by Derek Dellinger
With estimates of over 32,000 in attendance at InfoComm 2011, as of press time, this year’s conference demonstrated a steady growth over previous year’s shows that is expected to continue into 2012.
“We’re good indicator of what’s going on in the industry, the recovery within the industry,” says Randal A. Lemke, executive director and CEO for InfoComm International. “It’s certainly a lot different than it was end of 2008 and 2009 and a lot of the last year.” Read on at SCN
On my way to the Peerless booth #IC4029, after an intense conversation about data processing at Biamp, I was thinking about how so many companies were taking AVIT quite seriously now and how the game has really finally changed this year. I was thinking about how radically our market will now change over the coming decade, maybe even faster (though it’s almost never faster). And I was thinking, “well, mount companies don’t have to worry about any of that”–they just have to bend iron, not signal.
So much for that assumption. Peerless arrived at Infocomm as Peerless-AV and they brought the beginnings of their new lines to the show—an array of cables and their HD Flow 1080p wireless system which allows displays to be installed up to 131 feet away from sources. So Peerless is in the signal business too. The company will obviously have to earn their way into a new role in a market that lives and dies on moving signal reliably—whether wired or wireless. But I think it’s a great approach to staying relevant in our market; with the published specs and a $420 price tag, HD Flow is worth a look, along with the other new products.
This is another show favorite of mine. Sound Devices has applied their knowledge of audio field recording to video, bringing what they are calling the first portable audio/video recorder to booth #IC2274. This is a cool, somewhat unexpected product to find at Infocomm. But it does belong here. As more churches, schools, and corporations understand the importance of capturing their activities on video–and manipulating or distributing them digitally–this device fits right into the modern arsenal of communication tools.
One of the most noteworthy elements may not seem relevant to ProAV but it is: the recorder handles both Apple’s ProRes codec and Avid’s DNxHD–the two most common and useful codecs for post production and pre-mastering of high quality digital video. This differentiating feature lends the recorder vital flexibility whether a customer’s post production pipeline is based on Apple’s Final Cut Pro or any of the Avid editing products. It also insures the video will be captured at high quality (without necessarily taking up a lot of storage), will encode cleanly for distribution and will be future proofed for bigger screens.
The captured footage will be viable both on the internet or on a big display screen–it can scale to virtually the highest resolution picture our display manufacturers can deliver. For many customers this will be the ideal addition to their live production workflow. For integrators it’s a product you can recommend without having to know everything about a customer’s video production workflow. Think of it as a portable harddrive for a camera. It’s that simple. It also records outboard audio for those who don’t want to use the camera mic. More detail in this press release.
by Lindsey Snyder
InfoComm’s Standards Steering Committee meets this afternoon to hash out the latest standards and best practices ahead of a day-long plenary session Saturday moderated by Richard Derbyshire, of consulting firm Shen Milsom & Wilke.
A reception follows this afternoon’s committee meeting at 4:00 p.m. in room W308A/B where plaques and certificates will be handed out to people who have worked on the standards. This is also an opportunity for newer volunteers to meet Standards Steering Committee members and task group members to be placed in a group. Read on at SCN
The Christie Digital booth is certainly turning heads with bold fresh visuals–this is after all Infocomm. But on the margin of the show floor look closely at the X2O Media booth #IC4983 and you’ll see a less conspicuous but in some ways more important display: the Twitter Cube. It’s a video wall that sucks in tweets in near real-time and displays them on the big screen. So picture seven of us milling in front of the screen madly tweeting into our iPhones, not really speaking to each other and anxiously waiting to be briefly famous.
X2O has one of the savviest booths on the floor because they know how to put what is so vaguely called ‘digital signage’ into context. Maybe that’s because they have years of experience both with manufacturing products like their xPresenter, and designing and integrating cool digital signage applications for clients like ESPN. So they understand the paradigms in a very comprehensive way and it shows.
They’ve even coined a phrase that helps with the vocabulary struggle around digital signage. “Real time visual communications.” it’s still too long but it’s better. A better way to explain that digital signage is not really about signs. So X2O’s David Wilkins demonstrates how the company’s products drive activities like remote desktop-based collaboration. Or how you can write on your iPad and it can appear on the big video screen. Ditto a white board, for meetings that may actually get people to stop tweeting into their iPhones or answering email on their iPads and pay attention.
Welcome to DP’s InfoComm Reveal!
Three packed semi trucks left DP’s doc last Wednesday, destined for Orlando and loaded with the latest revolutions in large screen display technology. Precious cargo for certain, and we were pleased to know that our 55,000 lb shipment was received at the Orlando convention center on Thursday morning. By the time you read this newsletter, all of our gear will have been off-loaded, and our engineering team well on their way to creating the Tradeshow Magic that characterizes Digital Projection’s exhibits. Read on at The Wire
Bretford’s #IC2259 partnership with PowerMat has come to life in a cool feature—a charging pad that can be built into anything with a grommet. Launching in October. As Bretford’s Cindy Weinschreider explains, you buy a new $10-20 charging-friendly back for your phone from Best Buy (or for your iPad) and via Power Mat’s inductive technology you can just drop it on the charging pad and it will charge while it sits there. She says the technology’s already proven at Chicago’s O’Hare airport and in schools. When you see it you will want one for your own desk, kitchen counter, bathroom vanity…. (just not on the dining room table please).
Bretford #IC2259 has approached their new line of educational furniture Edu 2.0 by researching the culture of social learning that’s coming so naturally to our kids. The new Edu 2.0 line is designed to accommodate student’s mobile devices and to support teachers who are bringing materials from home via their personal computers. Equally important, Bretford designed the furniture to facilitate working collaboratively in groups, to get away from the “facing forward” culture that is literally Old School. So it’s network-ready carts, mobile whiteboards, mobile lecterns and desks, tables with built in power and data, and armchairs with built in power for common areas.
By Mary Bakija
Revisions made to Chapter 24 of the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (commonly referred to NFPA 72) have changed how those serving the commercial audio and life-safety markets, or looking to grow into these areas, have to work. Learning what training is required, what’s driving the market, and what sales strategies and funding is available is key to success. Read on at SCN
It’s hard to pick just one or two things to highlight at Shure–the company is in the middle of a pretty intense product release cycle; that’s been the case for awhile and is projected to continue through the rest of this year at least. For our market, I’ll just zero in for now on the new Axient wireless system (shipping Fall). It is the first wireless system that can automatically change frequencies live, detecting and avoiding interference, adapting to crowded RF conditions on the fly and providing the digital equivalent of swapping mics (transparently in nearly every case). Details in the press release. Brad Paisley’s used it on Good Morning America already. Also for our market a nice 15 inch gooseneck (pictured) to accommodate the laptop trend for conferences and meetings.