Dan May of BlackMagic (on right) receives the Award for Best Video/Broadcast or Video/streaming Product.
The 2013 Rental & Staging Systems/InfoComm Product Awards were announced and presented at the InfoComm show in Las Vegas on June 12th, recognizing the most innovative products released last year. The past year has been a very healthy one for the staging market, and the Rental & Staging New Product Award competition reflects that health, as the crop of entries represented the scope and variety of innovative tools used by professionals daily in this industry. The program, administered by Rental & Staging Systems magazine in conjunction with InfoComm, covers important applications from audio to high-lumen projection to video processing to the increasing use of digital signage for live events.
The Award categories this year, with this year’s winners:
BEST LOUDSPEAKER FOR THE STAGING MARKET, Winner:
The 5XT is the newest and smallest member of the XT coaxial series. The ultra-compact enclosure is based on a two-way passive design with a nominal impedance of 16 ohms. The compact system contains a one-inch diaphragm compression driver coaxially loaded by a five-inch low-mid frequency transducer mounted in a bass-reflex tuned enclosure. The 5XT cabinet is made of premium-grade Baltic birch plywood. A 3/8-inch microphone stand insert and two M8 inserts for the ETR5 flying bracket are integrated into the cabinet. The 5XT enclosure operates over a frequency range of 90 Hz to 20 kHz. The coaxial transducer arrangement reportedly produces a 100-degree axi-symmetric directivity output along with a smooth tonal response free of secondary lobes over the entire frequency range.
BEST AUDIO CONTROL PRODUCT FOR THE STAGING MARKET, Winner:
Crown USBX Interface
The Crown USBX interface is a simple and compact unit designed to enable control and monitoring of Crown XTi, CDi, or DSi amplifiers via a wired or wireless Ethernet connection. A built-in Wi-Fi access point allows USBX to become a powerful and convenient tool for managing Crown XTi, CDi, DSi devices via the Powered by Crown iOS application. The primary intended use of USBX is as an interface to Crown USB-enabled amplifiers which connect either directly, or via a downstream USB hub, to a USB port on USBX. Then the amplifiers can be accessed via the RJ45 gigabit Ethernet port on USBX, or wirelessly via the wireless access point which is built into USBX.
BEST AUDIO CONTROL OR MIXING PRODUCT, Winner:
Galileo Callisto loudspeaker management system
The Galileo Callisto 616 array processor is an elegant hardware and software solution for driving and aligning Meyer Sound loudspeaker array systems faster, and with better precision than ever before. It features full digital operation with fixed latency across all output channels regardless of any applied processing, as well as delay integration for aligning loudspeaker arrays, shaping filters, and simultaneous low- and high-pass filters for subwoofer control. Equalization parameters are edited in the accompanying Compass control software, which provides control of all parameters.
BEST VIDEO PROJECTION PRODUCT HIGH LUMEN, Winner:
Panasonic PT-DZ21KU 3-Chip DLP Projector
The PT-DZ21KU offers WUXGA resolution, 20,000 lumens of brightness, 3D compatibility and installation flexibility. It has been designed with an extremely small footprint due to a highly efficient optical design, as well as an improved liquid cooling system, minimizing noise levels and making the projector ideal for large-venue applications such as museums and rental and staging that requires maximum brightness and easy handling. The PT-DZ21KU’s Detail Clarity Processor 3 gives natural clarity to the finest details and the System Daylight View 2 optimizes image quality to improve color perception, even in brightly lit rooms. The Geometric Adjustment function adjusts the image for projection onto spherical, cylindrical and other specially shaped screens, providing freedom of creativity.
BEST VIDEO PROJECTION PRODUCT/10K LUMEN OR LESS, Winner:
Sony VPL-FH36 projector
Sony’s VPL-FH36 projector is ideal for rental and staging, where installation flexibility, trouble-free maintenance and stylish “blend-in” designs are critical, as well higher education, corporations, museums, and medical (DICOM) applications. Designed to visually blend in to any environments, the VPL-FH36 is available in white (for classrooms and meeting rooms) or black (to fit unobtrusively in dark environments such as museums, houses of worship and rental and staging uses). It can perform extreme lens shifts of vertical +60% and horizontal ±32%, with a built in edge-blending feature. Based on Sony’s BrightEra 3LCD technology, the high-resolution VPL-FH36 (1920x1200) projector has Full HD compatibility with manual zoom of approximately 1.6x, allowing for high magnification of up to 40 inches to 600 inches screen size. The VPL-FH36 has a light output of 5,200 lumens (in high lamp mode). A Quad Filter System means the filters only need to be cleaned when the lamp is changed -- even in harsh conditions – for an approximate 15,000-hours cleaning cycle and approximate lamp life of 3500 hours (in standard lamp mode).
BEST FLAT PANEL DISPLAY, entries, Winner:
LG Electronics USA
LG Outdoor Display (47WX50MF)
LG’s 47-inch 47WX50MF Outdoor Display uses high-brightness Shine Out display technology, providing captivating and effective digital signage even in high ambient light. LG’s In Plane Switching (IPS) panel technology helps ensure accurate color saturation and contrast at wide-angle viewing and its built-in temperature control helps prevent dark blackening effects even when placed under direct sunlight and heat. The display has a brightness of 2,000 nits, full LED backlighting and 1080p Full HD picture quality in an open frame for easy integration options.
BEST FLAT PANEL DISPLAY - LARGER THAN 70 INCH, Winner:
Samsung Electronics America
At 75-inches, the Samsung ME75B is the largest LED commercial display that uses the edge-type BLU, which not only uses less power and emits less heat than conventional CCFL LCD displays, but also drastically reduces both the weight and depth of the display, making it easier and more efficient to mount. Also, the unique embedded media player eliminates the need for additional devices which provides future savings in both energy bills and waste management costs. The slimmest LED product, this lightweight display is ideal for commercial and retail customers looking to reduce energy spend and time and cost of installations.
BEST LED DISPLAY, Winner:
The Barco LiveDots C5 LED display offers outstanding image quality with true blacks and high contrast, featuring a 5.5 mm pixel pitch and black face SMD design. Ideal for indoor presentations such as auto shows and other high-profile events, its slim, lightweight package is easy to install, power efficient and features integrated curved capabilities. Barco’s renowned DX-based processing ensures seamless image reproduction and versatility for both fixed and rental applications.
BEST VIDEO SIGNAL PROCESSING OR DISTRIBUTION PRODUCT, Winner:
32x32 Modular Matrix/GEF-MOD-32432
Accommodates DVI and DisplayPort using 8x input boards. All inputs are output using DVI, HDBaseT or fiber optics in 8x increments. The 8x DVI boards output to eight displays. The 8x ELR boards extend DVI to 100 meters using one CAT-5 cable per display. Receivers use PoE technology to eliminate power requirements. The 8x FO boards extend DVI to 330 meters using one fiber optic cable per display. Resolutions are supported to 1920x1200. A front-panel LCD provides routing status. Users control the matrix from the front-panel push buttons, RS-232 interface, or IP control. Hot-swappable, dual redundant power supplies are included.
BEST VIDEO SIGNAL PROCESSING - SWITCHING, Winner:
Smart Edge FX STE200
Smart Edge FX (STE200) is an advanced, high-resolution, seamless switcher with dual output edge blending. Designed for large screen, high end presentations, the STE200 is equipped with 12 inputs including 4 x 3G/HD/SD-SDI and 2 x DVI. The STE200 features up-to 4 layers including one logo, one frame, and two live layers customizable by the user. It can display up to 2 PIPs and 1 logo on a still background. A variety of transition effects and true seamless switching help create stunning visual presentations, recordable via an included SD/HD video output. Horizontal or Vertical Multi-Screen Edge Blending can be achieved.
BEST VIDEO/BROADCAST OR VIDEO/STREAMING PRODUCT, Winner:
Blackmagic ATEM 1 M/E Production Switcher
The ATEM 1 M/E Production Switcher provides the workflow of a traditional 1 M/E SDI switcher combined with a portable two-rack unit size and software control panel that runs on a laptop. It includes 4 SDI inputs, 4 HDMI inputs, analog input, SDI, HDMI and analog outputs. On August 6, 2012, Blackmagic announced a major new software update that added full audio mixing capability to the ATEM 1 M/E Production Switcher, letting customers mix embedded audio from SDI and HDMI inputs, as well as external audio inputs. The update also supports mixing audio from its two built in media players.
BEST PROJECTION SCREEN, Winner:
AV Stumpfl GmbH
AV Stumpfl FullWhite Screen
The most advanced development of projection screens for jobs where invisible technology and puristic design is required. By using a FullWhite projection screen one can impress the audience by creating the illusion of just having the pure picture floating in space. Universal and invisible mounting options as well as high stability and flexibility are general key features of all AV Stumpfl projection screen systems. The plug-in frame system (patent pending) allows fast and easy setup. Universal fittings can be positioned on the rear side of the screen structure and allow different mounting options e.g. wall mounting or flying the screen. Special corner reinforcements bring high safety and durability. The projection surface is tensioned over the frame and fixed on frame rear side using hooks.
BEST RENTAL MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE, Winner:
IntelliEvent is the leading supplier of software for event focused rental companies specializing in serving the Production, Audio/Visual, Party, and Event industries. Our products help you better track and manage expensive assets to minimize loss, increase the profitability of your events, and improve your operational effectiveness with detailed resource utilization reports. IntelliEvent software helps you optimize your two most critical assets - equipment and people - to improve productivity, performance, and profits. We now run IntelliEvent Lightning, a cloud-based solution that is continuously being developed, and IntelliEvent Express, a standalone system that has been operational for 15 years. IntelliEvent has grown to almost 1,500 customers throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Australia.
BEST GENERAL AV PRODUCT, Winner:
Barco ClickShare is the first wireless visual collaboration product that eliminates the technical barriers to projecting content from any PC platform onto a main conference room display. Requiring no cables or special hardware, ClickShare is an all-digital solution that solves laptop and iPad connectivity issues, enabling up to four meeting participants to simultaneously share their spreadsheets, powerpoints, audio/video and more with a click of a button. It facilitates information-sharing for enhanced collaboration to improve decision-making.
BEST GENERAL AV PRODUCT - CARTS AND CASES, Winner:
Draper Carrying Cases
Rental and staging dealers said they wanted cases with more interior space, and that can be stacked or stood on end. So, Draper has redesigned carrying cases for the company’s FocalPoint® and StageScreen® projection screens. You’ll love these carrying cases for their ruggedness, stackability, vertical storage, and improved ergonomics. Stronger, stackable, more interior space and can stand upright. Velcro straps for stronger tie down support. Inset ergonomic handle. Stronger wheels. Redesigned for Draper’s newest rental products, FocalPoint®, StageScreen®. You’ll love these carrying cases for their ruggedness, stackability, vertical storage, and improved ergonomics. Stronger, stackable, more interior space and can stand upright. Velcro straps for stronger tie down support. Inset ergonomic handle. Stronger wheels.
BEST SHOW CONTROL, Winner:
WATCHOUT Multi-Image Display Software
The latest version of Dataton WATCHOUT multi-display production and playback system enables the combination of stills, animations, graphics, video, sound and control and playback of live video feeds in a single impressive show across multiple display areas, soft-edge or scattered. WATCHOUT is fully scalable, software-based and requires no proprietary hardware. WATCHOUT can be combined with other systems and technologies such as touch panels or iPhones as an interactive front end to build entire presentation environments.
BEST DIGITAL SIGNAGE PRODUCT, Winner:
Premier Mounts Christie MicroTiles Mounting Bracket
The industry’s quickest installation of multiple MicroTiles, the MTM-3000 Christie MicroTiles bracket consists of one single bracket that attaches three MicroTiles. Floating wall brackets begin the simple installation by creating a flat and plumb surface to align tiles properly with no need for time consuming fine-tune adjustments. Quickly pre-install three MicroTiles to the MTM-3000, then raise onto the wall brackets. Hooks built on the backside of the brackets allow mounts to be placed quickly and easily in the desired position. Tiles can also be stored in cases attached to the mount for easy transportation to offsite setups. Also available as dual and single tile brackets.
BEST DIGITAL SIGNAGE PRODUCT - DISPLAYS, Winner:
Stewart Filmscreen’s Mystik! is a self-adhesive projection material designed for use in digital signage applications. Mystik! is ideal as a storefront application, as well as in other retail and public venues when a 2-piece projection solution is desired. It can be applied to any window or glass door to transform the surface into a translucent projection screen and easily deployed in venues such as retail outlets, trade shows, restaurants, museums, public spaces, and more.