InfoComm 2009: Acoustics and Audio

Aurora Multimedia’s V-Tune Pro HD reportedly will be valuable to schools and campuses looking for a tuning solution that would broadcast pre-set or spur-of-the-moment announcements or alerts to an entire student body. The V-Tune’s audio is supported by coaxial digital audio and unbalanced RCA connections. Educators can add an optional hard-drive playback feature for digital signage and other various applications for enhancing campus communication, the company says.

Barix audio-over-IP technology supervised audio and control signals over standard IP networks and reportedly is ideal for schools’ digital public address and voice evacuation systems–a centerpiece of a comprehensive campus safety infrastructure. Barix technology lets users route audio to multiple distributed amplifier channels with just a single receiver unit.

Belden introduced the Brilliance Digital Audio Cable line at InfoComm, highlighting the cables’ ruggedness and suitability for a variety of environments, including outdoor school events. The Brilliance line has bare copper conductors and offers an innovative design for an easy-to-install, single-pair audio cable, the company says. This feature reportedly will help school officials reduce setup time for sometimes-difficult-to-use and outdated audio-video equipment.

Technomad featured a variety of weather-proof speakers that could prove useful for school events marred by inclement weather. Technomad’s Schedulon is an automatic MP3 player and recorder complete with an internal clock. The machine is upgradeable and comes with 1,500 minutes of internal audio storage for school announcements.

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InfoComm 2009: Cables, Connectors, and Accessories

Belkin’s booth was highlighted by the high-resolution CAT5e extenders that allow schools and universities to manage point-to-point audiovisual connections between content management systems and public displays. The variety of Belkin extenders–now thinner and lighter than ever–have proven easy to install and reliable over short and long distances, the company says.

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InfoComm 2009: Displays, Monitors, and Digital Signage

Black Box joined dozens of companies in unveiling new digital signage technology at InfoComm. The company introduced the iCompel, which allows schools to combine video with scrolling text, photos, and other web content. A single iCompel unit–which comes with software pre-installed–used as a digital publisher can send information through a school’s network to any digital sign in the world, the company says, and school officials can simply drag and drop content from a PC or a Mac to load new material into the iCompel digital signage network.

Harris’s digital signage products were on display at InfoComm, including the company’s InfoCaster, which allows educators to edit projects, page layouts, and content and set daily, weekly, and monthly scheduling. InfoCaster Online reportedly gives users an easy-to-use tool to manage extensive digital signage networks, allowing for simple editing of messages and alerts.

Omnivex offers a suite of software options for campuses’ digital signage and electronic billboarding. The company’s Moxie program allows schools to incorporate 3D into digital signage solutions, making for eye-catching graphics that could more effectively communicate with a campus community.

Panasonic’s newly-developed plasma panels give students a clear view of teacher presentations, and the company boasts that a reduction in graying color results in even the blackest blacks. The high-resolution screens also provide a clear view of any ticker information running along the bottom of a digital sign.

Stewart Filmscreen showed off its SnoMatte 100 screens at InfoComm, which allows educators to overlap several projectors without areas of elevated brightness or dimness. The company also displayed its 3D screens–which use specialty metallic material that preserve light polarization–that could be useful for medical school and architecture students.

X2O Media introduced InfoComm attendees to its touch-screen HD video digital signage technology, known as the Xpresenter. Users can browse and play back videos–on a full screen or smaller windows–which can show pop-up messages set to appear at specific times every day, week, or month. Educators can control and customize the Xpresenter’s content through a web-based control page located in a central location,such as a school’s technology office.

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InfoComm 2009: Document Cameras and Digital Presenters

Ken-A-Vision highlighted its line of durable, flexible Video Flex microscopes, which were displayed in a variety of new, bright colors and can be hooked up to TVs and computers so students can see a clear picture of any object. Ken-a-vision’s MP100 has a polycarbon base and an aluminum outer layer, allowing for outdoor projects. According to the company, the product doesn’t require any localized software.

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InfoComm 2009: Intercom and Communication Systems

Extron Electronics introduced InfoComm attendees to the new TouchLink, a touchpanel control system designed to handle control needs of rooms with single displays, several displays, or video conferencing. The TouchLink line has three models, including the TLP 700MV model, which has a 7-inch screen, backlit buttons, and a variety of knobs for easy control in the classroom.

Qomo’s QClick QRF900 audience response system has a new interface and an extended range, meaning students can respond to teacher inquiries from up to 300 feet away. The audience response system also has a motion-sensitive mouse and an auto-sleep feature that saves batteries and extends the life of the product, according to the company.

RTI now has a two-way communication system for its handheld touch-screen devices and wall installments. This feature will let teachers and IT officials control devices and monitor feedback from anywhere in a school building. A new graphical user interface lets users easily adjust songs, security alerts, and lighting, the company says.

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InfoComm 2009: Networking Solutions

Adtec Digital products have adopted zero-configuration network technology that allows campus and school IT officials to access a simple table showing any device that announces itself on the local network. The computer user doesn’t need to know the IP address of the unit. Instead, a user can click on a link and the Adtec program will forward to a configuration application.

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InfoComm 2009: Media Capture, Storage, and Streaming Systems

Serif’s GraphicsPad tablet could prove valuable to educators hoping to incorporate graphics and other multimedia options into class projects and presentations. The GraphicsPad–a cordless and battery-free device–comes with an interactive pen that helps users manipulate images and words on the screen.

Anoto had its penPresenter on display at InfoComm. The penPresenter features digital pen technology and Microsoft PowerPoint, allowing students and teachers to digitally save class notes and give attention-grabbing presentations, the company says. Notes and sketches using the penPresenter can be shown on a projector screen in real time, and adjustments reportedly are easy to make.

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InfoComm 2009: Projectors, Lamps, and Accessories

3LCD showed InfoComm attendees that projectors with the same number of lumens can produce entirely different pictures. The company says its Color Light Output makes the difference, brightening the red, green, and blue output, providing a more balanced color on the screen. 3LCD projectors avoid casting too much white light on the screen, which can result in a washed-out picture.

3M’s Multi-Touch Developer Kit has a 19-inch metal-enhanced LCD display, the largest on the market. The screen’s multi-touch capabilities mean up to 10 fingers can be pushing the screen without slowing the system down or throwing off its accuracy. The system’s glass surface is impervious to dust and dirt, the company says.

AccelerOptics introduced a projection display that is visible even in classrooms and lecture halls that have daylight coming in through windows. Ambient light often distorts projector images or makes viewing difficult from the back of a classroom, but according to the company, many educators have said the AccelerOptics model has produced a reliable image without having to block incoming sunlight.

Casio’s Super Slim projector is 1.7 inches thick and can zoom up to 300 inches diagonally, making the projector suitable for classrooms of every size. Image adjustments can be made easily with the Super Slim projector’s remote control system. The projector is also USB enabled, allowing for easy transfer of teacher and student projects.

Christie Digital showcased its line of three-chip DLP projectors and display solutions including the Spyder X20, which combines online editing, integrated source monitoring, and video processing. The Spyder reportedly is ideal for classrooms and lecture halls, with its large-scale 3D feature. Christie’s LED display wall solution sports a clear picture and long life, according to the company.

Schools that may not be able to afford a full complement of audio-video technology could benefit from Epson’s PowerLite Presenter, a projector that lets teachers show classroom video without additional equipment. The PowerLite comes complete with a surround-sound option, microphone input, and “plug ‘n play” connections, allowing for quick setup that doesn’t require IT help, the company says.

Hitachi Home Electronics (America), Inc., Business Group unveiled its CP-X3010 3LCD projector, reportedly easy to install at less than 8 pounds and featuring a brightness of 3,000 lumens. The projector has an average lamp life of about 3,000 hours and a life of 6,000 hours in eco mode, which helps teachers conserve energy, a goal among many campuses instituting green IT policies. Hitachi Professional Series projectors have dust-resistant cooling systems that reportedly won’t need maintenance for the first 10,000 hours of use.

Mitsubishi featured a new portable projector that weighs less than 8 pounds and has a picture powered by more than 4,000 lumens. The XD600U has a life of about 5,000 hours under normal conditions, and is 3D-enabled, the company says. It also has a 10-watt speaker and audio mix capability and a closed captioning decoder for in-depth projector presentations.

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InfoComm 2009: Video Conferencing and Collaboration Systems

Glowpoint’s Video Network Operations Center offers complete management for a school or college’s video conferencing environment. Glowpoint’s unified user portal is a secure web site dedicated to scheduling daily and weekly video activities and offers help-desk tracking. Glowpoint offers on-site technician visits and installation of replacement parts.

MediaPointe has an enhanced video capture and distribution system that includes playback DVDs, offering flexibility for educators trying to incorporate technology into everyday classroom lessons. MediaPointe’s player sports Windows Media streaming, giving teachers a wider format choice for archiving or streaming video content.

Sonic Foundry’s Mediasite EX Server allows educators to webcast live and on-demand lectures and other presentations while featuring tools to index, organize, schedule, and track recorded content on the server system. Customizable reports allow teachers and professors to track who is watching what lecture and analyzes trends in viewership–a key for educators hoping to spread more classroom material to more students.

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InfoComm 2009: Video Editing and Production

The myriad features in Broadcast Pix’s Slate G Series integrated production system means schools and colleges won’t need a team of IT experts to piece together a live or recorded broadcast. Every Slate system includes graphic and clip stores, a character generator, a production switcher, robotic cameras, and audio mixers, among other features.

Hai Vision’s MAKITO video-over-IP device allows schools to distribute high-quality HD video throughout its digital signage infrastructure. The MAKITO lets educators stream several videos simultaneously through the school’s network, with every video tailored with precision. The MAKITO also sports security features that restrict content to only those teachers and students permitted to access it.

MagicWave Productions’ Magma line of portable live production systems comes in an aluminum outer layer and a padded carrying case with wheels designed to protect the sensitive IT equipment inside. The Magma also has a detachable keyboard, a range of storage options, and a built-in 17-inch LCD monitor for clear viewing.

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