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Archive by Cynthia Wisehart

ARCHIVE: Ankit Patel is proud of this one

dscn1805.JPGThe Echolab “booth” is really just a space they cleared at the the far end of the hall in an big open area mixed in with a few other vendors. Somehow it just makes the new Atem look cooler, sitting there on a collapsable conference table surrounded by the random debris of tradshows–bottles of water, backpacks, people climbing over chairs and cords. It’s got that start-up vibe. Of course Echolab’s no start-up–it’s had many a switcher flagship, most recently the Overture. It joins Wireworks and Ashly in celebrating a 35th birthday this year.

The new Atem is a modern, no-nonsense HD production switcher (1 M/E 3G, 1080p/60) with a built-in clipstore and an obscene amount of I/O–any signal in/any signal out, under $20K list. Patel points out that the infrastructure features alone like HDMI in and out, internal downscaling, frame sync would get you to $20K fast–without getting you a production switcher. So simplicity and price point make it great fit for church/AV market and–he didn’t see this coming–the rental market. Check it out.

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ARCHIVE: Classroom Projector

cp-x3010-right-f.jpgIt’s not glamorous, but reliability matters. That’s what Hitachi is counting on with the CPX-3010, which you can see here. Reliability translates to 5000 hours on the filter and a lamp life of 3000 hours in Standard Mode, twice that in Eco mode. It’s 3,000 lumens bright with a 2000:1 contrast ratio, networkable and includes a campus notification system.

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ARCHIVE: Sweet Integration

dscn1783.JPGEarlier I wrote about Broadcast Pix Slate G live streaming system. So this is a follow-on from that. On the Broadcast Pix booth, they’re showing a slick portable configuration of the system invented by Magic Wave Productions, a California integrator. We saw the Magma at NAB, but this is the first time integrators are seeing it (ships early next month).

This system just looks and feels like an integrator put it together. One of my personal favorite elements is the cabling configuration in the back (pictured)–it’s slightly angled for less wear and tear, but still flush to eliminate thigh bruising for those who have to carry the unit from place to place.

dscn1782.JPGIt’s a super-efficient cube design, holds the Slate G system–(you drive from a nice keyboard that doubles as the front panel). It starts at $18,995–which is more expensive than the entry level Slate G system, but for that you not only get the portable configuration, you get the optional four additional cameras standard.

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ARCHIVE: HD over IP

dscn1803.JPGI’m showing you the back of Grass Valley’s MediaEdge HDMA-4100 set top box because it helps explain how this 4th-gen version of the product got so small and streamlined. While I’m normally a fan of packing in the I/O, in this case the right move was to reduce I/O. “The worlds gone to HDMI,” understates Rich Threadgill, Grass Valley’s Manager of Enterprise Distribution and Signage.

The new MediaEdge supports MPEG 4 H.264 and can ship with or without internal storage (starting end of July). At it happens, it also converges in a fortunate synergy with another product that was underway in a very different part of Grass Valley’s parent company Thomson. This convergence provides some powerful, cost effective HD over IP distribution options for stadiums and arenas, schools and new-build hotels. Here’s how Threadgill described what happened. more…

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ARCHIVE: Now this is I/O

dscn1798.JPGIn a building full of black rectangular boxes you might overlook Communications Specialties new Fiberlink Matrix. But if you work on budget-sensitive projects that require a lot of routing, it could be the most business-friendly Infocomm debut you’ll see this year because it attacks an entrenched problem. You’re all familiar with the configuration limitations of routers (multiply by 8in/8out). We’ve all seen routers from the back—32 jam-packed outs, 2 lonely ins, and a bunch of empty connectors sitting in front of idle processors.

The Fiberlink Matrix (OM32 Fiber Optic Matrix/Signal Router) allows you to configure one I, one O at a time. The box remains the same but where there were empty pins there are plugs and where there were idle processors there is…nothing. Nothing you have to buy and not use. This new paradigm allows Communications Specialties to dramatically disrupt pricing on optical routers, because they can effectively price by the exact number of I/Os required by the individual application. This may not mean an enormous amount on a one-router job, but for installations that require multiples, the savings could virtually be your margin.

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ARCHIVE: My Favorite Thing So Far: Q-Sys

It’s hard to pick a true favorite, but if I did…. So, Rich Zweibel and John Britton (the Media Matrix guys) inevitably had a next-gen idea–how could they not? They took their idea to QSC and the result is the Infocomm 2009 debut of Q-Sys. Not the greatest name, but nevermind. You’re going to want to know much more about this than I can tell you in a blog post, so at the end of this post I’ll provide some links and a schedule of Certification Training for systems designers and integrators.

You’ll need to learn about this, not only to do your job if you work with big installs, but to understand some key things about the future of DSP even if you work on a smaller scale. Besides if you like elegant technology, it’s just fun. Caveat here: I haven’t seen it work. I do know it’s already specified into some very high profile jobs with at least one very notoriously picky client. But for now, I’m so far impressed with the the idea, the design, and of course the personnel–Rich and John have made significant contributions to this industry going back to Cobranet.

On the booth I scratched the surface with Gerry Tschetter. He walked me through the basics of this new paradigm for audio routing, processing, control and monitoring. more…

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Boom Box

dscn1791.JPGI wrote earlier about the LOUD organizational changes; this afternoon my visit to the Martin demo room (202C) was more about simple, primal pleasures. A big sub. It’s good they made it, you know it will be great and you can hear it yourself if you’re here. Here’s the picture–and another one for scale. It’s enormous. Makes me want to go to Glastonbury.

dscn1792.JPG

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Steaming video doesn’t have to suck

dscn1786.JPGAt NAB, the Digital Rapids booth is a destination–big and busy, broadcasters lined up at 9a for help with the inscrutable mysteries of encoding, compression, and streaming. This is Digital Rapids’ first year at Infocomm and at their inconspicuous booth (2772) they offer help with the same inscrutable problems. It’s called the TouchStream.

Broadcasters expect pristine quality from a video signal (you can imagine how they feel about streaming). The quote is “never has so much technology been required to make video look so bad.” Here in the world of systems integrators it’s often a win just to get streaming to happen at reasonable quality and within budget. That’s not to say that systems integrators haven’t delivered amazing video pictures–they have. But alot of good-enough also travels over the PEG, worship, and corporate video highways.

With that in mind, Digital Rapids arrives here with a Pro AV market-specific product. more…

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1080p/3G

dscn1780.JPGBroadcast Pix is here with the prototpye of their new 1080p 3G switcher frame. It’s planned to be a $13,900 upgrade to the flagship Slate G product (late this year). Broadcast Pix has matured into a company that’s increasingly relevent in a world where everyone is a content creator. The Slate G product–which combines switcher, clip store and graphics in one portable, inexpensive system has seen success in the range of live content venues large and small.

The new 3G switcher frame (it’s the IO-looking box in the picture) takes over the video processing chores from the PC-based Slate G workstation (the box under it) which also houses the clip stores, graphics, multiview and CG. The two are connected via simple PCI Express lifeline. It combines with the basic Slate G system (about $11K-23K depending on resolution and panel configuration). The easiest way to understand the model for this prodouct is to read it in Broadcast Pix own words. more…

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At 4 P.M. Thursday

dscn1773.JPGAt the Harris booth (2342) InfoComm faculty member Lyle Bunn will moderate a case study panel on Harris’ digital signage installation for the Orlando Magic. It will look similar to today’s panel on the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center installation (pictured). Harris has dedicated this InfoComm to emphasizing its work in digital signage installation and workflow design. The sessions cover the deployment process, business objectives, supplier selection, technology, content, and funding.

On the booth you’ll see the range of powerful broadcast- and IT-driven technologies and systems that Harris is bringing to bear on the emerging digital signage industry.

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The editors of Sound & Video Contractor post live from InfoComm as the news happens. Check back several times a day for the latest industry news, reports from press conferences, and product introductions.

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