|On the theme of Evolution, not Revolution - TVOne|
reprises their "windmill" demo. The four displays
in the center still spin.
It's been quite some years since vendors such as SVSI started selling JPEG2000 encoded video as a transport and routing solution. It certainly is feeling to me that the time for this technology has finally come now that we have greater IT/AV convergence, proliferation of higher-bandwidth lower latency networks, and - perhaps most importantly - changes to workflow and overall expectations. SVSI has expanded their uncompressed video over network line to include 4K and has also expanded their control and video-wall processing offerings. ClearOne, Aurora Multimedia, Crestron, AMX, and others have all thrown their collective hats in the ring, with solutions including H.264, JPEG2000, and/or uncompressed video offerings. Crestron's introduction of an H.264 card (not an Infocomm introduction, but new for this year) is an elegant solution for hybrid designs in which in-room transport is handled by more traditional means.
This wasn't a miss in that it's bad technology; I still use this kind of solution in nearly every AV system I design. What makes it a miss for me at the show is that the technology seems to have plateaued. Yes, we can now send 4K content over copper and that's a big plus. With relatively little content available, 4K is still a little bit of a niche technology. Does it remain something for which we need to prepare? Absolutely. Does 4K capability offer real utility in 90% of AV systems? Not really.
|This is quite cool. It's a shame it's no longer all that|
Some of the biggest buzz was over direct-view LED displays, especially Christie's Velvet with a 2mm pixel pitch and Silicon Core's Magnolia at 1.5mm. This is very, very impressive and lets viewers get very close to the display before the image appears to break up to a series of dots. Aside from obvious applications in outdoor displays, this technology has finally reached the point at which it's tempting for a boardroom or conference room application - especially if the alternative involves taking apart the side of a building to fly in a piece of rear-projection glass.
The above-mentioned Mr. Mayo stated his lack of interest in proprietary touchpanels. His argument is that consumer-grade tablets - especially the fruit-flavored ones from Cuppertino - have as much if not more capability at a fraction of the cost. We'll soon reach the point at which we can extend that to control processors. I got a peek at the new processors from AMX, and found them a bit time-warpy. They have a nice, low-profile 1RU controller with a ton of serial, IR, and relay ports on the back of it. This would be wonderful a few years ago, but today I see more and more IP-based control and less and less RS232. I'll say the same about new touchpanels from Crestron. Are they improving? Yes. Do they match the capability and cost of an iPad? Not at this point.
I had a brief chat with departing Vaddio CEO Rob Sheeley who showed off an integrated webserver in Vaddio's new RoboShot line of pan/tilt/zoom robotic cameras. This removes perhaps the last major use of RS232 from many projects. It also opens the possibility of adjusting camera settings via a remote interface rather than from the rack-mounted camera control unit. Very much a welcome change and improvement. That the camera itself has a slick, modern design doesn't hurt.
|Just imagine what could be here next year.|