Each Spring and Fall Almo’s E4 Tour swings through two major cities and brings along with it an entire day’s worth of CTS accredited educational courses and gets roughly 40 of the top manufacturers in the professional audio video industry all in one room showcasing their newest product offerings.
As a technology professional and a self-proclaimed “AV Geek” these events are always exciting to me as I am often one of the first people to see new and emerging technology. Sometimes it’s electronics, or perhaps software, or even bent metal making the installation of said technology easier and more efficient. There were a handful of stand-out products that were featured at our Fall shows this year that are worth checking out.
1.) ATEN VM3909H – 9×9 HDMI HDBaseT-Lite Matrix Switch: Remember way back when where the number of hot dogs in a package did not always match the number of buns in a package? I realize it is a silly reference, but try doing a 3×3 video wall with an 8×8 matrix switch. The folks at ATEN were mindful of this when they introduced this 9×9 HDMI matrix switch earlier this year. An addition to the 9 HDMI outputs it has 9 HDBaseT Lite outputs allowing the switch to be located up to 70m away from the video wall using the appropriate HDBaseT receivers. A simple front panel control and GUI interface to create simple video wall layouts round out the feature set of this Red Dot Award winning product.
2.) Chief SYS Projector Mount System Series: The engineers at Chief really did their homework on this one keeping the installer in mind with features not found in other mounting systems. This system not only saves time on the install but is aesthetically pleasing. Installers will love the fact that the mount and column come pre-assembled and even the box is designed so that the parts needed first are packaged on top. Micro adjustments for perfect alignment can be made without any tools and the 0”-12” adjustable column has separate cable management channels for both high and low voltage cabling.
3.) tvONE ONErack – Universal Rack Mounting System for Small Devices: While small devices such as HDBaseT transmitters, format converters, small audio products and more are convenient because of their size they can quickly make a mess of your equipment rack since in many cases they are not specifically designed to be mounted or secured into a traditional 19” rack space. Not only that, but they also generally have large wall-wart type power supplies which can clutter power distribution units within the rack. Available in 4RU, 5RU, and 6RU chassis models, this system converts randomly sized small AV devices into slide-in modules while consolidating power for all devices within the system. An optional active cooling system is available for situations where you are populating a large number of devices.
4.) Atlona AT-UHD-HDVS-300-KIT – Soft Codec Conferencing System: As more and more companies adopt PC-based conferencing codecs like Skype, WebEx, & GoToMeeting in place of traditional hardware based codecs for smaller conference rooms and huddle spaces the need for external USB microphones and cameras has increased with the desire for quality meetings. In order to accomplish this typical systems require AV extenders, USB extenders, USB hubs, multiple remotes, plus all of the required cables. Atlona’s system accomplishes this with just two devices and a single category cable. This unit also is a 4 input auto sensing AV switcher and provides automatic display control via CEC, IP, and RS-232 allowing users to start meetings quickly and easily.
5.) Almo CONTROL – Control System & DSP Programming Services: Almo got into offering services two years ago with the introduction of digital signage content creation and since then have added services for installation as well as telecom services. Almo CONTROL is the most recent introduction and was launched at the E4 Fall tour this year. With Almo CONTROL integrators can potentially take on more projects with access to additional programming resources, or where they have expertise in one system but need resources for another. Our programmers have been providing outstanding control system programming and system commissioning support services since the year 2000.
With all of the changes in our industry and constantly evolving technology I look forward to see what lies ahead in 2017.