Wow; another E4 season is underway. There are so many things I enjoy about working the E4, from meeting great people, to sharpening technical skills in CTS RU certifies classes, to seeing new products up close with factory experts on hand to dig into the details. I look forward to E4’s every off-season and just wish they were longer when they do roll around. The kickoff in DC certainly did not disappoint. From a product perspective alone we saw a number of cool new items that are starting to make noise; some quite literally.

It’s not often a product creates a new market. This is exactly what Panasonic has done with their innovative Space Player. This was a huge draw at ISE in Amsterdam and the Almo E4 may have been the first time it appeared in public in the US. This highly anticipated little projector mounts to a standard lighting track and has built in SD Card slot and Wi-Fi for media playback. Being that it is about the size of a track lighting fixture, it is ideal of retail signage applications and flexible ambient techorating. Panasonic showed the unit mapped onto stationary products with active content highlighting the subjects. If you have customers looking for you to bring creative solutions, check out the video for further applications to get your imagination going. (Make sure to look for the butterflies in the restaurant.)

Another first for Almo were the ongoing live demos of the Bose F1 Flexible Line Array system. (My apologies to the 11AM Interactive E4 Experience…. perhaps we got a wee bit too loud with the EDM.) The venue’s octagonal room and dome ceiling certainly would have presented significant challenges for lesser systems. This self powered unit brings the advantages of line arrays to the portable market. Proving very popular in HOW, education, and performance spaces, the flexible vertical control makes it a great option in diverse setups and integrated systems, too.

QSC showed their super efficient Energy Star qualified SPA series of multi channel power amplifiers that provide up to 200 watts into low-z applications and 250W into 70V – and they fit in half a rack space. We’ll be hearing more about these amps as the word continues to spread.

Harman Professional brought their new interactive “virtual rack” to sit alongside their stacks of gear. This touch screen-driven self-guided demonstration allows attendees to dig deeper into many items from the extensive product families of JBL, Crown, dbx, and others. With product experts at their side, the virtual rack allowed attendees to experience a broader range of solutions than typically available on a show floor.

From the “you can teach an old dog new tricks” department, Chief brought along the new SYSAU Suspended Ceiling Projector System. “It’s just another mount” you say? Wrong! How about a system that includes everything you need for 90% of all projector installs – all in a single box. No more finding the right ceiling plate, length of extension column, trim ring, etc, etc. This makes spec’ing, quoting, and installing projectors faster – period. Plus, if you inventory mounting components, this will make life much easier. (Yes – another video.)

With so much to see and do, I’m sure I missed some of the highlights. Please share yours and I look forward to seeing on the next stop of the E4 AV Tour!

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