ISE’s first ever four-day event closed its doors on February 12, boasting busy halls every day with most manufacturers welcoming the fourth day as an additional day to conduct key business for the year ahead.
As is tradition, this year’s exhibition once again broke records, with ISE stating that the final registered attendee account totalled at 65,686, representing a 6,338 (10.7%) increase on the 2015 show.
“The volume of attendee traffic and its spread over the four days confirms our belief that the extra day was necessary and that it adds value for visitors and exhibitors,” comments Integrated Systems events managing director, Mike Blackman. “I’m delighted to say that the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and I would like to thank everyone who attended and contributed.”
Equally as enthusiastic about the 2016 exhibition are ISE´s co-owners; CEDIA and InfoComm International, which both remarked on the high levels of interest generated from their onsite educational programmes.
“Our InfoComm Conferences, MasterClasses and FlashTrack education sessions drew excellent delegate numbers and offered ISE attendees an opportunity to experience a little of what InfoComm International can offer,” comments David Labuskes, executive director and CEO, InfoComm International.
The four ISE Show Floor Theatres, dedicated to covering Residential, Commercial, Unified Communications and Audio Solutions, attracted over 3,000 visitors to over 150 technology and case study presentations given by manufacturers, consultants and end-users.
Over the four days of ISE 2016 that followed, attendees were able to participate in two conferences that covered sports venue technology and capital investment in the AV business, four ‘off-site’ tech tours to view state-of-the-art AV installations, a new Drone Arena, a Dolby Atmos Immersive Theatre, four Audio Demo Rooms and many hosted buyer sessions.
Not forgetting the closing keynote given by physicist and futurist, Dr Michio Kaku, who spoke about his vision of a technological future, where the Internet is ‘everywhere and nowhere’ and artificial intelligence is woven into every aspect of our lives.
With 1,103 of the world’s leading AV manufacturers and service companies filling the RAI’s exhibitions halls (notable was the dominance of commercial products over residential), there were hundreds of new product announcements to be found.
Delve into CIE’s comprehensive list of key launches during ISE 2016:
Occupying its usual spot within the halls of the RAI was Crestron, which had opted for a completely new-look for its sizeable stand this year.
“Due to our stand layout showcasing end to end solutions rather than just products, there has been a 70% improved interaction with clients when compared to last year,” Tim Hymans, EMEA marketing director told CIE on day two.
“The stand layout is completely different to last year; we have brought the integrator into the solution. We don’t want to just talk about products, we want to talk about end to end solutions.”
Despite boasting a plethora of launches during ISE, the products generating the most interest from visitors were Fusion Cloud and PinPoint, which are commercial-focused yet also have residential aspects.
Having Crestron Fusion in the building and the Crestron PinPoint App on a smart device is likened to having an assistant at your side all day. Crestron manages everything needed to work smarter, more efficiently and faster.
According to Crestron, workflow is never interrupted, stating: “there’s no wandering halls looking for a meeting room or the right type of room. There’s no waiting to get back to your desk to schedule a follow-up meeting. No typing in IP addresses, manually dialling or fumbling around connecting devices to display your presentation. There’s no wasted time starting meetings. Everything you need is in the palm of your hand. You’re able to completely focus on your work instead of on getting things to work.”
Installers were pleased to learn that Crestron is also now shipping a new low-cost HDMI switcher and extender pair targeted towards small meeting rooms, huddle rooms and classrooms.
The HD Scaling Presentation Switcher and Extender (HD-MD-400-C-E) packs HDBaseT output, a scaler for optimal image display, automatic switching for HD resolutions up to 2K, display control and Ethernet connectivity, all in a pair of compact, easy to deploy devices, at what Crestron calls a ‘breakthrough price’.
Also now shipping are the manufacturer’s all-new 4K DigitalMedia Transmitter 202 (DM-TX-4K-202-C) and 4K DigitalMedia Transmitter 302 (DM-TX-4K-302-C), which transmit 4K and HD AV signals long distance to a room display, DM switcher, or DigitalMedia Presentation System. Both products function as transmitters and 2X1 and 3X1 switchers, respectively, and are designed for classrooms and meeting rooms.
Another product receiving its fair share of attention was the new six-channel USB microphone mixer, which provides a simple, cost-effective solution for presentations and videoconferences, in an integrator-friendly enclosure.
The MMX-6-USB gives integrators the ability to individually assign output bus routing per input channel. Additionally, a user can assign any input to either or both channels of the mixer’s stereo output.
Making it known that it is a big player in the commercial sector as well as residential was Stewart Filmscreen, which debuted its new FIDELEDY Vision image enhancement system for discrete LED video walls.
The FIDELEDY Vision system was designed with the aim of giving LED video walls a true cinematic appearance, in addition to eliminating moiré interference issues that often compromise broadcast image quality.
Key to its appeal is cost, as FIDELEDY Vision claims to lower the total cost of installation by allowing larger pixel pitch options to be perceived like finer pitch options. In this way, LED walls can be larger and closer to the viewing audience and spending constraints are more easily adhered to.
“ISE 2016 was hugely successful for Stewart Filmscreen and our stand partners, Digital Projection, Pro Audio Technology, PRIMA Cinema, CinemaTech and Christie Digital,” Vijita U.G, marketing manager, Stewart Filmscreen told CIE.
“There have been lots of commercial visitors and we have lots of leads to follow up with. Commercial attendees found our new FIDELEDY Vision LED enhancement system to be a highly compelling option that has the potential to create new opportunities and additional revenue streams. Based on the show’s record-breaking attendance and standing room only demonstrations all week, I have to say it was a fantastic event. As a first-time attendee myself, I was thoroughly impressed and am eager to return in 2017.”
Visitors to the show couldn’t fail to miss Christie’s eye-catching booth, where it showcased its brand new Christie Velvet Merit Series with a spectacular display wall; certified at the system-level and featuring a 1.9mm pixel pitch, extremely high fill-factor, 24/7 operation and 100,000 hours of service-life.
Although that wasn’t all the company had to offer, as it unveiled its new HS Series, which it claims is the only 1DLP 12K lumen laser phosphor projector in the world.
Not stopping there, the brand new Boxer family members, designed for high-impact visual events (with models featuring 2K resolution, 20,000, 25,000 and 30,000 centre lumens) made an appearance, offering single-phase power, built-in warping and blending, omnidirectional installation capabilities and a full-range of connectivity.
Also new were Christie’s Velvet Apex Series of LED tiles featuring 1.2 and 1.6 millimetre pixel pitches and the Christie HS Series. Part of the Christie Velvet family, Apex Series is designed for 24/7 critical viewing applications including command and control rooms and high security surveillance monitoring, while the HS Series is reported to be the world’s first 12,000 Lumen 1DLP laser phosphor projector, also taking on BoldColor Technology’ for richer, more vivid colours.
Visitors to the booth could also take a look at the new DWU1052-Q and Christie DHD1052-Q, both featuring improved warping and blending for more installation freedom, performance and imagery as well as Pandoras Box media server system version 5.9, providing faster, more intuitive operation with a wider range of options, compatibility and user-friendly workflow solutions.
Projector manufacturer, Vivitek enjoyed a busy booth throughout all four days of the exhibition, with attendees expressing interest in the new Vivitek DU8090Z laser projector, the NovoPRO wireless collaboration solution, as well as the NovoDS – an affordable and easy-to-manage digital signage solution.
Taking on built-in edge-blending, warping and portrait mode projection with 360 degrees, the DU8090Z is equipped with a laser light source which offers up to 20,000 hours of operation time in addition to 8000 ANSI Lumens brightness and a strong colour accuracy. This model is suited for installations where the maintenance should be limited as much as possible, such as conference halls, auditoriums, theatres and any large venue with difficult accessible locations to the installed projector.
Speaking to CIE post-show was Holger Graeff, general manager, Vivitek EMEA, who was pleased to report that “ISE has yet again managed to take it to the next level! We received more visitors than last year and we very pleased with the traffic on Friday as well as the constant traffic flow throughout the week. Many visitors and our partners from all over Europe, Middle East and Africa provided us with fantastic feedback on our new products with focus on wireless collaboration (NovoPro) and digital signage solution (NovoDS), besides the launch of our new laser-phosphor large venue projectors. All in all, it was a great success and as always, a perfect way to start the year, having met all of our key relations again.”
Meanwhile, BenQ was exhibiting at ISE for its seventh consecutive year, choosing to showcase its lamp-free LU9715 and LU9235 laser projectors, boasting 20,000-hour long-lasting operation and the inclusion of broadcast 3G-SDI and HDBaseT connectivity, embedded edge blending / warping and multiple lens options.
Visitors to the BenQ Club Lounge could also witness the image wrapping projection in action courtesy of the PX9710, which has been professionally built for large venue installations, offering XGA resolution at 7700 ANSI lumens with dual-lamp design, providing the flexibility of seven optional lenses and two changeable colour wheels.
Also on the commercial side, the manufacturer was drawing attention to X-Sign, a BenQ exclusive software platform that allows fingertip management, editing, and display of media content with the ease of an App.
Offering a projector-protecting solution, however, was Tempest, which launched its new Typhoon enclosure family to the European market.
Typhoon is uniquely suited both to permanent outdoor installations and to the needs of busy rental shops serving outdoor events as well as tours and TV specials, where protection from oil fog is a critical need.
At launch, Typhoon was designed around the new Christie Boxer projector, though Tempest has now adapted this design to accommodate other projectors.
Those that made the trek to hall eight couldn’t fail to miss Daktronics’ eye catching booth, featuring a 4mm video display solution, a 6mm curved video podium, a wall kitted out with eight different LED module pixel pitches, in addition to an impressive and specially created 3D LED display – showcasing the same technology that brought you the giant face in the sky at SLS Las Vegas.
New from the manufacturer was the 1.9mm LED video display solution, featuring low power consumption, long lifetime and better thermal management than the industry standard, the manufacturer claims. This option is ideal for indoor digital signage applications that require crisp image quality at viewing distances as close as 1.3m.
Meanwhile on the LEDGo booth, the manufacturer was experiencing high levels of interest in its new Interior Panels, facilitating the creation of a wall, floor or ceiling comprised of LED-panels, on which all-possible types of moving images, films or animations can be shown.
Also attracting large crowds was AV Stumpfl, helped along by a 9m x 4.5m Fullwhite curved screen working with the brand new 8K version of Wings Engine Raw. Users could test out Wings Engine Raw using four streams of 4K content at 60fps with 25K lumens projectors.
The upgraded ultra-high-performance media server now delivers four streams of full 4K uncompressed content at 60hz plus media overlays, text generation and show control on top.
Tobias Stumpfl, CEO at AV Stumpfl explained that “users can utilise a single Wings Engine Raw server to manage content over a virtually unlimited amount of LED screens or to drive a 4 by 4K projection system with soft edge blending, mapping and geometry correction.”
Also shown for the first time was the manufacturer’s next generation Wings Vioso RX software.
Aimed at quick and easy adoption by existing users, the familiar user interface has been given an extensive facelift with several performance and feature optimisations.
The new render engine is based on x64 architecture and includes several base level algorithms, replacing standard operating system and driver functions.
“Visitors to our ISE stand were impressed by our spectacular showcase,” Tobias told CIE. “Although not everybody is ready for uncompressed 8K playback, our showcase demonstrates that there is a very high demand for ultra high quality. Attendees were enthusiastic about our media servers that can handle compressed content, live signals and feature an automatic delay-free camera based calibration for softedge and geometry warping.”
During a packed press conference on day one, Kramer introduced Kramer@Work meeting room solutions, comprised of complete solutions from Kramer for any size meeting room from huddle spaces, to large boardrooms.
Kramer@Work solutions are designed to work as comprehensive, flexible and ready-to-go offerings for any size budget, designed to ensure optimal performance by providing everything required, from one manufacturer.
At the heart of these systems is a combination of the Kramer VIA solutions combined with the manufacturer’s K-Touch cloud-based control system.
Also creating interest on the Kramer stand was the introduction of the Kramer Network enterprise management platform for AV over IP solutions, an all-encompassing enterprise software platform that lets a user easily route, manage, control, operate and maintain Pro AV, IT and IP solutions with one convenient web-based interface.
Kramer Network solution provides holistic approach to hybrid networks, managing both legacy AV devices and newer IP-based AV devices.
Also targeting the meeting room space with a new launch was Shure, which unveiled its new networkable conferencing audio solution, Microflex Advance.
Comprising high-quality networked ceiling and table array microphones, audio interfaces, intelligent mixing DSP and intuitive, browser-based control software, Microflex Advance draws on Shure’s experience in microphone, audio networking and automatic mixing technology and packages it in a discreet, architecturally unobtrusive design.
Microflex Advance has been designed to significantly improve the sound quality experienced by employees in the workplace.
ISE also saw the European debut of Oblong Industries’ Mezzanine 3, the latest release of the company’s immersive visual collaboration solution.
Mezzanine 3 brings 4K capabilities and the convenience of sharing data across multiple screen configurations and wall surfaces. In fact, the company used its booth to show the innovative meeting room solution in action across six displays, rather than the usual three.
“With Mezzanine 3, our customers have more screens at their command than ever before to tell their stories, solve problems and make critical decisions,” explained Mike Brown, global VP sales.
“Plus, our new capabilities for remote participants mean everyone is fully engaged, in or out of the room. It’s an experience that transcends telepresence to introduce Infopresence.”
Putting its own stamp on the virtual meeting room, office, huddle room and conference space was Revolabs, which demonstrated the entire FLX UC family of IP and USB conference phones.
The company’s FLX UC 500, UC 1000 and UC 1500 conference phones – all of which are now shipping – feature high-fidelity audio capabilities that combine premium tweeter and midwoofer elements, four integrated microphones and audio technology such as acoustic echo cancellation, ultrawide frequency response and full duplex support.
Atlona was another manufacturer with multiple releases during ISE, expanding its commercial-market SW-5 Series of 5-Input 4K switchers with the AT-UHD-SW-5000ED.
The new model includes two HDBaseT inputs and mirrored HDMI/HDBaseT outputs, offering integrators more flexibility in designing boardroom, classroom and other AV presentation systems.
On the amplification front, the manufacturer also unveiled three new distribution models during the exhibition, including its first to feature HDMI-to-HDBaseT distribution of 4K/UHD at 60Hz/4:2:0 video, HDCP 2.2 support, Power over Ethernet (PoE), EDID management and advanced display control features such as Consumer Electronics Control (CEC) for use with home TVs.
The new integrator-friendly line consists of the eight-output AT-UHD-CAT-8, the four-output AT-UHD-CAT-4 and the four-output AT-UHD-CAT-4ED, which has extended-distance outputs for 100m performance as well as Ethernet-enabled HDBaseT transmission. The UHD-CAT-8 and UHD-CAT-4 provide up to 70m performance.
Also new for ISE was the AT-UHD-CLSO-612ED, a six-input switcher featuring built-in 4K scaling, mirrored HDBaseT and HDMI outputs and AV signal extension up to 100m and the HDBaseT-equipped collaboration system providing 4K AV switching, USB and HDMI extension and system control for PC-based conferencing using Skype, WebEx and GoToMeeting cloud services.
According to the manufacturer, the two-piece AT-UHD-HDVS-300-KIT system is the industry’s first to enable a single category cable connection between a conferencing hub and a 4K display with USB camera, which is said to simplify system design, installation and daily use.
On the loudspeaker-front, Bose Professional used ISE to launch its F1 flexible array loudspeaker product line, now including a new passive full range model and a full suite of mounting brackets.
Together with a powered model introduced in 2015, both Bose F1 loudspeaker models are targeted towards portable and installed applications.
The F1 Model 812 Loudspeaker is said to be the first portable loudspeaker offering ‘FLEX array technology,’ which lets installers focus sound to target listening areas with four different patterns.
“Everyone is interested in the F1 because it’s portable,” Sue Harrison, business development manager, Bose Professional told CIE on day one of ISE. “It’s a natural progression and it fills a gap in the market.”
That wasn’t all Bose Pro was focussed on during the exhibition, as the manufacturer also announced significant enhancements to its ControlSpace Remote software with new version 2.0.
Available as a free download from pro.Bose.com, ControlSpace Remote allows integrators to distribute remote control of Bose Pro networked systems in any venue, for any user, across multiple devices.
Harman’s JBL also had lots to offer integrators during the four-day exhibition, debuting its newly updated JBL Control 23-1, Control 25-1 and Control 28-1 commercial loudspeakers, bringing with them an array of new features, styling and competitive pricing.
The manufacturer was also demonstrating its new SDP-75 Processor – a result of a strategic global partnership between JBL Synthesis and Trinnov Audio, providing JBL Synthesis with access to Trinnov’s portfolio of immersive audio formats including Dolby Atmos, DTS-X and Auro3D.
“At ISE 2016, Harman Professional Solutions demonstrated a wide range of new products, highlighted by our AMX SVSI 4K Ultra HD Video Over Standard Ethernet demonstration and updated JBL Control Contractor series loudspeakers,” Erik Tarkiainen, vice president global marketing, Harman Professional Solutions told CIE.
“We also hosted a series of free, well-attended educational sessions for attendees, where we discussed major industry topics, including security and networked AV, design of large venue sound systems, challenges of AV in new construction and more. The excitement among customers was extremely high and we received positive feedback about our new customer-centric organisational structure that makes it easier than ever to do business with Harman. We are also very proud to receive multiple ‘Best of Show’ Awards at ISE. Overall, it was an outstanding show for the Harman Professional Solutions team.”
Another manufacturer with lots to offer the installer market was Genelec, which – in addition to having a Dolby Atmos, Auro 3D and DTS:X demo room on its stand – was generating lots of interest due to its new AIW26B active in-wall loudspeaker system.
The system sports a new frameless enclosure grille, ensuring the loudspeaker can blend into almost any environment, while its precision design works to provide ‘superior’ bass reproduction as well as precise mid and high frequencies imaging for state-of-the art audio installations.
“We have built in the features the customers want,” Sami Mäkinen, business manager, AV installation, Genelec, told CIE. “There has been a great atmosphere at ISE; people are looking for new things. It’s been a really good show.”
Genelec also announced that its 4020, 4030 and 4040 installations speakers are now available in a choice of over 120 RAL classic colour finishes.
Meanwhile, Martin Audio extended its CDD install series with the introduction of weatherised variants (CDD-WR).
Shipping from early April, CDD-WR loudspeakers are designed for outdoor operation where the system will be subject to changing environmental conditions, but sheltered from direct exposure to the elements. CDD-WR loudspeakers meet a rating of IP54 and are accompanied by a full range of weather-resistant mounting brackets.
Another company with new loudspeaker offerings was Community, which expanded the system design versatility of its flagship I Series Engineered Loudspeaker Systems with the addition of five new Compact models, as well as weather-resistant options for all of its I SERIES 800-Level and 600-Level loudspeakers, featuring PolyGlas outdoor enclosure technology.
Another expanding line of loudspeakers is the manufacturer’s R Series, which are joined by the 50 x 20 degree R2-52MAX and the 50 x 10 degree R6-51MAX.
These new loudspeakers offer consistent coverage patterns, smooth frequency response and high output levels, making them ideally suited for sporting venues, racetracks, outdoor theatres, themed entertainment and water parks and high-level voice warning systems.
After the HDR-heavy CES show, some manufacturers were showcasing their latest tech in this sector.
BrightSign was one of them, choosing to showcase its HDR support and Bluetooth/beacon integration at ISE.
The digital signage media manufacturer was demonstrating HDR playback on its 4K players, enabling visitors to see the visual difference at a glance.
BrightSign 4K players already deliver 10-bit per channel colour, so only a firmware update is required to ensure compatibility with emerging HDR screens. HDR support will be available for all BrightSign 4K players with release 6.1 of the player firmware, which will include HDMI 2.0a support.
The manufacturer noted that all existing players can be upgraded free of charge once the new firmware is released.
The manufacturer also demonstrated another in-demand technology feature supported in BrightSign’s 6.1 firmware which will enable Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE) and beacon support for digital signage applications of all kinds, providing two way communication between a consumer’s mobile device and the digital signage display.
Speaking to CIE at the show, Jeff Hastings, CEO of BrightSign enthused that ISE 2016 “was another huge success. We saw continued interest in 4K technology, this year with a focus on BrightSign’s support of 4K HDR colour. With richer colours and increased luminosity, HDR transforms the on-screen viewing experience dramatically. Another emerging technology supported by an upcoming BrightSign firmware update is Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE) and beacon support which enables two-way communication between signage and viewer, a breakthrough that will change the way businesses use digital signage to engage their customers.
“Our visitors were mesmerised by a large video wall showcasing real-time social media streaming with partner, Tagboard,” he added. “BrightSign 4K players boast enough processing power to stream live social media content, aggregated continually 24/7 and showcased in a multitude of visualisations on-screen.”
Calibre was ahead of the pack on the scaler/switcher front, launching its first ever-combined video and audio 4K scaler-switchers, the HQView620A, HQView625A, HQView630A and HQView670A.
Shipping in Q12016, the new models are designed to reduce the level of equipment needed in installations, the multi-function units being ideal for lecture theatres, boardrooms, meeting rooms and house of worship applications.
“At ISE we got an amazing reaction to our new HQUltra 4K Scaler-Switchers; people loved their extremely fast switching at typically 0.25 seconds, their flexibility and ease of use was really liked and the all-in-one audio and video models drew particular praise,” Tim Booksbank, CEO at Calibre told CIE.
“For the LED screen models people were amazed by the scaling quality, especially when we showed them you could still see the picture with 4K shrunk as small as 128×96! Visitor interest came from highly technical attendees from the events markets as well as from more general attendees from education, corporate AV and house of worship. We were really pleased that we’d been able to reach out to so many different kinds of ISE attendees and grab their interest and attention. This year ISE generated nearly three times the number of sales leads we got at ISE 2015; this was partly due to our booth location and design being better, but primarily I believe because customers are looking for technically competent yet affordable 4K products which is what we were able to show them with our HQUltra range.”
tvONE had lots to offer the integrator market during ISE, starting with the CORIOmaster and CORIOmaster mini 4K input and output modules and new 4K Streaming media input module.
Now, with new 4K input (CM-HDMI-4K-2IN) and output (CM-HDMI-4K-SC-1OUT) modules and 4K streaming media (CM-AVIP-IN-1USB-1ETH) input module, the processors can accept dual IP streams up to 1080p, 4K file playback via USB3.0 and 4K still images – all on one card, in one slot.
Described by Andy Fliss, director of sales and marketing as a “game changer,” another product attracting a lot of attention was ONErack, a universal, powered mounting system designed to vastly improve rack installation of small devices. tvONE’s patent pending design converts randomly sized, externally-powered devices from any manufacturer into slide-in modules that can be installed quickly and cleanly and serviced easily.
“We asked top systems integrators to give their feedback before we set about designing it,” said Andy. “We’ve had an outstanding response, with people asking about the price and availability. It’s been very exciting and people want it now!”
Also interesting product from tvONE was the 1T-MV-8474 4K Multiviewer, the latest product in its range of 4K enabled products, which can display up to four video windows simultaneously via sixteen different fixed layouts, which can be recalled to present content in a variety of combinations, in addition to the T-MV-8474 4K Multiviewer and 1T-CL-322-EU control panel and the new MultiViewTM II Dual DVI-Tx morph-it card.
Looking ahead to 2017, exhibitor and stand re-bookings already look promising, with 47,131sq-m of space being sold so far. The addition of a new hall in 2017 will coincide with a new hall numbering system, which will be introduced into the RAI. ISE will return February 7-10 2017.
Part 2 of the ISE show report can be viewed here.