Back bigger and better than ever, this year ISE reported an 11.7% increase in registered visitors over its 2016 event, with 73,413 attendees and 1,192 exhibitors flocking to the RAI from 150 different countries.
So big was the show, in fact, that next year 14 halls will morph into 15, and CIE has taken the executive decision to split the report on the event’s key launches into two parts.
Starting with screens, (why not?), fresh off the news that it shipped Phantom HALR one month ahead of schedule, Stewart Filmscreen was proudly displaying a 108” x 196” diagonal version of the screen for the fist ever time in a fixed configuration, although it is also available in seamless sizes up to 40-feet by 90-feet (12.1m by 27.4m).
Future-proofed, UHD and HDR-ready, the highly differentiated Phantom HALR high ambient light rejecting screen material is suited for fixed-frame wallscreen or electric roller screen applications for both commercial and residential applications. Other black screens can’t be rolled, so integrators now have something different to offer customers.
The black and white content displayed on the screen throughout ISE effectively highlighted the contrast the screen can offer; Phantom HALR delivers an image that meets ANSI standard industry contrast ratio specs even in a room (or a very brightly lit hall in the RAI) with high ambient light with more than 50 foot-candles of light shining directly on the screen.
“It’s also future-proofed for higher resolution,” pointed out Vijita U.G, marketing manager, Stewart Filmscreen. “This is because our screen material is able to handle six lines of information per mm, so if you had a 10ft wide screen that would be about 3,048mm – that times six is about 18,000, but we chose 16 as it’s a nice, round number.”
ISE was also the first time the FIDELEDY Vision 40 material was shown in Europe, which Vijita says has been reformulated with enhanced contrast based on installer feedback.
Designed to improve the image quality by virtually eliminating moiré interference even at close distances, FIDELEDY Vision 40 works to provide a more diffused, film-like appearance on SiliconCore’s Peony 2.6mm LED tiles. The SiliconCore Peony high-brightness indoor display delivers a resolution of 147,000 pixels per square meter for a true Full HD resolution image at 5m.
What FIDELEDY Vision 40 does is further enhances the video wall’s imaging capabilities, and it was apparent on the booth why this should appeal to LED signage-owners (sports arenas, etc.), as it breathes a bit of extra life into ageing panels, saving money on a complete replacement.
The manufacturer was also showcasing its large-venue Torrent ElectriScreen in a 16 foot 10 inches image width for commercial and residential applications. The new Stealth XM screen designed for large-scale applications where the screen must be completely concealed when not in use.
An always-energetic Screen Innovations was happy to share the news that its Zero-G motorized projection screen is now shipping, with a choice of seven cord colours coming soon in order to better blend in with what’s behind the screen.
“Zero-G has created a lot of buzz in the industry, and many competitors are already taking pictures of it at our tradeshows, trying to figure it out,” Ryan Gustafson, Chief Innovator of SI told CIE. “We are pleased to announce that Zero-G – the world’s first Rollable TV, is now shipping worldwide.”
Also new for the commercial market is Black Diamond Film, a diffusion rear projection film that can be applied to any rigid transparent surface to create digital displays. Particularly well suited for retail store fronts, or even dedicated theatre applications, Black Diamond Film works well in high brightness environments (as was apparent on the well-lit booth). Encompassing a permanent pressure sensitive adhesive ad release liner for easy application, simply put, Black Diamond Film is applied like window tint, facilitating easier installation.
“The response at ISE was truly humbling,” Ryan added. “Seeing the incredible reaction to our new inventions makes the journey real and it made me remember back when I was first building screens in my garage, with metal shavings in my hair. We will never forget our beginnings. It’s not easy to choose the unthinkable, but that’s what the world really wants, and that is why we are committed to push harder than ever before for our fans. After all SI is not our company – it’s theirs.”
Digital Projection was launching no less than five solid-state laser projection systems on its booth at ISE, which boasted a 4.5-metre-wide, crystal clear and super-bright 4K projection wall using Digital Projection’s new Insight Dual Laser 27,000 lumen solid-state projector, although this launch is targeted towards high end home theatres.
On the commercial side, the manufacturer’s M-Vision range for the pro AV market has been upgraded to include the latest in laser illumination technology. The M-Vision Laser 15K is a single chip DLP projector with a 15,000 lumens output and 10,000:1 contrast ratio, designed to bring budget-sensitive applications a large-screen imaging solution. Mark Wadsworth, international marketing manager at Digital Projection says that venues contending with ambient light, as well as applications needing a powerful yet budget-conscious large-format imagery solution, should benefit from the M-Vision 15K’s ample light output.
“As far as enquiries on the booth have gone, this has been what everybody has been excited about,” said Mark.
Also new for the commercial market was the Mercury Quad, an upgrade of the manufacturer’s lamp-based TITAN projection system, which has been given a modern redesign for greater efficiency, whilst continuing to boast a 20,000 lumen output from four 465w lamps.
“This goes up against the big Christie and Panasonic models and is ideal for the rental and staging markets – lots of people still want lamp-based,” Mark added.
NEC announced two laser-based additions to its PA Series of LCD projectors, with low-maintenance operation high on the agenda. The new additions, the PA803UL and PA653UL models leverage a filter-free design, eliminating one of the biggest operational overheads normally found in installed projectors.
The two new laser projectors boast a fully-sealed optical engine, allowing brightness levels to remain high and consistent without risk of dust-based ingress and image degradation.
Other key features include high lumen output (8,000 ANSI lumen from the PA803UL, 6,500 ANSI lumen from the PA653UL), flexible installation options with 360 degree positioning support in any direction. The projectors also feature motorised zoom and focus, interchangeable lens options and superb readability of images due to the combination of WUXGA resolution support, 4K60Hz image signal processing and Rec2020 colour conversion.
The new PA653UL laser projector will be available in April 2017 and the PA803UL laser projector model will follow with availability in August 2017.
Sony announced seven new E-series models, building on the success of the existing line-up of 3LCD portable, 4300lm – 3100lm high brightness projectors, with a choice of XGA and WXGA resolutions for the education and corporate markets.
The new projectors are suitable for a wide range of B2B applications, from mid-sized classrooms to meeting rooms, and where popular display solutions prove unsuitable due to budget constraints and/or where larger image size is needed for the environment.
The new models feature a 20,000:1 contrast ratio and include the following 7 models: VPL-EW578, VPL-EW575, VPL-EW455, VPL-EW435, VPL-EX575, VPL-EX455, VPL-EX435. The VPL-EX575, VPL-EX455 and VPL-EX435 will be available from April, while the VPL-EW578, VPL-EW575, VPL-EW455 and VPL-EW435 will be available from May.
Rather than showcasing a lot of product, BenQ instead opted to showcase concept of things working. This means buyers visiting its stand this year will have walked away with ideas on how to use BenQ’s products, rather than solely the fact that they have a new projector or new display.
However, the key launch at ISE 2017 was the company’s new UHD 4K laser projector, as well as its recently launched LU9715 BlueCore Laser Projector that enables 360° and vertical projection.
BenQ’s LK970 UHD 4K Laser Projector boasts a 5,000 ANSI lumens brightness, a 50,000:1 contrast ratio and a BlueCore laser light source, capable of running the projector for up to 20,000 hours, virtually maintenance-free.
Unlike some other 4K laser projector models unveiled at ISE 2017, this model is specifically for commercial applications. The pricing should reflect this, with a price tag set at around €10,000.
Last year Canon told CIE that it wasn’t there to launch ‘me-too’ devices and would rather wait until it had perfected the technology before its launch. That’s why it launched a 4K projector, albeit one with a lamp-based power source rather than the laser light source that most other manufacturers were launching at the show. This year was a little different, with the company finally ready to debut a 4K Ultra HD laser-based projector.
Like other companies at ISE 2017, Canon didn’t want to just show off products. While Canon’s XEED 4K600STZ was a major focus for the show, it was the solutions that its projectors offered that Canon hoped to highlight at the show.
That meant showing off how users could potentially utilise its products, rather than having the products on display. In order to achieve that, Canon partnered with at least one other company to showcase its products. In one demo, Canon partnered with Stewart Filmscreen and demonstrated how it listened to customer feedback in the development of projectors. Using two of its lamp-based 4K projectors, which conveniently debuted at ISE 2016, Canon showcased how users could utilise its projectors in a 3D environment – ideal for design-based applications. It used Infitec filters to achieve this effect.
The big focus for Christie was its new Future AV stand. The company noted that in previous years it had chosen to wait until products were ready to ship, a direct contrast to the approach taken by some of its competitors. This year Christie took a different approach – where its Future AV stand gave visitors an opportunity to see some pre-production units and get an idea about what it was planning for the future.
The Future AV concepts that were displayed at ISE 2017 included a 3DLP RGB laser projector, a 3DLP laser phosphor unit and a 1DLP laser phosphor solution.
The 3DLP RGB laser model boasts a native 4K resolution, 20,000 lumens of brightness and HDR support. It’s been designed with amusement parks, rental staging, auditoriums, casinos, higher education classrooms, museums, planetariums, theatres and virtual design centre installations in mind.
The 3DLP laser model will boast a True 4K UHD resolution, while its brightness will be capped at around 15,000 lumens. The idea is for both the 3DLP RGB and standard 3DLP laser to find their way in similar projects.
The 1DLP laser model will also have a 4K UHD resolution, although its resolution will be closer to 10,000 lumens. Unlike the other two models, Christie believes this model will see most action in boardrooms, retail spaces, meeting rooms and other dynamic spaces.
While all of these projectors aren’t shipping immediately, Christie does hope to have them out within the year.
Video Distribution And AV
Generating quite the buzz on the Core Brands booth was ELAN’s announcement that it has re-entered the residential video distribution space after a six-year hiatus.
Shipping late Q1 through to Q2, the new line of HDMI products debuting at ISE included matrix switchers, HDBaseT receivers and transmitters, a Video over IP receiver and transmitter and a Video over IP control module.
“ELAN may be known as the pioneer of smart home control, but the brand’s inception is deeply rooted in audio and video distribution,” explainsed ELAN product manager, Eric Herdman.
Eric told CIE that as well as residential, the new products can be applied to light commercial applications as well. “Integrators and dealers are pleased that ELAN is back in video distribution,” he said. “We are making their jobs easier, more profitable and more efficient.
Gefen launched three new products launched at ISE 2017, all of which should help installers with any video installations they’re performing.
The Gefen EXT-DP-4K600-1SC extender enables integrators to place 4K 600MHz DisplayPort 1.2 sources and displays up to 660ft apart with full optical isolation, while the company’s new range of HDMI 2.0a matrices add support for the latest standards – including HDCP 2.2.
Having debuted at CEDIA 2016, Gefen was also showcasing EXT-UHDV-KA-LANS-TX and EXT-UHDV-KA-LANS-RX sender and receiver KVM units for the very first time in Europe. These products add 4K support, a built-in scaler, video-wall capability, Power-over-Ethernet and digital/analogue audio break-out, to Gefen’s current range of video over IP products.
Meanwhile, Core Brands’ new Xantech EX series was a welcome arrival – given its reliability promise for 4K installations. With 4K once again being a big part of the show, installers are increasingly looking for reliable HDMI cables that will enable lossless transmission of AV data – and that’s exactly what Xantech is promising with the EX series.
The new EX Series HDMI cables are available in nine lengths: .7, 1, 1.5, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7.5 and 10 metres, and they promise to deliver up to 4K 60 4:4:4 resolution capability with a pixel rate of 600 MHz, enabling transmission of HDR video with a bandwidth faster than 18Gbps at 4K@50/60 (2160p).
“Our big news at the show is our Velocity AV system control platform and the AT-UHD-SW-510W multi-format switcher,” Garth Lobban, director of marketing, Atlona, told CIE. “Velocity is brand new and takes advantage of cloud control; it can control any Atlona IP-controllable product, although we are looking into doing any IP products.”
Velocity is an AV system control platform for Atlona and third-party products in commercial AV environments, ranging from individual meeting rooms to an entire campus or enterprise. The Velocity Control System has been designed to facilitate fast AV system configuration and deployment, plus centralised management for multiple clients and site installations. It also features a cloud and premise-based system architecture with scalability up to 500 room systems or more, as well as full redundancy capability that prevents AV control downtime in any room.
Velocity is comprised of three distinct elements that work together as a single, unified platform: Velocity Control Suite, Velocity Control Gateway, and Velocity Touch Panels.
Available in Q2, 2017, the Velocity Control Suite is a cloud-based service and centralised resource for integrators to create and manage their AV control projects by client, client sites, and specific locations such as rooms.
Meanwhile, the AT-UHD-SW-510W is the latest member of Atlona’s five-input SW Series of 4K/UHD integration solutions for AV signal switching and extension, integrating switching for both wired and wireless AV sources, as well as reportedly being the first AV switcher to include a USB-C input alongside HDMI and DisplayPor The main benefit is a single, compact solution for universal BYOD compatibility – together with value-added features including automatic display control, automatic input selection, and mirrored HDMI and HDBaseT outputs. Available in Q3, 2017 at a suggested retail price of $1,699 (approximately £1,360).
ISE also saw the international debut of the OmniStream, Atlona’s first line of AV over IP products, with new features including logo insertion after integrators requested the feature.
Another notable launch was the introduction of the Atlona Control Suite and Atlona Control Gateway, in addition to the public debut of the AT-UHD-CLSO-840, a versatile eight-input, four-output 4K HDMI and HDBaseT matrix switcher built for videoconferencing, multi-screen presentations and divisible room installations. The new Atlona Etude Sync (AT-ETU-SYNC) and AT-HDR-M2C DEVICES DESIGNED TO resolve AV system design and installation issues frequently encountered with audio and video format compatibility, signal integrity and EDID communication, could also be found on the Altona booth.
As well as unveiling its very own integrated voice control technology at ISE, Harman revealed a plethora of launches from its AMX brand, including the AMX N2400 Series of video encoders and decoders, which the manufacturer claims are the first video-over-IP solutions to deliver full-quality 4K content over Gigabit Ethernet networks with ‘near-imperceptible’ latency.
With support for 4K video at 60Hz and 4:4:4 chroma, the N2400 Series encoders and decoders allow users to instantly distribute 4K video. The new series use JPEG 2000 encoding to deliver content at native frame rate and colour space over cost-effective standard Gigabit Ethernet with just two frames of latency. With support for HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2, the N2400 Series is compatible with all the latest 4K sources and displays.
“The 4K market is accelerating rapidly, and more businesses and institutions want to deliver top-tier video content to create the best possible experience for their customers,” explained Andy Whitehead, general manager Networked AV, Harman Professional Solutions. “The new AMX N2400 Series enables universities, houses of worship, sporting arenas and corporations to quickly deliver true cinema-quality 4K video to hundreds of displays simultaneously.”
Harman also introduced Enova DGX Audio Switching Boards with Dante integration during ISE, delivering Dante networked audio feeds to and from Enova DGX 100 Series Digital Media Switchers. The new Dante board kits expand Enova DGX enclosures with up to 16 channels of networked audio, enabling flexible audio switching between traditional AV solutions and the industry’s standard networked audio format.
“Venues with centralised AV increasingly rely on networked media distribution to deliver content to customers,” said Paul Hand, digital video product manager, Harman Professional Solutions. “The new Audio Switching Boards with Dante are a perfect and cost-effective way to bring the industry standard in audio to our industry-leading Enova DGX Digital Media Switcher platform. They’re easy to install, quick to configure, and dramatically simplify integration of traditional AV devices with Dante networked-audio solutions.”
In addition to bridging the gap between traditional AV distribution and the latest networked solutions, Audio Switching Boards with Dante feature integrated DSP on every output. For environments where audio is switched to multiple zones, an on-board 10-band parametric EQ allows precise tuning for each acoustically different space, ensuring the same audio source will be heard in each location.
Black Box, a technology solutions provider of KVM, professional A/V signal distribution and extension and switching solutions, used ISE as a place to unveil the curiously named, Boxilla, an enterprise-level KVM and AV/IT system management platform, featuring a comprehensive and centralised command centre.
KVM and AV/IT system management professionals face increasing complexity associated with diverse infrastructures and multiple types of end points including physical or virtual machines, applications and networks. Boxilla aims to solve this by using its ability to manage high-performance KVM, KVM over IP, virtualised end-points, and various AV/IT devices on one centralised command centre, allowing administrators to manage multi-environment KVM and AV/IT deployments using a web-enabled and common user-interface.
“Now with Boxilla, the InvisaPC system is a scalable virtualisation solution with a matrix that can scale to an unlimited number of devices expanding its stand-alone capability for a maximum of 32 physical and/or virtual servers,” said John Hickey, senior director of research and development and KVM systems at Black Box.
Another busy innovator in recent years has been ZeeVee, and this company’s ISE was all about enhancements to its HDbridge3000.
Chris Scurto, vice president marketing and sales north America was happy to take CIE through the details, explaining that the company has added an MPEG-4, H.264 encoding media module to its recently announced HDbridge3000, the company’s AV over IP transition solution. By supporting multi-format IP and RF streaming in a single chassis the HDbridge3000 solves the dilemma of how quickly and when to transition by delivering HD and SD video over IP and RF networks, individually or simultaneously, all within a compact 3RU footprint. Companies can deliver video over an existing co-axial infrastructure, a standard Gigabit Ethernet infrastructure, or a combination of the two all from a single platform. In the market for just three months, HDbridge3000 has already seen over 100 deployments and is delivering content to over 10,000 screens.
Also important was the company’s ZyPerHD, a new platform for distributing high definition H.264 video through standard Gigabit Ethernet switches. Suitable for retail and boardroom applications, ZyPerHD complements ZeeVee’s other video IP distribution solutions and is designed to offer an affordable, easy to set up and easy to maintain IP video encoding solution, enabling customers to deliver video content over their Ethernet networks.
Barco launched Overture during ISE, its new software-based A/V Control solution. Because it’s an IP-based system, this means it’s much simpler and more economical to install, set up and manage Overture than conventional, hardware-based solutions. Any network-connected device with a browser (from any brand) can use Overture to control and monitor equipment, as long as the protocol is available.
To add a network-enabled device (such as a projector, display, audio system, blinds or retractable projector screen) all a user need do is connect it to the network and configure Overture with a web-based interface.
Audinate spent much of ISE 2017 celebrating the over 1,000 commercially available products that now support Dante networking – but it wasn’t the only major announcement. The company also noted that it will be launching the new Dante Domain Manager in Autumn 2017 – and it’ll be an important launch for the company.
The Dante Domain Manager is being lauded as a complete network management solution and it borrows many ideas from the IT industry, where it’s rather common to differentiate and manage multiple private networks within the same infrastructure.
Audinate is applying that same approach to AV, although it will have features both for IT managers and AV experts. This includes robust security protocols, with user authentication and control, as well as the ability to customise a users role to ensure they have the correct permissions. Administrators will also be able to log every change that is made on the system, and find out who made the change. Perfect for diagnosing where an issue originated and who caused it.
The Dante Domain Manager will integrate with Active Directory, the Microsoft-developed software for Windows domain networks. A number of advanced features will also be available, including the ability for domains to cross subnets – a feature many AV professionals have asked for over the last few years.
The initial launch of Dante Domain Manager won’t be the end of development, however. The company says there are a number of features on the backburner, while the company is also exploring the software as a service model.
There are going to be different flavours of the software too. Audinate currently notes that there will be three different versions of the software, a lower, middle and higher tier. The low-end model will be focused around networking security and user roles, while the medium and higher end versions will be aimed at the enterprise – with features such as ActiveDirectory integration.
Audinate hopes that it will have a firm price point and launch date by InfoComm 2017, which takes place in June. The company is also hoping to have a complete feature list by then.
Meanwhile, Harman’s JBL brand unveiled the JBL AWC62 all-weather two-way coaxial loudspeaker, the latest addition to the full line-up of JBL AW and AWC Series speakers. Featuring a compact, weather-resistant design, the AWC62 is being targeted towards spot-fill applications at stadiums, racetracks, fairgrounds, water parks and other outdoor venues.
For venues where larger speakers obstruct important views of gameplay or entertainment, the AWC62 offers consistent 110° coverage with high output in a cabinet that measures 10.2 x 10.2 x 10.1 inches. Utilising a coaxial 6.5-inch low-frequency driver and 1-inch high-frequency compression driver, the IP56-rated AWC62 delivers a frequency range of 70Hz-18kHz.
Loudspeaker manufacturer, Genelec was showcasing its audio-over-IP (AoIP) solution at the exhibition, as well as demonstrating an array of its 8430A IP studio monitors using an AES67 stream, which was be played through multiple AoIP-systems using Ravenna, LiveWire and Dante protocols.
“At Genelec we feel that it is important to highlight the real-life benefits of the 8430A IP and the open standard AES67, and what it now offers,” commented Lars Olof-Janflod, PR and marketing Director, Genelec. “AoIP has been a hot topic in the industry for years and we are excited to now be able to fully demonstrate the 8430A IP monitor in action on multiple AoIP systems using an array of standards. The fact that AES67 is fully compatible with these existing standards as well as dedicated AES67 compatible devices such as the 8430A IP provides unprecedented levels of flexibility, scalability and interoperability in audio networking systems.”
Integrators and designers looking to add a splash of colour to their audio installations were also able to view a selection of the 120 RAL classic finishes now available for the Genelec 4020, 4030 and 4040 Installation Speakers.
Look out for part two of our ISE report next week, where conferencing and digital signage rein supreme…