I Need to Get Out More

Gazing at a beautiful video jukebox at the LG booth (5321) this morning (47-in. LG plasma running interactive jukebox software from Ecast), I happened to comment that it was about time video jukeboxes were infiltrating bars, restaurants and clubs. LG officials told me such systems are up and running at dozens of venues and at US Cellular Field in Chicago, where the Chicago White Sox play. They’re quite common in bars, I learned. Who knew? I don’t visit bars and, as a result, a huge gap in my learning has developed. Perhaps I’ll rectify that this week in Orlando.

–MG

Communications Specialties Hits the Ground Running

Communications Specialties 3620TX at InfoComm 09The crowd had barely made the floor this morning when interested parties began surrounding the Communications Specialities booth for a glimpse of its new 3620TX and 3621RX units for carrying composite video and stereo sound on fiber. The audio is DIP-switch configurable and the power connects on a captive screw connector. The tiny units are indicative of the shrinking size on this type of hardware from all the manufacturers. The 3620TX and 3621RX can send the signals on single-mode or multimode fiber.

Kramer Electronics Spotlights New Gear

Kramer‘s Max Kopsho is a dead ringer for Rod Serling, but Kramer’s new gear is definitely not stuck in the Twilight Zone. Several new units have taken the spotlight at the show this morning including the 670T/670R fiber-optic transmitter/receivers for HDMI fiber optic audio and video conveyance. Joining them are the 871T/871R pair for DVI video over fiber. The competition is this field is fierce and Kramer certainly hasn’t backed away from it. It’s also unveiling the 873T/873R pair for carrying four separate video channels in 3G HD-SDI over fiber. Products such as this have generated quite a bit of interest on the show floor already and Max is in the middle of a big crowd right now with these tiny units.

Sony to Highlight Full Line of LCD Projectors at InfoComm

Sony VPL-FH300L projectorPress release

Sony Electronics is highlighting its full line of LCD projectors at InfoComm 2009 (booth # 4761). The projectors include affordable compact entry-level models; units designed specifically for education; mobile and premium models, basic and advanced installation units and projectors designed for larger venues. Read on at The Briefing Room

More InfoComm 09 news from The Briefing Room

Automatic Mic Mixing Pioneer at InfoComm

Dan Dugan Model E-1 at InfoComm 09I talked a bit with automatic mic mixer inventor Dan Dugan, and he did a demo of his Model E-1 automatic mic mixer controller. This unit connects to any mixer that has insert patch points and turns it into an eight channel automatic mixer. The operation has gone way past the old mechanical style alogrithms of days gone by. The E-1 shows the gain it’s doing on an LED ladder and keeps a low level background sound constant so there’s no distracting pumping and jumping that you have with lesser auto mixers. Would you expect anything less from the guy who invented the whole concept? The E-1 can be connected in groups of 8 up to 64 channels and no matter if it’s one or several units working, the function is very natural, just like a real, experienced audio guy would handle it.

Audinate Teams with Yamaha

Aidan Williams and his crew have their own booth at this year’s show, and they expect big thing to be coming up soon for Dante, their audio networking protocol. Yamaha will be marketing mixers with a new Dante card than enables 16 audio channels on one Cat-5 cable, and the price is surprisingly low… very entry level cost. Bosch has included Dante networking, and the list of Audinate partners continues to grow. July’s Networked AV Podcast will feature a conversation with CTO Aidan Williams discussing how Dante works and what’s coming up for their Austrailian company.

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…

Canon WUX10 Demo

Canon Realis WUX10 Mark II DCanon has a cool demo going on at its booth (5249) for the next generation of the Realis WUX10 projector. The WUX10 Mark II D prototype (expected to ship in October), in DICOM Simulation mode, is being promoted specifically for medical teaching (not diagnosis, the Canon guys emphasized out of an abundance of caution) applications.

The demo (1920×1200 resolution via Canon’s LCoS and AISYS technologies) is impressive, with gamma adjustable and grayscale detail that medical professionals will probably find even more impressive than I did.

Canon is showing various Realis configurations for all sorts of applications in its various demos—immersive in a dome, 3D, medical, and much more. Worth taking a gander at during your InfoComm wanderings.

—MG

Yamaha and Dante

As InfoComm 09 launched this morning, I immediately ran into an old friend, Marc Lopez of Yamaha. Marc pointed out how big a deal digital audio networking is to a manufacturer like Yamaha, and said as of InfoComm 09, that most new Yamaha hardware is now networkable with Audinate‘s Dante protocol. A formal press conference at the Audinate booth (5842) Wednesday will have more details, but Yamaha will start distributing a new Dante nework format card in September. It’s a format Marc says Yamaha “sees a lot of potential in. We are now fluid in the langauge of Dante.”

As is Yamaha with all other legitimate network protocols. And Yamaha has a variety of other software news going on this year, such as its new DME software update (DME v. 3.5). The boys in Yamaha’s labs, he admits, spend much of their time these days on software design and development even though the company will always be known first and foremost as a hardware manufacturer. These days, those two missions are hopelessly, and permanently, intertwined. more…

Bretford Introduces First Laptop Computer Cart with a Brain

Bretford Intelligent Laptop Computer CartPress release

Bretford Manufacturing has introduced the first laptop computer carts smart enough to protect and preserve the valuable technology equipment inside of them. Developed primarily for educational environments, Bretford’s new Intelligent Laptop Computer carts incorporate a sophisticated Power Management System (patent pending), or “brain” that decreases heat and electrical stresses while proportionally distributing power to the laptops, thereby lengthening battery life. Production models of the Intelligent Laptop Computer carts will be shown in booth #5281 during InfoComm 09, June 17–19, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. Read on at The Briefing Room

More InfoComm 09 news from The Briefing Room

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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