Twenty intriguing school AV products

Canon’s new EVERCAM XU-81 is a robotic, high-definition pan-tilt-zoom camera that is encased in a sturdy, weatherproof housing for indoor or outdoor use.

We recently published a report on three key developments in school AV technology, based on the news to come out of InfoComm 2013, the world’s largest audio-visual technology trade show.

Now, here are 20 more intriguing school AV products that we saw at InfoComm and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference in San Antonio last month—including a portable audio system that can facilitate small-group instruction and an easy solution for “flipping” your classroom using any iOS device.

(Products are listed in alphabetical order by company name.)…Read More

Three key developments in school AV technology

BenQ’s ‘SmartEco’ technology automatically adjusts a projector’s lamp settings based on the ambient lighting and the nature of the content being displayed.

The “bring your own device” (BYOD) phenomenon has exploded in popularity among K-12 schools, as educators look for cost-effective ways to leverage technology in the classroom.

Developers of audio-visual products are responding to this trend as well, making it easier for students and instructors to collaborate and share their presentations wirelessly from a wide range of mobile devices.

Support for BYOD initiatives was one of the key developments in school AV technology discussed at InfoComm 2013, the world’s largest AV trade show, held in Orlando earlier this month. Here’s more information about this development, as well as two other AV trends worth noting.…Read More

InfoComm 2012 exhibitors prepare for record-setting show

Conference organizers expect a record-setting crowd.

InfoComm International, the trade association representing the commercial audiovisual industry, will hold InfoComm 2012, its annual commercial audiovisual show, in Las Vegas from June 13-15. InfoComm 2012 will showcase more than 925 exhibitors with integrated display, projection, audio, conferencing, lighting and staging, digital signage, and communications system solutions.

Corporations, government agencies, and educational, healthcare, and religious institutions from more than 90 countries are expected to crowd the 500,000 net square feet of show floor exhibits, special events and product demo rooms, attend education sessions, manufacturers’ training, networking events, and more.

“Support of InfoComm 2012 has been very encouraging,” said Jason McGraw, CAE, InfoComm senior vice president for expositions. “Trade show attendance is on the rise overall, and InfoComm 2012 is no exception. We are tracking well ahead of last year’s registrations to date, and our attendees will be exploring a Show floor that has never been larger.”…Read More

InfoComm 2011 reveals the future of AV technology

InfoComm brought more than 33,000 people to Orlando in June.

The 2011 InfoComm conference and exposition, the nation’s largest trade show devoted to the audio-visual (AV) industry, in June brought more than 33,000 people to Orlando, where several hundred companies demonstrated their latest AV products. Here are some of the highlights from the conference (click on each headline to learn more).

Companies reduce barriers to school video production

Many schools are building high-quality video production studios to give their students valuable experience in recording, mixing, and producing video broadcasts—from live coverage of concerts and athletic events to student-run news programs. Using professional-grade video equipment in these efforts can be costly, but at InfoComm 2011, several companies exhibited products designed to make live video production easier for schools.…Read More

New classroom furniture facilitates 21st-century instruction

Soft, comfy chairs contain a built-in electrical outlet and USB port at their base, so students can plug in their laptops while they sit.

Those bland, standalone classroom desks arranged in neat rows could become a relic of the past, replaced by stylish tables and chairs with built-in power sources and wireless charging capabilities, if furniture maker Bretford Manufacturing has its way.

In a growing number of schools, classroom instruction is changing from a passive experience in which students sit and listen at their desks to a more social activity in which they learn in groups, often with an electronic device at hand.

Recognizing this shift, Bretford has introduced a new line of furniture that helps educators implement a more social and technology-rich learning environment in their schools.…Read More

Audio innovations that sound intriguing for schools

Crestron’s FreeSpeech wireless microphone system has a feature designed to save instructors from potential embarrassment.

Innovative new speakers, public address systems, and sound amplification systems that make it easy to set up and control the audio in classrooms and other locations were among the many audio-visual products highlighted at InfoComm 2011 in Orlando last month.

For instance, Outline North America demonstrated its Mini COM.P.A.S.S. line of portable speakers. COM.P.A.S.S. stands for “Compact Polar Adjustable Sound System,” and these speakers are stackable, networkable, and fully adjustable. Each speaker contains a digital signal processor, and the bellows move in a range from 60 degrees to 150 degrees—allowing users to steer the sound away from a wall and control where the signal goes with remarkable precision.

At InfoComm 2011, Outline also debuted a new browser-based application that lets users manage the Mini COM.P.A.S.S. speakers from an iPhone, iPad, laptop, or other mobile device. The app lets you control the volume, delay, bass, and treble of each individual speaker, and you can control the angle each speaker is set to as well. When you click on a designated speaker in the application, the speaker itself lights up, so you easily can see which device you’re controlling in a line array.…Read More

‘Green’ AV systems a key area of focus at InfoComm 2011

Casio’s Short Throw lampless projectors allow a 60-inch image to be projected from less than three feet from the screen.

From lampless projectors, to control systems that automatically turn off electronic devices when they aren’t in use, to “network monitors” that bring the concept of network computing back to life, products designed to save energy and reduce operating costs were a key area of focus at InfoComm 2011 in Orlando.

Last year, Casio introduced its Green Slim Projector, an eco-friendly projector that uses a patented hybrid “solid state” light source—combining laser and LED technology to achieve high brightness—instead of a traditional mercury lamp.

Designed to last 20,000 hours, or about 18 school years, the Green Slim Projector aimed to save schools money by eliminating the need for expensive lamp replacements. A typical mercury lamp lasts roughly 2,000 hours and costs about $400 to replace—meaning schools could spend thousands of dollars in new lamps over the life of a projector.…Read More

Companies reduce barriers to school video production

For just under $5,000, Roland's VR-5 portable AV mixer and recorder is an “all-in-one” system that simplifies the production, recording, and streaming of any live event, Roland says.

Many schools are building high-quality video production studios to give their students valuable experience in recording, mixing, and producing video broadcasts—from live coverage of concerts and athletic events to student-run news programs.

Using professional-grade video equipment in these efforts can be costly, but at InfoComm 2011 in Orlando, several companies exhibited products designed to make live video production easier for schools.

For instance, Panasonic introduced a product called HDTV Producer, a full turnkey video production studio for under $20,000. Panasonic sells the HDTV Producer as an out-of-the-box system that any English or journalism teacher can set up, with no professional video production experience necessary.…Read More

InfoComm 2011 will focus on AV, IT services

InfoComm 2011 will expose educators to popular AV solutions.

When it kicks off on June 15 in Orlando, Fla., InfoComm 2011 will showcase integrated display, projection, audio, conferencing, lighting and staging, digital signage and communications system solutions at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

The show will feature more than 10,000 new audiovisual products, a new IT Services Pavilion sponsored by CompTIA, and a new special exhibit featuring Invisible AV Technologies. In addition, for the first time, the popular Unified Collaborative Conferencing Pavilion will include product demonstrations from all of the vendors in the telepresence field.

Rob Scott, vice president and general manager, HP Visual Collaboration, will be delivering the opening keynote address.…Read More

InfoComm 2010 highlights changing nature of AV

InfoComm 2010 brought more than 30,000 people to Las Vegas last month.
InfoComm 2010 brought more than 30,000 people to Las Vegas last month.

“The AV industry is changing,” said Jeff Singer, marketing communications director for Crestron. “We have to redefine what AV is.”

Singer was speaking at the 2010 InfoComm exhibition, North America’s largest audio-visual (AV) technology show, held last month in Las Vegas. He was referring to how the lines between traditionally defined categories of products and services in the AV field are blurring—and never has that been more apparent than at this year’s show.

Unless they hired a systems integrator, for instance, school technology buyers used to deal with one vendor for classroom audio products, a separate vendor for digital signage, and yet other manufacturers for projectors and displays. At InfoComm 2010, however, it was possible to find education technology solutions that combined classroom audio with emergency alert, projectors with interactive pen displays, and even podiums with digital signage.…Read More