InfoComm is here, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t been on our minds for the last year. In preparation for this year’s show, SCN spoke with some of the leading manufacturers in AV about the trends, technologies, and solutions they are looking for at the show this year. Here’s what they had to say:
What is the most important learning experience you hope to share with integrators this year?
“The expanding ‘Internet of Things’ will be encompassing the AV world in a big way over the coming years. Digital transport systems for audio will become even more relevant in a very short length of time. Reliance on Cat-6 cabling is going to increase as more products go fully digital, and the cost benefits will continue to drive R&D in that direction.”
—Gordon Moore, vice president, sales, Lectrosonics
“Quality doesn’t have to be synonymous with high bitrate encoding. JPEG2000 (J2K) has its place in the market because it is excellent for many things, multi-pass encoding in particular, but it’s not the optimal solution for quality encoding for distribution of AV over IP. It is possible to send low-latency, high-quality streams over IP without the big bitrate hit of J2K.”
—Samuel Recine, director of sales, Americas and Asia Pacific, Matrox
“Never confuse the concepts of price and value. It can be easy to underestimate the value of receiving effective technical support and having features at your disposal that save you time and money in the field. Try to look at the big picture of a project rather than focus on the bottom-line hardware cost.”
—Scott Harkless, director of sales, Alcorn McBride
“Unified communications end users want more than consumer grade products in their offices. Technology is offering a much improved user experience, and the users are aware of that capability. Everyone needs to pay more attention to audio.”
—Perry Goldstein, director of business development, Pro AV, Marshall Electronics
What technology trends and product features will you be on the lookout for at InfoComm?
“There’s been a steady adoption of incorporating technology in more localized spaces, and that’s one trend we intend to address with the combined lineup of Middle Atlantic, Wiremold, and C2G products that we’ll demo in our booth. Another movement is product design purposed for AV—designed with the integrator in mind. Products like value-priced UPS options that are smaller, lighter, and faster to install save integrators time loading up the equipment rack. Trends in connectivity addressed with C2G’s newest offering include the newly released standard for USB 3.1 and USB Type-C connectors, and the increasing interest in HDBaseT extenders to extend DisplayPort signals over Cat-5 cable while maintaining 1080p resolution.”
—Rebeca Villareale, public relations manager, Middle Atlantic Products
“The technology trends and product features FSR will be expanding on at InfoComm are collaboration and HDBaseT. FSR’s HuddleVU Collaboration Solutions moves to the forefront in almost every environment—from education, to corporate, software development, and the medical field. Our HDBaseT line will also have more products available to help integrators deliver superior signals, control, and power over longer distances via a typical shielded Cat-6 backbone.”
—Jan Sandri, president, FSR
“As our industry constantly evolves and grows, we anticipate that H.265/HEVC and all the technological benefits it brings to all aspects of video workflows—such as IPTV, video conferencing, and telemedicine—will be a very popular topic at InfoComm 2015.“
—Hamish Macmillan, national channel manager, VITEC
“QSC Systems expects to see many examples that demonstrate a closer alignment between AV and IT at InfoComm. The reason is simple: corporate AV is the largest market and the best opportunity for growth among AV integrators. With IT teams weighing in heavily on AV purchases, products that use IT technology and standards will outpace those that rely on proprietary AV technology or non-standard hardware. The integrators who find the most success in corporate AV will be those who can create true integration with IT infrastructure (not workarounds) and of course co-existence with other IT products that sit on the network.”
—Joe Pham, President and CEO, QSC
What markets have you seen the most growth in over the past year, and what solutions are you looking for at InfoComm?
“Both large and small businesses are looking for more powerful communication tools. Meeting rooms are becoming smaller, but the need for interactivity and collaboration products is growing. Smaller and more portable video conferencing products, touchpanels with collaboration features, and networking/interactive projectors are also in demand. Businesses today need to be mobile and fast to react to market changes, and products like these help them stay in touch with their sales teams, design groups, and customers.”
—Paul Foschino, senior manager, Visual Communications Group, Ricoh
“We’ve seen a huge surge in the collaborative market. We’re looking for smaller, simpler rooms where people can freely exchange information and ideas. We’re also pushing very hard into the wireless market.”
—Grant Cossey, Altinex vice president of sales
“We’ve seen a huge expansion of AV in training facilities across multiple verticals. Higher ed, enterprise communications, and healthcare/medical in particular has been the surprising one. The industry is also in the early stages of 4K solutions, and we are interested to watch the adoption of 4K within the AV infrastructure, as well as merging of pro AV with IT solutions.”
—Hailey Klein, marketing communications manager, Vaddio
“We want to work closely with the growing list of companies offering interoperable solutions via Dante. There are over 200 licensees, and new products are coming out all the time. “Audio over IP” via the Dante protocol represents the current state-of-the-art in audio networking technology, and we are happy to be on the forefront of this emerging opportunity for customers and integrators.”
—Phil Wagner, president, Focusrite
Kelleigh Welch is managing editor of SCN. Follow her on Twitter @kelleighwelch.
Data Central: What’s New With AV-iQ at InfoComm 2015
AV-iQ will have a booth in the lobby of the convention center, L-6, and will be available for demos of the new AV-iQ where attendees can sign up as a registered user of the site and customize their research experience in a brand new dashboard to manage content. Decide what brands you want to follow, set a schedule of your own push notifications on industry news, the latest product information, including when products become discontinued and most importantly, where you can manage project lists that you create by saving the content you browse in AV-iQ.
To test drive the new experience you can go to www.av-iq.com/myiq and become a power user of the industry’s largest database of AV products and services. For up to the minute news on what else AV-iQ is up to, follow them on Twitter @av_iq.
InfoComm will also be an opportunity for the AV-iQ team to celebrate the growth it has experienced since overhauling its website, streamlining the user experience, and enhancing functionality. Here are some of the results from April and May 2015 against the same period in 2014.
** # of users up 48%
** # of sessions up 50%
** # of page views up 55%
** Average Session Duration up 55% to nearly 10 minutes per session.
** Number of registered My-iQ users has doubled from this time last year.
AV-iQ will once again be powering up the 2015 show directory. The InfoComm Show Directory lists all of the exhibitor profile information but also includes the product data from AV-iQ. Exhibitors can login to their show dashboard and add all their new product information. Products submitted will display year round at the new www.av-iq.com site.
Here are the Top 10 Categories of the InfoComm Show Guide Viewed in May:
** New Exhibitors
** Displays and Monitors
** New Products
** AV Software
** Video Walls
** Video Conferencing Equipment
** Digital Signage Software
** Cables and Connectors
** AV Furniture