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Systems Contractor News: 2014 AV Products of the Year

Systems Contractor News: 2014 AV Products of the Year

Charting a product roadmap begins with information coming from the field. The installations of the previous year or years instruct the updates, upgrades, revamps, and new introductions made by manufacturers. Working together as an observant organization, sales, product managers, and engineers collaborate on the innovations that solve today’s problems and prepare for tomorrow’s challenges. In this special Fall Yearbook Edition of SCN (September 2014), we asked manufacturers to submit the most prized results of their R&D endeavors. Here, integrators and consultants will likely see the past, present, and future in these selections from the continuing technology narrative, and maybe they’ll even find a brand-new solution to an age-old issue.

Altinex Muse HDMI+Power+IR Transmitter / Receiver

  • Consisting of the of the MU400-111 transmitter and the MU500-112 receiver, Altinex’s Muse provides the ability to power a display with up to 150 watts of power and carry HDMI, RS-232, and IR control signals up to 300 feet over a single, low-voltage, unshielded Cat-6 cable. The MU400-111 transmitter’s output is monitored for power consumption and when power is exceeded, the output is turned off to protect the system. Muse is designed to withstand direct shorts both on the low and high voltage sides. The system enables AV integrators to eliminate the worry of electrical outlet placement.

Barco E2 4K Screen Management System
Raising the bar for live-screen management, Barco’s E2 offers multi-functionality all in one box. The presentation system provides superior image quality, exceptional input and output density, expandability, and durability. Supporting native 4K input and output, it is the first and only screen management system on the market that can manage a 4K projector blend with refresh rates up to 60Hz. With inputs and layers extended, it can manage a blend up to 32 4K projectors.

Biamp Systems TesiraFORTÉ
Biamp Systems’ TesiraFORTÉ series of digital audio processors brings powerful AVB connectivity and increased flexibility to everyday and enterprise-grade audio. Ideal for conferencing, telephony, and VoIP environments, the TesiraFORTÉ family includes four different models in AVB and non-AVB versions for specific applications with fixed I/O configurations. These dedicated models allow users to choose the perfect solution for their specific application or situation—while providing crystal-clear communication with Biamp’s Sona AEC technology, SpeechSense, and AmbientSense. Highly scalable, the units featuring AVB provide users with a cost-effective and future-proof solution that can grow over time to accommodate their changing needs.

Bose ControlSpace with Dante
The ControlSpace family of smart amplifier and audio DSP products together with ControlSpace Designer software from Bose Professional Systems is now fully integrated with Dante. There are three variants of the new Dante card for the ControlSpace family. The 8x8 card option for the eight PowerMatch power amplifiers provides digital input to the amplifier of up to eight audio channels from a Dante network. The 16x16 card option supports digital audio channels in the three Bose single-rack fixed-analog I/O ControlSpace engineered sound processors, while the 16x16 card for the ControlSpace ESP-00 II is an open cardframe DSP solution, giving you ultimate flexibility.

Crestron DigitalMedia with 4K
With Crestron DigitalMedia, you can distribute point-to-point, uncompressed HD video over copper or fiber and stream, all in the same matrix frame. HD, 4K, and streaming are all card-based for maximum flexibility and easy reconfiguration as your needs change. Even if you don’t have 4K, you still need 4K to distribute higher resolutions, such as the native 2880x1800 resolution of Apple laptops, that require more signal bandwidth than switchers designed for 1080p distribution can handle. 4K DM products provide the bandwidth needed to reliably deliver these “tweener” resolutions. DM can reliably deliver seamless distribution of the amazing image quality promised by 4K from sources such as laptops, Blu-ray Disc players, and 4K media players to outputs that include both HD and 4K displays.

Da-Lite IDEA Screen

The new IDEA line provides optimal touch performance, and is the best screen on the market for interactivity. The Da-Lite IDEA Screen features magnetic and thin frame standard features, as well as improved surface uniformity and rigidity for the latest interactive technology. The improved uniformity and rigidity provide the best experience possible with interactive software ensuring an experience that is free of false positives. All IDEA Screens are erasable and can be used with any dry erase marker. The new IDEA Screen and IDEA Panoramic are available in new larger sizes.

DVIGear DVI-7520 and DVI-7525

DVIGear's new DVI-7520 and DVI-7525 HDBaseT extenders provide a full palette of HDBaseT features, including support for 4K resolution and Power over HDBaseT (POH). The units are available at very attractive price points. Most HDBaseT extender products use non-standard power over the HDBaseT link. This has created serious interoperability problems for integrators and, in some cases, actually caused equipment failures. To solve this, these extenders are among the first to comply with “Power over HDBaseT” (POH), a key component of the standard. POH uses standardized 48VDC and a handshake feature that prevents power exchange with incompatible devices.

EAW Anya

EAW Anya is a self-contained, high-power sound reinforcement system. Through Resolution 2 and Adaptive Performance, Anya manipulates all parameters electronically, allowing it to be used in virtually any application. Columns of Anya modules hang straight, without any vertical splay, producing a 3D wavefront that is perfectly matched to the audience. The result is a uniformly coherent, broadband response across the entire coverage area. Extremely powerful and immensely scalable, Anya is suitable for anything from small venues to the largest stadiums. And on-board diagnostics and Adaptive Healing continuously monitor and correct performance in real time.

Epson PowerLite Pro Z10005UNL

The Epson PowerLite Pro Z10005UNL delivers high-resolution, powerful performance and advanced display capabilities for virtually any venue, including corporate, house of worship, rental and staging, galleries, auditoriums, and digital signage. The Z10005UNL delivers 10,000 lumens of color brightness and 10,000 lumens of white brightness, plus WUXGA resolution for full HD 1080p support. It includes advanced connectivity features such as HDBaseT, and installation flexibility with portrait mode support, curved edge blending, and 360 degree installation to create immersive experiences. Dual-lamp design provides both power savings and projector redundancy, and includes an innovative liquid cooling system for added reliability.

Extron DTP CrossPoint 84

The Extron DTP CrossPoint 84 is a highly versatile, compact 2U presentation matrix switcher with all of the technologically advanced capabilities for integrating a complete AV system in one box. It is equipped with a 4K matrix switcher, two built-in independent scalers, integrated Extron DTP and XTP twisted pair transmitters and receivers, a built-in mono or stereo 100 watt amplifier, comprehensive audio DSP capabilities, and an advanced control processor that is uniquely expandable. The DTP CrossPoint 84 replaces as many as eleven separate components, greatly simplifies system design and installation, and dramatically reduces the total cost of ownership.

Furman BB-RS232

Core Brands’ new BB-RS232 adaptor brings BlueBOLT cloud-based power and energy management to the Furman Contractor Series of Power Sequencers. With the addition of the BB-RS232 adaptor, users can harness the power of BlueBOLT for easy-to-use hosted-remote access from any web-enabled device, providing the ability to instantly reboot problem components, monitor power consumption, sequence multi-zone systems on or off, generate email alerts for power anomalies and more. As electronics become more mission-critical than ever, keeping systems healthy requires a solid foundation of power and energy management. Adding BlueBOLT capabilities to a Furman commercial power sequencer creates an extremely reliable infrastructure for customers, plus one that is increasingly more accessible to manage. The new adapter will begin working with the Furman CN-1800S and CN-2400S for domestic models, and the CN-3600S E for the EMEA markets.

Kramer VIA Collage

The Kramer VIA Collage Wireless Collaboration device allows people to Meet Smarter. The VIA Collage solves BYOD challenges allowing for the effective integration of PC, Mac, iOS and Android devices. It provides a “Step-In” function allowing any participant to make their screen the main screen and has a “Show Main Screen” function that allows the main screen to be shown on any participants device. The unit provides HD video streaming and supports third party applications. The digital canvas created by the Collage allows all meeting participants to all work on the same document in real time and instantly save the results to their devices.

L-Acoustics K2

L-Acoustics’ new K2 enclosure puts the performance of the flagship K1 system into a rescaled package for both installation and rental applications. Offering a record-breaking performance/weight ratio and an ergonomic, fast and captive rigging system, K2 delivers a generous 10 degrees of vertical coverage with SPL smoothly spread across the audience. Thanks to L-Acoustics' new PANFLEX technology, horizontal coverage can be easily set to four different patterns settings: two symmetric (70 or 110 degrees) and two asymmetric (90 degrees as 35/55 or 55 degrees/35). Like K1, the K2 can be arrayed with K1-SB for extreme LF impact or maximized LF projection.

LG Electronics SuperSign

LG SuperSign TV is a digital signage and TV hybrid that can deliver advertisements and messaging with live TV programming or video simultaneously. It fulfills the needs of small and medium businesses, call centers, corporate offices and even schools looking for a cost effective and easy-to-use signage solution. Content can be created and customized using the free software and pre-made templates provided by LG, and then transferred to the SuperSign TV via a USB memory stick or through the network. Another key feature is remote management control, which allows business owners to control up to 50 SuperSign TVs with a PC connected to the Internet.

Middle Atlantic Expanded C5 Series Credenzas

The expanded C5 Series Credenza offering is designed to address the very latest trends in commercial interior design. With new styles, furniture finishes and options, the C5 Series was enhanced to help AV integrators work more closely with the architect and design community to better integrate technology in modern workspaces. Middle Atlantic’s proprietary Frame to Furniture design complements an integrator’s installation workflow with foundational frames that are in stock, guaranteeing quick delivery while allowing the integrator to immediately start the installation. The frame is paired with a custom furniture finishing kit that is manufactured to order and shipped separately to the jobsite.

Peavey Crest Audio CKd Series

The Peavey Crest Audio CKd Series of multi-channel, networkable power amplifiers feature an ultra-high efficiency amplifier output circuit that reduces weight while increasing output power, reliability, and thermal efficiency. The CKd Series provides up to 1,250 watts per channel over eight or four channels, combining the legendary overbuilt power supply design from the Crest Pro 200 with an ultra-lightweight class D topology. Featuring NexSys Dante or Cobranet networking functionality, a Control Voltage input to allow external gain control, ACL (Active Clip Limiting) that automatically reduces gain at the onset of clipping, and IGM (Instantaneous Gain Modulation) that protects against overloading.

QSC CXD-Q Network Amplifiers

QSC CXD-Q Network Amplifiers are designed specifically for use with the Q-Sys Network Audio Platform combing Flexible Amplifier Summing Technology (FAST) found in the CXD/PLD amplifier platform with Q-Sys network connectivity creating the ultimate audio routing and amplifier solution for installed sound applications. Integrating the CXD-Q onto a Q-Sys network is as simple as connecting the amp to a Q-Sys I/O frame or core via Ethernet cable and adding the amp to the system in Q-Sys Designer. The innovative FAST provides better power allocation and allows the distribution of total amplifier power across one, two, three, or all four output channels.

Revolabs Executive Elite 4- and 8-Channel Wireless Microphone Systems

Revolabs’ Executive Elite 4- and 8-channel wireless microphone systems for unified communications in boardrooms and conference rooms are the first and only solutions to offer customers a cloud server option for setup, management, and monitoring. Advanced features include best-in-class audio quality, increased density, and secure AES-256 encryption. A new distributed architecture allows the remote antenna receiver and base units to connect via standard Cat-6 cable with PoE support, allowing for remote placement of the antenna for easy installation. Executive Elite microphones provide superior audio pickup, improved signal-to-noise ratio, easy one-button operation, and up to 20 hours of talk time.

Samsung D Series with Smart Signage Platform

Enabling a smarter digital signage experience, Samsung’s D Series commercial displays, featuring the next generation Samsung Smart Signage Platform, introduce a flexible new design that allows users to customize signage to match any environment. Powered by a system-on-chip with a quad core processor, the Samsung Smart Signage Platform provides support for advanced applications, including touch and video wall configurations, all without the need for an external media player or PC. By eliminating the need for an external media player, the Samsung Smart Signage Platform simplifies the deployment of digital signage networks, providing organizations an easier, more cost-effective approach to delivering dynamic messaging to their audience.

SMART Technologies Kapp Digital Capture Board
SMART Technologies’ new SMART kapp digital capture board product line capitalizes on the company’s 20-year history as the inventor of the SMART Board interactive whiteboard, their collaboration technologies and their patents. SMART kapp allows you to write, draw, and capture ideas using dry erase SMART ink markers, while enabling you to instantly save your work images, convert them to PDFs, and send to anyone, anywhere, instantly. SMART kapp eliminates the ineffective practice of photographing whiteboards and flipcharts or furiously typing notes during meetings to save and share valuable information and insights. SMART kapp technology dramatically improves collaboration for people in remote locations as well, giving them the ability to follow the evolution of ideas in a SMART kapp session in real time. As if by magic, notes from SMART kapp appear real-time on your own device as well as remote participants’ computers, tablets or smart phones.

Sony VPL-FHZ55 3LCD Laser Light Source Projector
Sony’s next-generation projection technology is based on a blue laser light source, with the first model being the 3LCD VPL-FHZ55, achieving 4,000 lumens of color light output at WUXGA resolution (1920 x 1200). The VPL-FHZ55 projector offers virtually maintenance-free operation for up to 20,000 hours of expected light source, display device, and filter use. The HG (mercury) free projector’s energy-saving features include: auto light dimming, auto brightness adjustment; and constant brightness mode. The use of a laser light source also gives the projector instant “on/off” capability and “tilt- free” capability. The projector’s 4,000-lumen color light output is ideal for a range of commercial applications, unlike competitive models based on one-chip imager and hybrid light source technologies.

SunBriteTV’s Signature Series
SunBriteTV’s Signature Series SB-3270HD 32-inch and SB-4760HD 46-inch outdoor TVs boast 50-percent slimmer profiles and LED displays to make the 3270HD and 4670HD the most affordable high-performance outdoor TVs currently available. They employ a new, patented cooling system that allows for an impressively thin design while actually improving the unit’s ability to operate in extreme heat (up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit). The new, powder-coated aluminum exteriors deliver improved strength and durability and are far lighter than earlier models. The new, bright LED panel further improves picture quality in a multitude of outdoor viewing conditions.

The staff of Systems Contractor News serves the AV integration industry with thorough news analysis, trend reports, and the latest product and technology information—delivered to an audience of decision-makers.