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Yorkville Tunes To The New Market

Infocomm 2011 represents the first show in which AV manufacturers have had the time to fully develop new products and implement a new strategy to deal with the realities of the AV market since the crash of ’08. What we are seeing at the show are new products that put top technology in small bites. A general theme has been the scaling of top of the line pro systems down for the masses and the form of this trend at Yorkville is the new Paraline Series compact expandable active vertical array loudspeaker system. Yorkville took the technology of their big pro arrays and squeezed it down into the PSA1 vertical array and the PSA1S compact active subwoofer. Two BMS 1.75-inch compression drivers deliver a 15-degree vertical and 110-degree horizontal pattern with 1200 watts program power. The 1400 watt dual 12-inch PSA1S sub booms out of a 15mm birch plywood cabinet that serves as a mounting base for the whole system. Yorkville’s Laurence Bell also showed me the LP-LED4 stage lighting system. The four LED modules, each containing four 12.5 watt high intensity LEDs, are pole mounted and can be used to provide lighting effects for a band. With the addition of a DMX module the system becomes DMX controllable. At the control end is the LP-C12 system controller capable of running up to 12 channels (3 bars) of lights. The unit can provide presets, selectable fade rates, effect speed and complete control of each individual pod’s color and intensity.

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Digital Projection Unveils New Hardware and Technology

The second day of the show got off to a big start with the Digital Projection press conference. All the company chiefs were there to talk directly to the crowd and take their questions. On the sides of the enclosure were Titan WUXGA 3D-P units running fantastic footage of Bruce Springsteen at a Hyde Park concert while Michael Bridwell and company president Mike Levi took the mics to address the crowd. Also running on the multi-tiered trusses were the Titan WUXGA Quad 30 projectors that produced stunningly clear and bright video. To a full house, Levi outlined the company’s current strategy and offerings including the HIGHlite Cine 260 and the iVision 20 Series. There was also a curved marquee screen showing edge blending from two Lightning 45 units but the real show stopper was the 3D display on the right side of the room. The 3D glasses were right there so I took a pair and visually fell into the world being shown on the screen. The Digital Projection crew had a lot to show and they had it arranged just right for visitors to sample.

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Samsung’s LED Statement

Samsung #IC1543 img_0283.JPGis on my short list of high impact booths. It’s a strong showing of LED commitment–part product story, part market story. The booth quite artfully combines exhibits that emphasize technical features with exhibits that place the displays in context–I like the way the exhibits effectively suggest context without tipping over to literal reproductions of “real-world” applications.

Samsung’s Jason Redmond walks through the main theme: Samsung is all in with LED (in case you hadn’t figured that out from the escalator arches). The booth represents that well; it shows how Samsung is building commercial-grade screens with contractor features, not, Redmond emphasizes, repurposing Samsung’s consumer TVs. Case in point: take a look at the IO and cabling on the HE, ME, and UE lines–you can easily see the detailsimg_0272.JPG because of the way these slim screens are glass-mounted like science class slides on a long transparent wall at the center of the booth.

But the message also attempts to be–for lack of a better word–inspiring. Part of that is the music powering out of the big, gorgeous video wall (pictured). “They aren’t the built in speakers,” Redmond notes–of course.” The wall is made up of Samsung’s fourth new line of UD direct-lit backlight panels with super narrow bezels and a striking width–just 5.5mm total from bezel to bezel. Redmond says advanced cooling makes it right for 24/7 applications.

Here’s the press release for more specs.

Elsewhere in the booth, img_0288.JPGyou can see applications that suggest a bar, a restaurant, and a simple retail example. This particular exhibit is noteworthy for the ultra simple deployment of Samsung’s MagicInfo platform for image management–via thumbdrive and handheld remote. MagicInfo is in other new iterations–I like what I saw of the new authoring system, and there are also Android and tablet apps.

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Wireless Microphone Systems Reinvented With HARMAN’s AKG WMS 470

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ORLANDO, Florida – Setting the stage for the next level in wireless live performance, HARMAN’s AKG has debuted its WMS 470 wireless system at Infocomm. Designed for complete ease of use, WMS 470 incorporates a vast number of upgrades from previous AKG lines and delivers outstanding performance and reliable operation to users.

WMS 470’s new automatic frequency setup function immediately finds and displays all available channels, making the system ideal for less experienced users to operate. Before opening a channel, the pilot tone function will prevent unwanted startup noise – the receiver will only open the audio if the pilot tone is detected. Read on at The Wire

Modulate Your Own

Contemporary Research brings a new addition to the successful QMOD lineupimg_0259.JPG–a purpose-built Combiner (shipping shortly) that joins the QMOD HD and QMOD SDI modulators and the QMOD HDSC scaler. I like the way this product line takes advantage of a market development–built in digital tuners–to give ProAv some amount of freedom from the tyranny of cable companies. These products give any facility with one or more TVs a way to create and mix channels and sources and effectively make their own cable system. It can include cable TV channels (or not) and a host of other sources transformed into a channel lineup, without a box at every TV of course.

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CLEAR-COM OFFERS SUPERIOR WIRELESS PERFORMANCE WITH THE HME DX210 INTERCOM SYSTEM AT INFOCOMM 2011

New System Provides Advanced Capabilities for Highly Demanding Productions

clear-com_-hme_dx210_system_infocomm-2011.jpg ORLANDO, FL ? Clear-Com, a global leader in critical voice communications systems, will feature the new HME DX210 at this year’s InfoComm 2011 (Booth 349). The HME DX210 is a user-friendly system that offers superior wireless intercom performance and system compatibility with wired intercom systems, making it ideal for live performance, theater or permanent installations. Operating in the 2.4GHz band, the DX210 delivers exceptional sound clarity and enables interference-free communication for highly demanding productions. Read on at The Wire

Middle Atlantic’s Big Show

img_0333.jpgimg_0334.jpg This was probably the biggest Infocomm’s in recent memory for Middle Atlantic. Last week, legrand completed acquisition of the company–MA brought it’s biggest product launch ever with the new BGR rack. Our exclusive interview with Bob Schluter on his design process is here My pictures don’t capture much, but you get the idea of the curved doors, the vertical mounting space and the patent-pending Lever Lock.

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Happy Anniversaries Almo

img_0298.jpgAlmo celebrated two anniversaries with a booth party today #IC4545–the two-year anniversary of Almo Professional AV and the 65-year anniversary of parent company Almo Corporation. Almo president/COO Warren Chaiken (left) and Almo Professional AV president/COO Sam Taylor (right) paid tribute to their teams and partners and to both the distant and recent history of Almo. Throughout Infocomm, Almo conducts a daily drawing of for a piece of 1946 memorabilia, including an autographed baseball from 1946 major league MVP Ted Williams, an “It’s a Wonderful Life” Jimmy Stewart autographed photo, and an autographed photo of 1946 PGA champion Ben Hogan. The grand prize is a B.B. King autographed guitar.

Here’s the video.

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Azden Debuts New Mixers

azden-mx-62.jpgAt the Azden booth, Wayne Alonzo was showing off the MX-62 mixer and as an audio guy from way back, I was delighted with it. While it may put me firmly in the old school, I love the twin ballistic VU meters. They just keep right on working. Shipping in about a month at $850, the unit features six balanced mic/line inputs in a rack mountable frame. On the front panel each input has a peak LED indicator, pan control, switchable phantom power, high pass filter and a limiter. Two aux inputs are available, each with RCA connectors. The MX-60 is also rack mountable and offers six ¼ inch mic inputs along with three RCA line level inputs. I love mixers like this that take just the right features and put them exactly where real operators would want them. These models weren’t drawn up by guys in lab coats. They obviously were designed by experienced users. Also on display were Azden’s conferencing systems including IR linked receivers and body-pack emitters. The sensors connect with RG-59 coax and rely on both direct and reflected IR to allow better mobility for instructors.

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Visionary Solutions Aims at IPTV

Will Bakewell sat us down and delivered a very direct and informative message about how his company Visionary Solutions provides a laser focused approach to IPTV. They concentrate on the encoding hardware and partner with a number of other firms to build the whole system solution. They’re able to do this by using well proven formats and not going out on an exotic limb with proprietary protocols. H264 streams allow them to concentrate on building and deploying reliable hardware and in today’s market it’s a solid tactic. The talk we had was great and it really is amazing to see how the various players have reacted to the new market conditions in their own ways. IPTV for schools, industry, hotels and webcasting is a growing business and with over 4000 encoders installed worldwide, Visionary Solutions has made a solid foothold.

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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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