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The Future of AV at InfoComm

As part of my pre-show schedule for InfoComm14, I spoke with David Labuskes, executive director and CEO of InfoComm International, about the organization’s celebration of its 75th anniversary and how it has grown since then. During this discussion, where Labuskes highlighted all aspects of the convention from digital signage, to professional audio, to security systems, he kept the theme of this year’s InfoComm, “AV Moving Forward,” relevant.

 

One point Labuskes mentioned a few times was the rapid increase in technology, and the importance of keeping the organization up to date with these latest advances, a point that seems to be trend throughout the events this week.

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InfoComm 2014 Show Daily: Day 1

Stay in the know even if you’re not at InfoComm or if you missed the copy at the show. Here’s a link to Day 1 of the InfoComm 2014 Show Daily.

GREAT SHOW!

infocomm-14-new.jpgWHAT A GREAT WEEK, but it’s finally over and the numbers are in, making this year’s show the second largest InfoComm event ever held, with 32,002 AV professionals attending from more than 90 countries. With 925 exhibitors filling the halls of the Las Vegas convention center, we were nearly overwhelmed by the sheer number of cool products and technologies—way more than we can cover in the space of this blog, so check back to the SVC website and in the new products, news, and technology showcase sections of our print editions for more InfoComm coverage in upcoming issues.

Meanwhile, InfoComm 2011 returns to sunny Orlando, Florida, next year from June 11 to 17, 2011. Mark your calendars now!

K-ARRAY FLOORS THE (SHOW) FLOOR

The Sennheiser booth has been buzzing during the entire InfoComm with attendees packed in to hear the ultra-mini Lyzard micro-sized line array speakers from the Sennheiser-distributed K-Array line. If you haven’t heard these, you’re missing out, so drop by, give ‘em a listen, and find out what everybody else has been talking about. Just walk by the corner of booth C6536, take 30 seconds for a quick audition and you’ll be impressed. Yeah!
K-Array

K-Array Floors the (Show) Floor

The Sennheiser booth has been buzzing during the entire InfoComm with attendees packed in to head the ultra-mini Lyzard micro-sized line array speakers from the Sennheiser-distributed K-Array line. If you haven’t heard these, you’re missing out, so drop by, give ‘em a listen, and find out what everybody else has been talking about. Just walk by the corner of booth C6536, take 30 seconds for a quick audition and you’ll be impressed. Yeah!
K-Array

BACK TO SCHOOL WITH RANE

RANE MLM 65Keeping with the theme of simple, real-world tools for school environments, Rane’s MLM 65 Mic/Line Mixer is designed for easy manual mixing of up to six mic/line inputs and playback of one of several stereo audio sources, including USB audio and an onboard RIAA preamp to support all those schools (and there are plenty of them) that still have large music collections on vinyl. It’s designed to be operated by non-technical personnel, like elementary teachers or custodians, but adds analog and digital (S/PDIF, TosLink optical and/or USB) outs, a dedicated USB Charge port and ¼-inch and 1/8-inch headphone jacks.

The MLM 65 provides six manually mixed mic/line XLR inputs each with a front panel Pan and Fader Level control, plus a window slot atop each input for installer-created labels. Hidden on the back, inputs also have independent rear-panel screwdriver Gain trims, overload indicators, 12 volt phantom power and mic/line switches.

It’s shipping now and see it at booth C6819. http://www.rane.com/mlm65.html

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS ONE!

Switchcraft SC900There’s a lot of amazing stuff here at InfoComm, but sometimes what really impresses me are the simple things based on clever ideas that are designed to make your life easier. One great example of this is the new SC900 Direct box from Switchcraft. Yes, I realize there’s not usually much excitement about a passive direct box (even if it features a pad switch and a Jensen transformer). But the magic here comes from a brilliantly simple (and patent-pending) feature that automatically activates the unit’s ground lift switch when 48 volt phantom power is applied, effectively creating a remote controllable ground lift. There’s also a manual switch for selecting (or defeating) ground lift. Check it out at booth C6836. Awesome!—George Petersen

COUNTDOWN TO INFOCOMM

infocomm10-logo.jpgINFOCOMM ROLLS INTO LAS VEGAS this week and it’s definitely THE place to be for anyone serious about audio and video systems, and digital signage/display technologies. The one thing constant about technology is that it’s always in a state of change and InfoComm is an ideal forum for keeping up new standards and the state of the art.

infocomm09_floor.jpgFounded just a year ago—and celebrating its first birthday at InfoComm—the AVnu Alliance has been advancing pro-quality audio/video by promoting IEEE 802.1 Audio/Video Bridging (AVB) standards over various networking link-layers. AVnu promotes the benefits of AVB technologies and will create compliance test procedures and processes that insure AVB interoperability of networked A/V devices, with the goal of better A/V experiences for end users. For anyone involved in the installation/manufacturing/sales/distribution/operation of A/V products, AVnu is a good thing. more…

Ethernet AVB

v2_screenshot.pngAdam Holladay of Harman‘s System Development and Integration Group was gracious enough to give me a quick demo of the new version (2.0) of Harman HiQNet’s System Architect Software as the show floor was shutting down tonight when the discussion evolved into a larger look at the arrival of, and Harman’s support for, the new AVB (IEEE Audio Video Bridge) audio networking protocol for standardized ethernet, developed by the IEEE 802.1 Audio Video Bridging Task Group–a consortium of engineers from a wide range of major technology companies, including Harman and many other AV players, as well as from other industries. Adam was raving about the concept and the rise of the protocol as having the potential to inexpensively, and seamlessly, become an industry standard ahead of many well known and respected networking protocols already on the landscape, and soon, maybe within a year or two. more…

Da-Lite’s Pioneer

Among the celebratory awards given out today by InfoComm International to launch the exhibition was the first ever InfoComm International Pioneer of AV Award, and it went to a long-deceased single mom who started what would become the Da-Lite Screen Company exactly 100 years ago—about eight years before should could legally vote. That woman is company founder Adele de Berri who, divorced and seeking an income, used her knowledge of paint and its reflective qualities to launch what was then called the De Berri Screen and Scenic Company around the same time that Thomas Edison and George Eastman were busy inventing the technologies that would give birth to the motion picture industry.

To celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary, Da-Lite has a cool historical exhibit at its booth (4401) about the life and history of Adele de Berri, and the historical achievements that led to her becoming, truly, a pioneer of the AV industry.

Incidentally, Da-Lite officials report good and interesting success with the new web site they started in March—the Da-Lite Design Center, which offers virtual design expertise for custom configurations for all sorts of applications such as trade shows, special events, and recently, a unique star-shaped screen for a boardroom at the headquarters of Macy’s.

—MG

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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