Mission Impossible – InfoComm Wrapup

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1.22mm LED Wall by Planar

InfoComm, one of the largest audio, video, and lighting technology show in the country was held in Las Vegas this past week with attendees from across the globe.  What makes this an impossible mission?  The sheer number of exhibitors, classes and training sessions is staggering.  LIVE!Technologies dispatched a team of ten to tackle the show; representatives of LIVE! Technologies business units pursued the goal of finding new products and technologies to offer our clients. We rarely saw each other in four days.

Sony LED Wall

Matrix Video WallWhat did we see and learn? In the world of video, HD is no longer top dog.  While it may not make a great difference on your 42″ home TV, 4K video makes a striking difference on a 32′ by 20′ Display, be it a video panel wall or an LED wall. But wait, 8K is in the works and standards are being developed for 16K.  Panasonic introduced a 27,000 lumen laser projector, no lamp replacement, no maintenance issues.

Higher resolution video means that there will be more video data to be transferred.  CAT5 and CAT 5e will no longer be adequate.  CAT6a cable is the next step in data transfer running HDBaseT.  New terms are appearing: have you heard about Alien Crosstalk?  How about HEVC?  High Efficiency Video Coding, H.265, which increase the efficiency of video data, transfer dramatically.

In the world of Audio, Dante seems to be the transmission media of choice for audio over Ethernet.  A large number (over 200) of audio manufacturers have one or more products with Dante incorporated and there were a number of manufacturers with analog to Dante conversion devices.  Don’t know what Dante is and how it is used?  It’s the basis of another post. The simple explanation is that it is a method of transferring audio over Ethernet eliminating the need for heavy snakes, grounding hums and creating a network to distribute audio.  There are standards to accomplish the conversion and distribution of audio (AES50, Ethersound and Cobranet) but Dante had the largest presence at InfoComm

The most dramatic introduction in the world of microphones was the offerings from both Shure and Sennheiser for conference room microphones.  Each offered a ceiling mounted unit with multiple microphone elements (the Sennheiser has 28) and DSP so that the unit picks up the principle voice in the room and follows the conversation.

So why Mission Impossible?  Even with a team of ten, we gathered a great deal of information saw a lot of products and attended numerous educational session, but it was impossible to see everything.  Maybe next year..