With its newest product (it’s on the booth at 6141) Audio-Technica adds a unique twist on the ubiquitous IR conferencing paradigm.
The new wireless ATCS-60 introduces “automatic mode”, which accepts up to 50 microphone units, running through a “smart” mixer; the mixer turns the mic on and off, depending on whether the person is speaking or not. The mixer allows from one to five people to talk simultaneously, so this obviously makes for a more casual and interactive discussion environment. more…
Checking out the little hotel room setup at the LG booth (5321), I noticed the Pro:Centricâ„¢ LCD Widescreen monitors there, and soon found my self in a chat with LG National Sales Manager Ron Lindeman about the present and future of the hospitality market. Ron explained that the movement of LG and other manufacturers into the “smart” side of hospitality, or as he calls it, the “solutions side” is moving ahead far quicker than many of us might have imagined.
Despite the economic downturn, Ron said several major hotel chains are already partnering with LG dealers to upgrade and install user-oriented solutions networked with LG monitors designed to make visits to such hotels, and repeat visits especially, more luxurious. The notion is that they need state-of-the-art, high-end technology infrastructures to lure visitors in this challenging economy, and more importantly, after the economy finally improves. more…
In the EAW demo room, I ran into Jeffrey Cox, who’s here with a brand new title and role as VP of the newly-minted Pro Audio Group, part of a larger LOUD announcement that will be detailed in a press conference at 4 p.m.
It will likely be one of the most dissected announcements of the show, not least because it brings EAW and Martin together under Cox, an arrangement that begs the obvious question (see Jeffrey’s quote on that below). 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.
The 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‘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 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
I 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.
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.
Day One at InfoCommâ€¦
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…