Archive by Dan Daley

InfoComm Day Three — Five Cool Things Unveiled At InfoComm

1 One corner of Sennheiser’s booth was constantly buzzing, with necks craning to see the K-array speakers. You had to twist your neck a bit – the K-arrays are on a scale with Matchbox toy cars. But imagine a Matchbox Shelby Cobra with 4.9-liter engine under the hood. That’s what the new KK50vb line array speaker system is like: only 2.2 inches deep and weighing just 5.5 pounds but it packs up to 120 dB of output. It can also change vertical coverage from 7 degrees to 120 degrees with the flip of a switch.

2. Atmosphere is what its name suggests: 4 screens with a band member or dancer or DJ in each, shot in 4K, with synched audio, intended to grease the mood with settings for lounges, discos, cruise ships, retail, HOW and other environments. Atmosphere North America is handling distribution here for the German company. more…

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InfoComm Day Two/Part 2 Dan Daley

The merger between AVI and SPL turned heads a couple of years ago. But AV integrators have been combining their efforts in other ways, and two of the more interesting business models both upped their presence at InfoComm 2010.
The USAV Group formed in 2001 and acts as a buying group for its 36 dealer/integrator members, who are offered rebates on product and services from 16 affiliated companies including Chief, Sanyo, Draper, and Liberty AV, whose booth USAV shared at the show. Seated at a table and looking out at the busy show floor from the booth’s roof, USAV’s CEO K.C. Schwarz listed the company’s goals, chief among which are networking (they hold three group meetings a year) and the discounts, which come in the form of rebates of between 2 to 5 percent, a percentage of which comprise USAV’s revenues. Disseminating best practices among integrators is another intention. But in a sector that’s seen a steady increase in the number of players in recent years, the group also offers some sense of turf protection, what Schwarz called “reasonable exclusivity.â€? Schwarz hired a marketing person, the first time in 9 years, intending to raise the group’s profile. “We’ve been pretty quiet up till now,â€? he said. “But the business is growing and this offers some integrators a bit of differentiation.â€? more…

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InfoComm Day Two/Part 1 – Digging Deeper

Digital audio networks are a hot product category this year. As the number of new network protocols has proliferated, so have products and services around them. Aviom, maker of the A-Net, Pro 16, and Pro 64 network solution, debuted the company’s new Design Services initiative. Headed by worldwide consultant liaison and design services manager, Jeff Lange, the three-member department is taking an ad hoc service the company had offered and formalizing it. Members of the design consulting team will review perspective and current customers’ design proposals, offer suggestions for ways to improve efficiency or performance and help develop design approaches. The announcement comes simultaneously with the introduction of new contractor hardware – the Wall Frame 6 line of modular digital wall boxes with 6-slot cards that accept up to 4 channels of I/O in various configurations. “All this is growing out of the network trend,â€? says Lange, who says they units can put a digital I/O directly in the wall, eliminating cabling and using power-over-Cat-5. more…

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Day One: Have We Got New Stuff

On the flight from BNA to DFW on Tuesday my seatmate asked if I was going to InfoComm. I was and assumed he was too since he knew of the show. Actually, no, the fellow, who specializes in HOW AV installs told me, he wasn’t going this year because for the last two shows he said that the number and nature of new products was pretty slim. He wished me a good show. After day one, I wish he would have gone to the show. more…

ARCHIVE: InfoComm Day 3

More companies took the show as an opportunity to make announcements, such as the agreement between Yamaha and Audinate. As of this month, Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems will handle North American distribution of Audinate’s Dante-MY16-AUD networking card. The Dante-MY16-AUD card is compatible with a wide range of Yamaha products and fits in the MY16 slots of processors and power amps, providing bi-directional audio and networking functionality.

More signs of springtime for the economy: more…

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InfoComm Day 2

InfoComm International released some of the data from its most recent poll of its members, including systems contractors, design specialists, and lighting/staging specialists. A key finding in the presentation, given by Duffy Wilbert, InfoComm International’s vice president of membership, was a $75 billion estimate for the value of products and services sold and provided by systems integrators globally. Of that total, about $29 billion came from sales in the U.S. and Canada, with products and services split almost evenly as revenue sources, 51 percent vs. 49 percent, respectively. more…

InfoComm Day 2

Day Two at InfoComm 09 and the emerging theme is becoming clear: telepresense. Depending upon whom you talk to, telepresence is either the logical extension of video conferencing or a completely unique proposition unto itself. What sets it apart is the sense of immersiveness that its purveyors—a growing chunk of companies huddled mainly in the 3000 series of alleyways in the convention center—achieve by use of HD, multichannel audio, and staging the rooms in which telepresence conversations take place in such a way as to give the impression that the participants are in the same room with each other. The main players include Glowpoint, Tandberg, Polycom, LifeSize Communications, Teliris, and Cisco, the IT giant that is promoting its own proprietary approach to the telepresence. more…

InfoComm Day One Continued

Bosch brands Midas and Klark Teknik announced at a booth press conference that effective July 1, Midas Consoles North America has been appointed as the exclusive distribution channel for Midas and Klark Teknik in the U.S. and Canada. Based in the Los Angeles-area, Midas Consoles North America is a wholly owned subsidiary of JAM Industries.
The move gives Midas and Klark Teknik direct control of its U.S. distribution channel as it markets the XL8 and PRO6 digital systems in the U.S. market. Midas’ David McNutt said that the existing Midas rep force in North America would be retained. more…

InfoComm Day 1

Day One at InfoComm…
Despite a less-than-wonderful economic climate, InfoComm 09 opened decently at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. The organization predicted 28,000 attendees visiting 850 exhibitors over three days. Randal Lemke, InfoComm International‘s executive director, estimated that two-thirds of the attendees are systems integrators and the rest are technology managers and end users, following a pattern that’s developed over the last five years.

Some good news came early in the day. At Harman International‘s morning press conference Michael MacDonald, Harman Professional Group executive vice president of sales and marketing, told reporters that the professional products group’s revenues had stabilized and that the end of fiscal year 2009 would show a profit, with the fiscal year 2010 budget on a solid footing. MacDonald also hinted at possible merger and aquisition activity in the near future, but the comment that drew the most notice for this audience was that expectations of increased revenues would increase advertising and marketing budgets. Because of its size and sector diversity, Harman is considered a bellwether on the pro audio side of systems installation and integration, so MacDonald’s comment suggests the industry might see growth returning before the end of the calendar year. more…

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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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