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Archive by Trevor Boyer

ARCHIVE: Plug-and-play from Revolabs

Revolabs FusionRevolabs has changed the way many companies think about audioconferencing over the past few years. For a technology that’s good when the gear is expensive and often horrendous when the gear is mediocre, Revolabs forged a middle path with easy-to-use, rechargeable personal lipstick-shaped mics, sold in relatively affordable packages with receivers that integrate well with most videoconferencing systems. These systems are designed for custom installation into racks by professional AV contractors. more…

ARCHIVE: Switching from a Monitor?

Wohler Touch It DigitalShrinkage is one of the most reliable trends of not only the video industry but of technology in general. As video gear takes up less rack space, it’s simultaneously becoming more versatile. Case in point at InfoComm 08 is Wohler‘s new Touch-It Plus monitoring gear, which combines quite a lot of functionality in 3 rack units.

With touchscreen control, it’s potentially both a monitoring and a switching/routing solution. It’s either 8- or 16-channel, with HD-SDI inputs, and it’s got dual 7in. LCD monitors on the front – the left displays up to 16 sources and the right displays a chosen signal at full size. Its Ethernet and RS-422 interface system can be used to enable remote control of routers, switchers, servers, and VTRs. It also can be used to directly control the video switch to playout — which might be appealing to a house of worship or a university cable station. For nontechnical users, nothing could be simpler than touching a video source to switch signals. more…

ARCHIVE: Crown’s ‘more power’ amps

Crown Macrotech i SeriesAt InfoComm, Crown, part of the Harman Pro Group, introduced new mega-powered members of its Macrotech i Series of power amplifiers: the 5000i, the 9000i, and the 12000i. These are designed for touring, but they’re expected to find permanent homes in various installations. That’s because Crown’s installation line, CTS, maxes out at 1500W per channel. The Macrotech i Series offers 2,000, 3,000, and 4,000W per channel.

On the other end of the spectrum, Crown introduced a much smaller amp, the 135MA. Designed for audio installations such as smaller retail stores and medical offices, the 35W mixer/amplifier has a three-input mixer (each input has volume control) for a single audio zone.

Analog for Yamaha

Yamaha IM8It’s a testament to the thoroughness of the digital revolution that the introduction of a new analog mixing board is now officially a Big Deal.

Yamaha, which in the past decade has released so many blockbuster consoles with “D” in their designation, has introduced its first analog mixing board since about five years ago. The new IM8 line is built in the heralded factory in Japan that makes all the marquee boards for the company that have PM in their name. The focus is on high sound quality and high build quality. The IM8 is available in 24-, 32-, and 40-channel configurations. The intended market, according to marketing manager Marc Lopez, is smaller musical tours and houses of worship. The latter is a ripe market for analog mixing consoles because for many users, especially inexperienced mixers, it’s much easier to pick up the craft of mixing when there’s a discrete hardware knob for each channel – rather than a digital menu to page through to find the correct channel to tweak. more…

Wide range from Samson

SamsonI don’t think I’ve visited a small booth with as wide a range of products as Samson’s. The company makes field digital audio recorders that double as USB audio interfaces for laptop project studios. It makes an all-in-one, optionally battery powered portable 250W amp with an iPod dock. For, you know, street performers, outdoor festivals, radio station promotions, etc. There are affordable zoned audio systems for retail stores and dentists’ offices. S-Zone has a four-in, four-out analog matrix. This year that system gets a companion power amp ($350), a 120W/70V model called the S2480.

Also new in zoned audio for Samson is the ZM125 ($499). That’s a six-channel input, five-zone system that uses one monoblock amp (125W/70V). There’s a telephone output for music on hold. A very simple solution for many businesses that want a zoned system.

Finally, there’s a new tiny transmitter with a mic integrated into the unit. The idea is that for many applications, a lavalier with a cord is just too cumbersome. The Samson guys mentioned aerobics instructors who need voice amplification and ultimate mobility. The AirLine Synth is a frequency-agile model ($449) that operates at 800MHz. Check the picture for the size. The Samson reps also noted that AirLine is the microphone of choice for the carnival barkers on the Jersey Shore.

All-in-one assistive from Azden

Azden IR_WSI just met with Wayne Alonzo of Azden, who’s showing a relatively new all-in-one assistive listening system that’s designed mainly for K-12 classrooms.

It’s not completely new – Alonzo says Azden has been OEM’ing all the components to other manufacturers for a few years, but this is a newly branded package from the company. The IR-CS Infrared system includes everything you’d need for a classroom: A pendant mic with an emitter, a handheld mic, a dual-channel receiver, an infrared sensor, and four 6.5in. ceiling speakers. (This assistive-listening system does not use individual receivers, as do those designed for the hearing impaired.) There’s also an IR-WS system that employs wall-mounted speakers. The cost for the systems are $1,200 and $1,100, respectively. more…

Danley’s Demo Room

Danley Sound Labs was showing its dozens of new offerings in its demo room. In terms of raw numbers of new product introductions, so far Danley has beaten every other company I’ve visited. Mike Hedden gave me a rundown of the most prominent new boxes. Danley’s new GH-60 is quite a monster — 18 drivers (8 low, 8 mids, and 2 highs) per cabinet, using the company’s new Synergy horn. Hedden explained that the GH-60 avoids some of the problems associated with line array systems – for instance, that coupling filters don’t work at all frequencies. It’s got a 60 degree horizontal and 45 degree vertical pattern, and actually makes use of all of those 45 degrees (at the top). The GH-60 offers 20dB of gain (rather than a typical 6dB of a line array). Hedden claimed that when it’s hung at 25ft., the cabinet provides even coverage from 10ft. to 100ft. out.

One technological feature that helps support that last claim is the patent-pending amplitude-shading technology, which depends on a “shaded amplitude lens,” a physical means of directing the sound. (Hedden says that Altec did something similar 50 years ago). Another box (2′x2′, for possible ceiling install) that does not yet have a name uses this amplitude shading to achieve an extremely directional sound. Look out for that future product from Danley.

ChyTV keeps advancing

ChyTV HD 150Chyron, known best as the broadcast industry’s standard for on-screen graphics, has developed over the last five years a strong foothold in the digital signage space. The ChyTV products are designed for basic applications that often involve only a single screen — think of a deli with a busy lunch line, entertaining its customers with a live television feed while trying to promote specials (via graphics around the border).

The focus of the ChyTV line has not changed much, except that it’s participated in the industry’s general move toward HD. The new ChyTV HD 150, for instance, accepts an SD video feed on the input and incorporates digital signage graphics on the output and upscales the aggregate signal to 720p or 1080i/p. It also plays clips via its 160GB hard drive. more…

Lumita and 3LCD promote a new spec

I wandered into the screening room at the 3LCD booth yesterday. Happening inside was a presentation by a representative from Lumita, a research, consulting, and product dev firm that focuses on color science. Earlier this year the firm put out a report that proposed a new metric for projectors: color brightness.

The 3LCD consortium has touted this report for obvious reasons: the color wheels of 3LCD projectors do not incorporate a white light section. DLP models do have that section. So though white light certainly pumps up a projector’s ANSI lumens count, it would do nothing to enhance a projector’s “color brightness.” more…

Canon makes its own LCoS panels

Canon Realis SX80A company known for its imaging prowess, Canon was already making its own glass for AISYS optical systems that are found in its Realis line of LCoS projectors. But now Canon has taken another piece of the imaging puzzle in house: The panels themselves. The results of that move should hit the market soon after the show with two new Realis projectors, the WUX10 and the SX80.

The WUX10 is a WUXGA projector (1920×1200) with the native 16:10 aspect ratios found on most computers. Not only will it project the native resolution of 1080i HD video, but the WUX10 will also the desktops of the highest resolution computer monitors pixel-for-pixel. The projector offers 3200 lumens and a 1.5X powered zoom lens. At around $12,000 MSRP, the WUX10′s the target market is the higher-end corporate boardroom. more…

About

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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