InfoComm 2008 – Podium and Presentation Technologies

Intellerum

Intellerum was a company that we spent some time with at InfoComm 2008. They make storage components for Academic use including laptop carts. We talked to the designer of the product and he had come out of the Academic environment so we had a lot in common. He had added a few advances over that of some of his competition. One useful item we found was a simple wall mounted casing that would be great for a late night laptop dropoff container. It contained a pushdown lock so the enclosure could be left unlocked. In the case where a student needed a laptop for an evening could return it to one of these enclosures later I the evening and engage the lock so that it would be in place for the next days classes. Intellerum’s website is thin but they do make some useful products and are innovative.

Nomad ADA Podium

While our particular operation is not big on fixed podiums the Nomad ADA Podium is unique. It’s a height adjustable podium which is designed for people of any physical stature and its been designed to be wheelchair accessible. It integrates with a wide variety of presentation equipment and ceiling mounted projectors connect easily to it.

The Nomad ADA Podium pull-out lectern, which can be tilted for optimum viewing angle, it accommodates a preview monitor, it allows for either push button or an electronic touch screen control system, which allow the presenter to raise or lower the podium and tilt the monitor, it accommodates a document camera, a combo VCR/DVD Player, contains a Bose sound system, has notebook tray and hookups, comes with a 3200 ANSI Lumen XGA LCD projector and mounting hardware, employs annotation and built-in PC options and uses an RF keyboard and mouse.

TECOM TechPod™

One item we really liked was the integrated TechPod podium. Its advantage was its integration being shipped with all the audio-visual equipment required for a lecture installed in a compact console. The unit comes with an intuitive and user-friendly interface that allows the lecturer control over all devices. Below is a video of the unit and how it is designed to operate;

TECOM TechPodXpress

In our operation we prefer the portable solutions. TECOM’s TechPodXpress has every multimedia capability built in, and is managed through a simple control panel. Because its on wheels it can be moved safely and easily from one place to another on its wheels.

It innovates on the solution that we’re currently using because it contains a user friendly control panel, computer interfacing including making use of built-in CD/DVD, VHS playback, built in sound system, document camera, laptop connectivity, LCD projector, rolling cables for easy connections and automatic operation and shutdown.

http://www.techpod.com/TechPod_xpress/techpod_express_new.htm

AVRover

In terms of portable systems we found the AVRover system to appear to be more rugged than the system that we purchased. It’s metal exterior and the methodology used to adjust the projector seemed better than what we are currently using. The model SVS 200 is a 36″ high and like all other units has its components securely mounted inside. There are no doors or shelves with all controls are easily accessible, including the projector. Laptops, DVDs, CDs or VCR tapes, document or video cameras, iPods (including video) and microphones all integrate with the system.

One item that makes this system stand out from the others we saw was the Onfinity CM2 Max interactive whiteboard system. The AVRover system can make any surface interactive through the use of a camera fixed in the stand and a wand. Below is a video of this technology in action;

One last item they showed as the AVRover Puppy. This looks like a great product for boardroom tabletop presentation as it takes a lot of the functionality of the AVRover and packages it up neatly for boardroom presentations. The Puppy is an all-in-one table top AV system. All one has to do is plug it in to an electrical outlet and connect a laptop, iPod or video camera and turn it on.  It contains your projector and provides clear amplified sound. It weighs 25 lbs, travels using an optional rolling carry case and was designed to fit into carry-on luggage.

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InfoComm 2008 – Neat and New Technology

VBrick InfoCaster Partnership

From our perspective it was great to see that Harris and VBrick got together around digital signage by announcing a strategic partnership where VBricks technology is being designed to interoperate with Harris’s InfoCaster product. VBrick will provide the encoding hardware that will interoperate with InfoCaster to deliver live video streams on a digital signage network. VBrick also announced its H264 Appliance that will allow for High Definition streaming using their technology.

GefenTV Ethernet

Gefen was demonstrating two Ethernet extenders: the GefenTV Ethernet over Power Line and the GefenTV Ethernet over Coax Extenders. The technology delivers a plug and play method of Ethernet delivery using the existing cabling infrastructure. Both systems use small sender and receiver units where receivers are equipped with four Ethernet 10/100M ports to accommodate multiple connections, each capable of supporting up to a 200Mbps transmission for instant data delivery.


The GefenTV Ethernet over Power Line solution allows users to tap into any standard wall jack to deliver the Ethernet to any room with a power outlet. Likewise the GefenTV Ethernet over Coax extender uses standard coaxial cable to deliver Ethernet data throughout the home or office.

Roland’s Video Switching and Conversion Technology

Roland was showing their new F-1 Field Video Recorder.  The unit employs a shock-resistant floating HDD, two channels of additional audio inputs, multiple power supply options, remote control via LAN, on-site review of clips, unlimited file size, and a number of additional functions including HDV and DV capture, additional 2 channels of balanced audio, removable HDD, RGB output and utility software for previewing, file management and basic editing.

We were looking at Roland because we were interested in their line of Vision Mixers that incorporate computer feeds as well as traditional cameras. We looked at their V8 switcher for standard definition and their V-440HD that has the capability to input 4 SD video sources and 4 HD or RGB video sources. They also have a small V-44SW switcher that is a rack mount HD switcher similar to the V-440HD. We also took a look at the VC-300HD video converter that does format conversion of Digital/Analog, HD/SD or compressed/uncompressed signals as well as direct connections from computer RGB sources.

Vaddio HD Production Switcher

The ProductionVIEW HD from Vaddio is multi-camera control system is designed for live broadcast events. It integrates PTZ camera control and multi-format HD/SD live switching with real-time graphics and effects into one console. The surface gives system users real-time knobs and buttons to control functions and produces only one frame of delay — a critical requirement for broadcast.

The unit features six inputs of any combination of component HD, RGBHV or SD Video, focus and iris knobs on control surface for making manual adjustments, six discrete auto-sensing RS-232 camera control ports, lower Screen Graphics Over-lay mode, selectable cut, fade and wipe transitions, 3-axis hall effect joystick, adjustable pan, tilt and zoom speed knobs, 12 camera presets, transition speed adjustment and it is compatible with Vaddio, Sony and Canon PTZ Camera Systems.

TrackVIEW System

Another great product Vaddio is showing is a product they call the TrackVIEW System Next Generation. It’s used where hands-free camera tracking and broadcast style preset camera control are required. The system is not well described on their website but it has the capability to follow the activity of a classroom situation through camera presets based on floorpads, following the teacher around a classroom using image recognition and switching to students asking questions at desks by sensing the closest microphone to the student speaking. Ifound a video of the system in action on YouTube that shows the basics. It’s lacking the features that have been added to the system for interaction with students at the desks;

FogScreen

FogScreen™ projection screen, produces a thin curtain of “dry” fog that serves as a translucent projection screen.The system uses tap water and ultrasonic waves to create a smooth foggy airflow that captures images just like a screen. You can walk right through a FogScreen projection screen without getting wet as the microscopic fog droplets actually feel dry to the touch, just like air. Below is a YouTube video on the medium;

Other Products Of Note That We Saw In This Category

Ansmann Rechargeable Batteries

Ansmann Rechargeable Batteries

Data Reels - AMETEK Hunter Spring Products

Data Reels - AMETEK Hunter Spring Products

Z-Band High Definition TV over CAT cable

Z-Band High Definition TV over CAT cable

Arrive.Infopoint - Room Scheduling Appliance

Arrive.Infopoint - Room Scheduling Appliance

InfoComm 2008 – Light Emitting Diode (L.E.D.) Technology

One area that’s been growing at InfoComm over the past few years that I’ve atteneded is the area LED’s. I thought rather than write a post about it, I’d edit some of the video that I shot as LED’s are more of a visual thing;

InfoComm 2008 – Display Technology

Since we primarily purchase consumer displays our mission at InfoComm 2008was more to look at the accessories relating to their use in Presentation rather than the displays themselves. In the area of displays at the show I’ll suggest the Displayblog that has a more extensive list of displays from InfoComm than I would ever come up with. About the only display I noticed was the world’s largest commercially available LCD Monitor from Sharp. It’s the Model LB-1085.

A video of the launch of Sharp’s 108″ LCD below;

JELCO Rotolift

One item we found the the JELCO ROTOLIFT. It appears to be ideal for moving and storing large monitors. Because our monitors are used in a variety of situations the ability to display a monitor in landscape or portrait mode is important. For us the set-up time is reduced because one person can roll the case into position and the unit’s self-contained protective case helps in stowing the unit.

Vutec

I found a couple of things at Vutec, one item for business and the other item personal.

On the business side these Vutec projection screens are great for one of our labs. We have a need to drop both regular screens for lectures and displays and green screens when the area is used as a production environment. The model pictured here mounts to a truss that we’re planning to install and will drop either a regular projection screen or a green/blue screen from its enclosure….

Below is a video on different projection screen materials from Vutec that I found on-line;

On the personal side I found Vutec’s Deco Frame product. I’ve wanted to put a large LCD screen in my living room and didn’t want it to look high tech. The Deco Frame product allows one to surround the screen with a picture frame so it will blend in a little better. Another product they offer is called ArtScreen that will actually drop a painting in front of the screen to totally mask its existence in ones living room.

Below is a video of Vutec’s ArtScreen product that shows DecoFrame;

Other Items

Below is an informational video on Goo Systems paintable screen material;

InfoComm 2008 – Conference Technology

PTZ Controllers

We looked at a number of Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ) camera controllers at the show. One project we have underway is to make an existing lab with a PTZ camera operate better so these controllers were on our list. While there were a number of controllers that we played with at the show. (outlined below) The one product that caught our attention was RemoteCam technology from Sound Control Technologies. What made it interesting was that they could control several different kinds of camera’s from the same remote control interface.

Other controllers we tried were;

VOIP Phones

While VOIP phones are somewhat standard in teleconference situations, we’re probably going to integrate them in soft-phone form with our new Intercom system (via SIP) because of emerging demands to do live television across campus. The phones we looked at include;

Streaming Technology

We took a look at Winnov’s Cbox3 product that not only integrated a number of presentation devices, but provided a number of output options related to the streaming of classroom lectures etc. At their booth they were showing an output developed for an iPod.

To work up to its full potential Cbox3 requires an operator, it can stream live, it can control 3 PTZ cameras, it has four audio and six video inputs, it contains built-in audio switcher and video mixer and it does concurrent multi-bit rate encoding. The unit is useful because it requires no post production is required as it automatically creates searchable text, thumbnails, and chapter indexes. Perhaps its only downfall is a Cbox3 unit is required at each installation making it expensive to scale over a large University.

Below is a presentation on the Cbox3 unit;

InfoComm 2008 – Components Of Note

When installing presentation systems adhering to fire standards is an important component. It’s an obstacle many installers have to deal with in an industrial setting. In the educational environment where I work in it is even harder because much of our installation work is outsourced and the installers that are contracted are not often up to date with advances in products that will speed the job up.

There were a couple of products that we came across at InfoComm 2008 that would help one work at a quicker pace while staying well within various fire and electrical codes. Nigel B. Design was showing their plenum rated equipment boxes that have been cleared for containing electronics (including electrical connections) in plenum areas. We have raised floors in many of our classrooms and where the floors are being used to circulate air one has to be sure that anything put in the floor is plenum rated.

The Wiremold Company was showing the new generation of TopGuard poke-through boxes that allow one to poke through fire sealed concrete floors and maintain the fire rating. This is something that we increasingly need to do in our 20 year old building where room use is constantly changing. These boxes even seal where the wire exits the enclosure, cutting off water created by the floor cleaning staff, from entering the box.

Gennum was on-site at InfoComm 2008 with a new look to their corporate logo. I wasn’t aware that Gennum had sold off the companies VXP® image processing business to Sigma Designs in January. That was the division that I was most aware of. With the selloff Gennum has gone in a new direction and it was showing a new corporate logo.  So instead of the advanced IC chip designs and a product or two that contained Gennum’s IC’s, the company was showing a number of new products. The one that caught my eye was its ActiveConnect solution that supports HDMI 1.3 up to distances of 100 meters.

Kiss-Box originally started as a company that put show control protocols on Ethernet. At InfoComm they were showing their kiss-box series that would allow for control of various devices over Ethernet. What made their product unique was they had created IO3 and IO8 Card Cages that could hold cards of differing protocols. It allowed one to mix and match different protocols in the same I/O box that included serial, time code I/O and DMX.

Another similar product that did not employ Ethernet as the the interconnect but quite useful for media and presentation systems was VISION and their Techconnect system. It’s nice because it allows for customization of components at a wall box.

Even though there were lots of customization products, integration was a big buzzword at InfoComm this year. There was a big push in products that provided the ability to quickly deploy presentation systems and wire it with maximum control using Cat 5 cable. Calypso Control Systems was showing this integrated system that placed all of a typical projectors interfaces in a small cage that installs above the projector. Once the projector is attached to the ceiling mounted cage, the projectors video, audio and control I/O are connected to the Calypso technology inside the cage. Cat 5 cables are then run from the projection location to wall-plates so users can control and operate the projector.

Other Products

Industrial/Embedded Computers

BOSER Technology – http://www.boser.com.tw
Ibase Technology Inc – http://www.ibase-usa.com
Quanmax Inc. – http://www.quanmax.com

Other

ALTINEX Under Table 8×4 Matrix Switcher – http://www.altinex.com/Products/Matrix_Switchers/UT250-101/UT250-101.htm
Avlex Wire Connecting Box – www.avlex.com
Atlona – http://www.atlona.com
Lex Products – http://www.lexproducts.com