Elevating the Experience: InfoComm 2019

InfoComm 2019 Show Entrance
(Image credit: Cindy Davis)

From the dapper DJ spinning vinyl in sync with larger-than-life videos, to the immersive audio demos and training sessions onsite, InfoComm 2019 delivered on “experience.”

Thousands of new systems were debuted at InfoComm 2019 in Orlando, but the show’s real story was not about product specs. Rather, InfoComm provided the forum for the ideas, technological innovation, and strategies that are reshaping the concept of integrated AV experiences.

Zooming in on Interoperability

If you can’t beat them, join them—at least, forge alliances to ensure interoperability.

While traditional AV manufacturers were evolving and developing proprietary video conferencing and unified communications (UC) solutions, Zoom Video Communications was winning the hearts and mindshare of users looking for an easy-to-use platform.

Zoom has a kit for that. During InfoComm 2019, several companies announced products shipping with Zoom Rooms Single-Vendor Kits: Crestron Flex, Logitech Solutions, Yealink CP960, DTEN D7, Lenovo ThinkSmart Hub 500, and Poly Trio. Shure announced the first pro audio DSP system with Zoom Rooms certification. These are added to the plethora of video conferencing and UC product manufactures that were already onboard offering products that are certified for Zoom Rooms to deliver a seamless experience.

Strategic Partnerships

Crestron announced partnerships with LG, NEC, Philips, Avocor, and Smart to turn select displays into native endpoints for Crestron’s new DM-NVX-D80-IoAV, which was created with the help of Intel’s Open Pluggable Specification (OPS).

Logitech introduced a new video conferencing device management platform, Logitech Sync, for cloud-based administration, insights, and control. Barco, Nectar, and Utelogy are a few of the initial set of partners that have integrated with Sync APIs.

And, wait. What was the Kramer logo doing next to a Sony logo? Kramer Electronics and Sony Electronics have partnered on the integration of Kramer Control BRAINware into Sony's BZ35F series of BRAVIA 4K HDR professional display. This new synergy eliminates the need for additional control processor hardware and cabling.

Over IT Already

Whether it’s over 1Gb or 10Gb, AV-over-IP marches on. It’s near impossible (or should be) to find manufacturer that does not have IP-enabled products.


Advancements in software are shaping the AV industry. Not only are upgrades delivered through firmware, traditional AV companies that were once hardware manufactures are developing and evolving software-based platforms for audio, video and control.

In a briefing in Orlando, QSC president and CEO, Joe Pham, said of its Q-SYS ecosystem, “We don’t manufacture anything—it’s just software.”

If anyone thought that Q-SYS as a software platform was “marketing mumbo-jumbo,” Pham responded, “We’re able to run the entire Q-SYS software platform on standard off-the-shelf servers.”

At InfoComm 2019, QSC announced two software-based additions to its Q-SYS ecosystem. It also debuted Q-SYS Reflect, its first cloud platform for AV systems and applications.

Changing Value Proposition

Noting his QSC connection, Pham stressed: “If you don’t think this is it [Q-SYS], get on some [other] software-enabled platform that you are confident that will grow with your business.”

Wearing his AVIXA chairman of the Board of Directors hat, Pham added, “We have an industry full of very rich talent—pick your favorite software-based platform to grow with. What you cannot do is continue to think you can add value by putting a bunch of products together. That economic value is diminishing very quickly.”

Real Soft Experience

If you missed the Golden Retriever puppies (yes, that actually happened) at the Starin Marketing satellite booth in the InfoComm lobby, there’s still a way to participate in the warm and fuzzy experience. StarinCares is helping to raise funds to pair service animals for veterans in need. Visit gofundme.com/starin-cares-veterans-service-dog to join this effort.

Margot Douaihy, Ph.D.

Margot Douaihy, Ph.D., is a lecturer at Franklin Pierce University.