2018 Products of the Year

2018 has been referred to by many as a transitional year in AV. The industry is busy planning away for some major technology changes—5G, 10K, and the rise of artificial intelligence. In the midst of all these upgrades, manufacturers have still managed to come out with substantial new innovations to make integrators’ lives easier. SCN’s 2018 Products of the Year celebrates those innovations.

Da-Lite DescenderPro

DescenderPro is the first Da-Lite ceiling recessed screen to be stocked and available for immediate shipment. Its compact housing is up to one-third smaller than similar electric screens for easy installation in tight spaces. It is available in standard sizes and up to 164-inches diagonal with four surface options, including HD Progressive.

Yamaha VXL1-16P Line Source Speaker

The Yamaha VXL1-16P is a PoE-powered, Dante-enabled line-source speaker, well-suited for conference rooms and speech reinforcement applications. With its slim shape, the VXL1-16P blends with room aesthetics. A power amp is not required; deriving power and network communication over one cable, the VXL1-16P simplifies wiring and can be remotely monitored for uptime.

Barco XDL Laser Projector

Barco’s XDL laser projector, which features up to 75k lumens, is designed specifically for very large venues and events. It offers super-crisp images, remarkable contrast, and native 4K resolution up to 120Hz; the XDL is 8k ready to reduce future investment. It also provides up to 100 percent lens shift for versatility in installation.

Samsung Flip

Samsung Flip is a digital display designed to increase productivity, foster greater collaboration, and enable a seamless exchange of ideas through an intuitive user experience that mimics the natural feeling of writing on a pen-and-paper flipchart.

Peerless-AV Smart City Kiosk

An all-weather-rated solution, Peerless-AV’s Smart City Kiosk features a rugged, modular design ideal for sharing community information in any city or town set-up. Including a 49- or 55-inch Xtreme High Bright Outdoor Display, the kiosk offers seamless installation, easy access to the display for maintenance, and optional interactive touch capabilities.

d&b audiotechnik d&b Soundscape

Combining d&b loudspeaker systems with state-of-the-art processing power, object-based mixing, and sophisticated room emulation, d&b Soundscape is a toolkit designed to enable the creation of an unparalleled listening experience. It is comprised of three components: the DS100 signal engine, a 64x64 level and delay matrix; and two optional software modules, En-Scene and En-Space.

Extron IN1800 Series

Extron’s IN1800 Series is a family of 4K/60 presentation switchers that combines video and audio processing, signal extension, and networked control. The lineup includes nine models with dual video outputs and four, six or eight inputs—along with features that equip them for a broad range of professional environments.

Sony Vision Exchange 1.1

Version 1.1 of Sony’s flagship interactive collaboration and active learning solution Vision Exchange gives users the opportunity to integrate Skype for Business, allowing for enhanced communication that enables truly global learning, as well as access to a powerful Personal Note Taker, in support of interactive learning and smarter note-taking.

Christie D20WU-HS

With 20,600 lumens and weighing less than 100 pounds, the Christie D20WU-HS is one of the lightest and brightest 1DLP laser projector on the market. Featuring Christie BoldColor Technology—enhanced color performance and saturation over standard laser projection—this omnidirectional projector is designed to deliver vibrant, lifelike images.

QSC Q-SYS Scripting Engine

Q-SYS Scripting Engine from QSC allows control plugins and scripts to easily integrate third-party devices with the Q-SYS Platform. Users can create custom scripts using accessible scripting languages including Lua, an open-source programming language, and offers a new visual coding tool with easy drag-and-drop creation of sophisticated scripts.

Chief Impact On-Wall Kiosk

The Impact On-Wall Kiosk brings new flexibility to the digital signage enclosure market while maintaining a sleek aesthetic to complement a variety of environments. A depth-adjustable exterior frame allows for a variety of display sizes. The exclusive design keeps the display mounted to the frame when opened for service.

tvONE Magenta MG-CT-612

tvONE’s MG-CT-612 Receiver provides HDMI 4K extension and power over HDBT up to 130ft and HD extension up to 230ft. The Receiver offers a seamless PoH installation with the MG-WP-611 series wall plates and its ultra-thin form factor allows the unit to be mounted easily behind any monitor.

Yamaha UC YVC-200 USB + Bluetooth Speakerphone

The YVC-200 USB + Bluetooth speakerphone is a portable device for workers on-the-go that delivers professional-quality audio while connected to a personal device. The compact, lightweight design holds a 10-hour battery charge, and the speakerphone comes in white or black. Installers can sell the YVC-200 as a bonus item as there is no need for typical installation and end users can easily manage the device on their own.

IDK All-in-One Digital MultiSwitcher MSD-6200 Series

The MSD-6200 series is a 2RU, all-in-one audiovisual signal switcher, available in three, four, six, and eight output configurations. With eight outputs (HDMI or HDBT for each port), the input side of the switch supports HDMI, HDBaseT, and DVI-I (including CV, Y/C, YUV, and RGB/HV) signal formats. The 6200’s standout features include picture-in-picture, direct Dante audio output support, and command control output.

Digital Projection Insight Laser 8K

Armed with 33 million pixels and 25,000 lumens, Digital Projection’s Insight Laser 8K is one of the world’s first 8K DLP projectors. It offers viewers a glimpse at true, uncompressed 8K content without image blending from multiple devices.

Just Add Power 725POE 2GΩ/3G+ SDI Power over Ethernet (PoE) Transmitter

The 725POE 2GΩ/3G+ SDI PoE transmitter provides SD-/HD-/3G-SDI support to J+P’s 3G HD-over-IP system. It gives integrators flexibility to add a SDI source to 4K infrastructures by eliminating the need for SDI-HDMI converters in IP video distribution chains. Features include stereo output with audio delay, local HDMI loop-out, null-modem-integrated RS-232, and HDMI pass-through.

Matrox Maevex 6120 Dual 4K Enterprise Encoder

Leveraging the same capture and real-time encoding technology as the Matrox Maevex 6150 quad 4K encoder, Maevex 6120 delivers simultaneous dual 4K capture, stream, and record—with options to stream and record even more channels in different configurations—all on a standard one Gigabit Ethernet network. The powerful standalone appliance is designed for a variety of streaming and recording applications in corporate, education, digital signage, military, government, control rooms, and more.

FSR Symphony Line Table Boxes

FSR’s Symphony Line Table Boxes bring elegance to function with gently curved shapes that allow for large cable to bulkhead AV connections. Technical configurations include full insert AC outlets, USB charging ports, and low voltage openings. Available in twelve color combinations, Symphony clamps on, or mounts in or under a table, shelf, or chair.

Vanguard Rhodium Series

Vanguard’s Rhodium Series is available in HD, 4K, and 8K and features pixel-to-pixel color calibration for brightness and color uniformity. The Rhodium 16:9 native aspect ratio display does not need to be scaled when using an equal number of vertical and horizontal cabinets. It is fully accessible from the front or rear and can be suspended, ground-supported, recessed, or wall-mounted.

Aurora ReAX

ReAX by Aurora is the industry’s first non-proprietary IP Control based on AV/IT industry standards like Javascript and HTML5. For the first-time, manufacturers will have interoperability of code—not just protocols. IR libraries, macros, and more can all be shared and organized in a single location at the organizations’ website reax.org.

Canon LX-MH502Z 4K Laser Projector

Canon’s LX-MH502Z is the company’s first single-chip DLP 4K UDH laser projector. It uses a four-way pixel shift technology to deliver 4K UDH resolution and generates up to 5,000 lumens to provide a bright and sharp viewing experience. In addition, it offers a five-year or 12,000-hour laser limited warranty.

AMX VPX Series Presentation Switchers

The AMX VPX Series Presentation Switchers—a family of multi-format presentation switchers that target small conference rooms and flipped classrooms—support resolutions up to 4K60 4:4:4 and offer HDCP 2.2 compatibility to support the most current sources and displays. VPX Series switchers include built-in scaling, providing automatic adjustment of video to match the ideal resolution of the display, with support for resolutions up to 4K60 4:4:4.

Megan A. Dutta

Megan A. Dutta is a pro AV industry journalist, and the former content director for Systems Contractor News (SCN) and Digital Signage Magazine, both Future U.S. publications. Dutta previously served as the marketing communications manager at Peerless-AV, where she led the company’s marketing and communications department. Dutta is the recipient of AVIXA's 2017 Young AV Professional Award and Women in Consumer Technology's 2018 Woman to Watch Award. Dutta is co-founder of Women of Digital Signage, an organization designed to provide a pathway to promote networking, mentoring, and personal growth.