local taxes and delivery, Monarch HD is designed for professional video producers who need to simultaneously stream a live event and record a mastering-quality version for post-event editing. It provides these two independent modes in an integrated unit. From any HDMI input source such as a camera or switcher, Matrox Monarch HD generates an H.264-encoded stream compliant with RTSP or RTMP protocol. While encoding the video at bitrates suitable for live streaming, Matrox Monarch HD simultaneously records a high-quality MP4 or MOV file to an SD card, a USB drive or a network-mapped drive. Powerful and robust, Matrox Monarch HD is remotely controlled using any computer or mobile device with a web browser. It also offers simple, one-touch stream and record pushbuttons; low power consumption; a locking power connector; and a quiet, fanless design.

“In a single integrated unit, Monarch HD separates the task of recording from streaming to ensure that the user’s content delivery network (CDN) delivers quality video to a live internet audience while the user himself independently controls the quality of his archive,” said Daniel Maloney, technical marketing manager, Matrox Video. “Matrox Monarch HD injects the highest quality video into every bit regardless of input source or target bitrate. Combining the power of the built-in H.264 encoder with Matrox’s high quality deinterlacing and scaling engines guarantees stunning results.”

About Matrox Video
Matrox Video is a technology and market leader in the field of HD and SD digital video hardware and software for accelerated H.264 encoding, realtime editing, audio/video input/output, streaming, A/V signal conversion, capture/playout servers, channel-in-a box systems and CGs. Matrox’s Emmy award-winning technology powers a full range of multi-screen content creation and delivery platforms used by broadcasters, telcos, cable operators, post-production facilities, videographers and A/V professionals worldwide. Founded in 1976, Matrox is a privately held company headquartered in Montreal, Canada. For more information, visit www.matrox.com/video.

FSR’s DR-SOCK Provides Easy Cure for Pulling Cables

A “must have” for fast and simple cable installation

Woodland Park, NJ – FSR’s new DR-SOCK is a handy and affordable cable-pulling tool designed to simplify and accelerate every installation requiring cables and connectors.

A must-have for every installer’s toolbox, DR-SOCK is pre-assembled, easily accessible in frustration-proof packaging, and re-useable. It protects cables and connectors from being damaged by taking the stress off the connection points while pulling through a conduit. The design opens up to 1.25 inches, and features brightly colored sleeve tips to enable easy identification, and a steel ring to allow quick and positive attachment of a pull snake. DR-SOCK can be used to safely pull FSR’s new Digital Ribbon Cables as well as others with connector shells.

“DR-SOCK joins so many of our products that are designed to shorten installation time without compromising the integrity or quality of the project,” said Jan Sandri, FSR president. “This simple device pulls cables and connectors without damaging them, and will soon be a staple in every toolbox.”

DR-SOCK, like all FSR products, is made of durable materials in the USA.

About FSR
FSR, established in 1981, manufactures a wide variety of products for the audio / video, education, hospitality, government, and religious markets, including AV floor, wall, table, and ceiling connectivity boxes, as well as a full line of interfaces, distribution amplifiers, matrix switchers, seamless switchers and CAT-5 solutions.

The company is an Energy Star Partner and complies with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to demonstrate its deep commitment to preserving the planet. FSR offers live 24/7 technical and sales support throughout the country from expertly trained technicians and sales representatives. For more information: www.fsrinc.com.

FSR Contact: Jan Sandri
973-785-4347 • sales@fsrinc.com

Press Contact: Desert Moon Communications
Harriet Diener
845-512-8283 • mailto:harriet@desertmoon.tv

Vaddio Helps Citizens in Faroe Islands Participate in Local Government

In the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, roughly halfway between Norway and Iceland, lies the Faroe Islands. Comprised of about 18 rugged, rocky islands the Faroes occupy only about 540 square miles of land mass, with a total population hovering around 50,000 people. But if idylls of a simple people removed from modern technology spring to mind, you can banish that thought. In fact, one small community in the Faroe Islands recently deployed a high-tech solution using Vaddio products to get its citizens more involved in local governance.

The municipality of Sunda (known locally as Sunda kommuna) stretches across two of the larger Faroe Islands and includes about a dozen small communities. When it came to municipal matters, the city council of Sunda faced a challenge: Getting citizens scattered across a wide area to attend the meetings. To solve this problem, the council decided to take their meetings to the public by live-streaming the events on the web.

“In the past, city council meeting minutes were published after-the-fact,” said integrator Alvin Ellebye Andersen of Raclip, who worked with Sunda to create its live-streaming system. “The new method allows residents to follow along with the meeting as it happens. Although they can’t interact, they have real-time access to decision-making and community business.”

VADDIO COMPONENTS MAKE STREAMING EASY
Because Raclip is, itself, located in the Faroe Islands, Andersen had a keen understanding of the obstacles Sunda kommuna needed to overcome. The live-streaming system had to be easy to use and not require a dedicated operator. It also had to be cost-effective. After evaluating other systems, Andersen knew an all-Vaddio system would deliver a great solution.

“The Vaddio components we installed really are the best thing for this type of situation,” Andersen said. “You just turn it on, and it works. Simple.”

The Sunda kommuna system consists of a single Vaddio HD-19 camera, two microphones, a Vaddio AutoPresenter, and Vaddio AV bridge. As a city council meeting gets underway, the mayor simply turns on the equipment and the event is live-streamed instantly. It quite literally is that simple.

“Other systems we looked at required a person to sit at the controller and operate the equipment,” Andersen said. “That wouldn’t have worked for this application, not to mention some of those systems were much more expensive than the Vaddio set-up.”

BEAUTIFUL PRESENTATIONS ON A BUDGET
Any type of live-streaming setup with a high-definition pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) camera isn’t going to be cheap. But Andersen was able to keep costs contained for Sunda by sourcing all the components from the same manufacturer. Plus, the seamless integration of the Vaddio products drives the system’s ease of use.

The Vaddio AutoPresenter interfaces with the HD-19 PTZ camera mounted in the city council’s meeting room. Originally designed for classroom use, the AutoPresenter is the perfect solution for live-streaming any type of similar meeting, as in Sunda kommuna’s case. While the Sunda city council currently uses only the camera for broadcasting their events, in the future they could easily incorporate the presentation of other materials, such as PowerPoint slideshow, which is what the Vaddio AutoPresenter was designed to do. By harnessing this capability, the Sunda council could, for example, display a proposed budget using a picture-in-picture format while the city treasurer explained to viewers what each line item meant.

EASY STREAMING WITH THE SOFTWARE OF YOUR CHOICE
Another key component in the Sunda kommuna live-streaming setup is the Vaddio AV Bridge. This little box offers supreme flexibility in the choice of streaming platform. The AV Bridge functions as a digital gateway that connects the audio and video sources to the streaming software, be it Skype, Cisco Jabber, Microsoft Lync — or any application that supports USB 2.0 devices.

“We just input the camera and microphone sources to the AV Bridge, and the city council can live-stream on any platform they desire,” Andersen said. “Again, we wanted to make this as easy as possible for them.”

Importantly, the AV Bridge also records the meeting for archival purposes. Instead of relying on a set of written minutes that could be incomplete or even contain innocently introduced errors, the Sunda kommuna city council can review the video archives of meetings to discern precisely what was said, done or decided.

A WELL-RECEIVED SOLUTION
What do Sunda’s citizens think about their community going high-tech?

“So far, they’re pretty happy with it,” Andersen said of the system, which was installed in March 2013. “Other Faroe Islands cities are watching how things go in Sunda and are checking out how this could work for them.”

Although the meeting archives currently aren’t publicly available, the ability of a citizen to “sit in” on a live event occurring on another island offers great convenience to those who want to stay current with what the city council is doing. Ultimately, the system should stimulate more public input and involvement with local government, and that’s a big win for Sunda.

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FSR’s Jon Melchin to Present at Smart Building Conference in London

Woodland Park, NJ – Jon Melchin, FSR Inc.’s Director of Architectural Development, will share his in-depth expertise on Building Information Modeling (BIM) with delegates at the second Smart Building Conference. The event, which debuted in January in Amsterdam, will be held at Dexter House in London on 15 October. The Conference calls upon experts from different industries to unite behind the common cause of thinking, working and building smarter to drive the future of Smart Buildings forward.

The Smart Building Conference comprises an audience of building systems professionals including architects, facilities managers, consultants, developers and other groups who gather to enhance their knowledge and skill in integration, room and building control systems, fire and security, CCTV, networking, energy management, lighting and more.

Melchin’s presentation – Building Information Modeling: Designing better, faster and smarter with BIM – will explore BIM – a 3D design, modeling and simulation technology that has changed the way architecture is practiced. Melchin will discuss how BIM is becoming increasingly instrumental in smart building initiatives and highlight its ability to draw various parties together to share information about a building, its components and the energy efficiency performance assessment of the intelligent environment. The session is scheduled for Tuesday, 15 October at 2:30 PM.

“Being asked to present at this prestigious event is a significant honour,” said Melchin. “The Smart Building Conference brings together professionals from various but complimentary fields to provide an incomparable resource pool for those responsible for the future of Smart Buildings. I’m more than delighted to be able to make a contribution.”

Melchin, an accomplished speaker and a Passport Provider with the American Institute of Architects Continuing Education System (AIA-CES), works nationally with the architectural and design community to facilitate the specification of FSR products. Melchin has authored numerous articles that have been published in international trade publications targeting the construction and audiovisual industries, and has over 12 years of experience in the AV business.

Further information regarding all FSR products can be found at: www.fsrinc.com.

About FSR
FSR, established in 1981, manufactures a wide variety of products for the audio / video, education, hospitality, government, and religious markets, including AV floor, wall, table, and ceiling connectivity boxes, as well as a full line of interfaces, distribution amplifiers, matrix switchers, seamless switchers and CAT-5 solutions.

The company is an Energy Star Partner and complies with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to demonstrate its deep commitment to preserving the planet. FSR offers live 24/7 technical and sales support throughout the country from expertly trained technicians and sales representatives. For more information: www.fsrinc.com.

FSR Contact: Jan Sandri
973-785-4347 • sales@fsrinc.com

Press Contact: Desert Moon Communications
Harriet Diener • 845-512-8283 • harriet@desertmoon.tv

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Stay up to date on the latest technology news. Select press representatives post company news several times a day. Check back often to get the latest news on product releases, mergers and acquisitions, and product applications. To be included in this virtual press conference, please contact The Wire.

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