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Echolab‘s switchers become more interesting all the time as elements of broadcast and presentation continue to merge and overlap. With a long history serving broadcast, Echolab has always charted its own course in serving the presentation market. One of the first companies to really understand the importance of IT and how it did–and did not–translate to video, the company has never been afraid to work a little ahead of the curve towards a time when the expertise and technology of the two markets would edge ever closer. more…

Cabletime’s Mediastar Evolution

crestron_mediastar_evolution.jpgI just came from talking with Paul Reeves at the Cabletime booth where he was showing me their Linux-based Mediastar Evolution for showing multimedia content in a variety of distribution situations. The box has been out for a couple of years now but the new administration program is what they’re releasing here at the show. The display looks like a video editing timeline where you can drag and drop to insert content such as web pages, video in various formats, stills and just about anything else including live camera video. You’ve got RJ-45 and RS-232 interfaces, S-video, composite, DVI outs; a very versatile little box and now the new administrator software is adding a whole new angle of power to it.

Featured News from the Briefing Room: Kramer Introduces New High Performance Matrix Switcher for HDMI

vs-66hdmi-front.jpgKramer Electronics is pleased to announce the introduction of the VS-66HDMI high performance matrix switcher for HDMI signals. The product is a 6×6 HDMI switcher that re-clocks and equalizes the signal and can route any or all of the six inputs to any or all of the six outputs simultaneously. It is ideal for a wide range of Pro AV and residential applications. Read on at The Briefing Room

More InfoComm 08 news from The Briefing Room

Green and Black

3D Virtual BlackThe buzz is black, but the news is green at Da-Lite. I refer to the commercials on CNN, etc. promotiong Da-Lite‘s 3D Virtual Black theater and big queues for said theater here on site. The green news is that all 13+ of Da-Lite’s fabrics were certified by Green Guard on Friday, too late to include in the press announcements (though the team made two sets of booth graphics–one with the 5-screen certification that was already in place, one to announce the full-line certification). more…

Bosch Bulletins

Bosch Plena Public Address Easy LineIt seems busy everywhere in Central Hall this year; the Bosch booth was dense with people at midday, especially around the conferencing and PA systems.

News includes the worldwide debut of the entry-level Plena Public Address Easy Line. This plug-and-play system has some reassuring ease-of-use features including Cat 5 loop-through call stations and wall panels. It sits on existing 70 volt PA and fire alarm systems with override to prioritize phones or alarms in an emergency.

Also new is the DCN Wireless Discussion System. While Bosch is well-known for their industry-standard, 32 channel wired and IR voice interpretation and translation systems, this new system with channel selection allows up to 10 languages plus 4 discussion channels all carried over a single channel on the 2.4 Ghz band. more…

Featured News from the Briefing Room: AMX First in Industry to Enable Complete Control System Configuration Via Touch Panel

AMX continues to simplify technology with its introduction of a new, pre-packaged solution that provides AMX dealers with the tools they need to sell, design and install complex meeting room systems. AMXmeetingroom simplifies set up and execution for faster installations, higher reliability and increased dealer profitability. This first-of-its-kind solution includes all functional system programming and can be fully operational within only a few minutes. AMX is demonstrating AMXmeetingroom in booth C2902 at InfoComm 2008, being held June 18 – 20 in Las Vegas. Read on at The Briefing Room

More InfoComm 08 news from The Briefing Room

Crestron Madness

Just back from the massive Crestron booth (N5600), where marketing manager Jeff Singer squired me around several new products and initiatives, which wasn’t easy considering Cresetron has something like 70 new products on display at InfoComm. Jeff had some definite thoughts on major industry trends and pointed me to how Crestron is addressing them. In particular, the following caught my attention:

*Jeff filled me in on Crestron’s new Research Center, which opened a few months ago in a new building on 3,000 square feet of land at Crestron’s headquarters in New Jersey, with over 300 fulltime hardware and software engineers working there. The Center was designed to be an AV research center for Crestron as it dives into new products. Singer says manufacturers of other technologies have even made inquiries about renting time in the facility to do their own research. more…

Featured News from the Briefing Room: WIREWORKS AND NEUTRIK USA JOIN FORCES FOR INFOCOMM 2008

Wireworks, a leading innovator of audio/video cabling systems and custom panels, is teaming up with Neutrik USA, designer and manufacturer of the XX series XLR cable connector, for this year’s InfoComm show. Neutrik USA turned exclusively to Wireworks for its best-selling LumaVue Plates and Panels, to display its complete line of connector products throughout its InfoComm exhibit space (Booth C3657). In return, Wireworks Corporation (Booth C2823) will showcase several of Neutrik’s best-selling XLR connectors as part of its LumaVue Panels and Plates booth display. Read on at The Briefing Room

More InfoComm 08 news from The Briefing Room

Tactical Fiber from Belden

belden.jpgI also had a great talk with Marc Stringer at the Belden booth about their tactical fiber products. One of the reasons for the term “tactical fiber” originated with the military. You don’t get much more tough a condition than the military can present and in the past years there was some concern about taking fiber optic cable on the road. Some figured that fiber wouldn’t be tough enough to stand up to the rigors of field use. In response to that and due to the fact that fiber has obvious advantages for military use, including the fact that it cannot be inductively tapped, “tactical” fiber with kevlar jacketing was developed and is now in wide use by TV trucks and other mobile users. Marc also told me about the lower bend radius that’s possible with the new stuff so it can actually be twisted around and crossed over itself rather tightly with no significant ill effects. The mobile uses of course benefit from the drastic reduction in weight over equivalent lengths of copper. Fuel costs going the way they are and copper costs, too, fiber is an increasingly attractive prospect for mobile field applications.

InFocus and USB Connectivity

InFocus IN5100The InFocus people have been especially great. I wandered into their booth a little shagged out from all the running around and I was immediately standing amid their people, all of whom were ready to answer my questions. The really nifty thing about what they have now is that with USB connectivity between their projectors and a laptop, you can send the external monitor signal to the projector without having all of the usual VGA cable problems; bent pins and so forth. That would really be a great thing for me on my university campus where I have to replace at least half a dozen busted VGA cables a week amid 88 classrooms. They’re also planning to get with me on possible firmware upgrades to deal with the problems that occur with projectors of all makes and models shutting down in response to short electrical transients. That’s what I call service!!

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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