Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) 2020

The ExcelRedstone AV design team was out in force at the last ISE 2020 to be held in the Netherlands, before it moves to Barcelona. Storm Ciara caused many delays for attendees and exhibitors alike and the unescapable worry of the COVID-19 virus resulted in many exhibitors pulling out fully or being unable to attend at all. This did mean a lower attendance but in no way diminished the impact this annual pilgrimage has throughout the entire AV industry.

Straight out of the gate and Unified Comminutions aka UC is front and foremost the star of the show. Barco’s Clickshare CX range, Mersive Solstice Gen3 and Wolfvision Cynap family are all combining the  Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) functionality that is now expected in all modern meeting rooms as is the ability to host UC calls. The blending of the two technologies has a variety of approaches taken by a host of manufacturers to achieve this. We look forward to the evolutionary process of the preferred way becoming the standard.

Traditional standards-based video conferencing moving to soft codec UC is the now the norm and the sea change have been noted by Poly. Their offering of the Poly Studio for a pure UC agnostic camera, microphone and speaker interface or the Zoom and Teams offerings of the X30 & X50 camera, microphone and speaker bars with the added extra of touch panel control. This moves us on to most commonly known for keyboards and mice, Logitech who have every year adapted and listened to the market and produced a host of simple yet elegant UC interfaces. The Logitech Tap can easily be adapted for medium to larger boardrooms at initial build stage or retroactively. A clean user interface that is also able to be connected to an Extron control processor for non-UC element control.

Again UC hardware and this time the separate elements for those projects that require that bit more customization and ability to easily integrate with standard VC or a simple meeting. Cameras first! Avonics and Lumens as always have a host of cameras that offer a variety of zooms, field of views and output options. The Avonics CM44 is perfect for huddle rooms or medium sized boardrooms, where it’s bigger brother the CM70 is ideal for large meeting rooms or auditoriums and has a new firmware upgrade that speeds it’s pan and tilt times considerably. Lumens and their VC-B30U is perfect for the soft codec meeting room, which is Zoom certified.

Microphones and once again Sennheiser and Shure impress. No new hardware but the existing ceiling microphone staple of the Shure MXA 910 and Sennheiser TeamConnect Ceiling 2 have new firmware increasing their capabilities distinguishing themselves from a congested marketplace. Shure though is forging ahead and ensuring it’s MXA range is certified not just by Microsoft Teams but for Zoom and Cisco too.

Audio Visual over Internet Protocol (AVoIP) cannot be escaped, this is the future and everyone knows it. A slew of new manufacturers has joined the rush and many are wisely joining the SDVoE Alliance to ensure they can be cross compatible. The interesting addition to ISE’s AVoIP offering was Aurora Multimedia’s first stand at the show and the announcement they are using CUK Audio to distribute. Netgear, not commonly known for enterprise grade switchers and routers are making great progress in changing that opinion by their full hearted collaboration with the SDVoE Alliance and their SDVoE ready M4300 switcher.

Device management for all these UC and AV endpoints is vital! The decreasing cost of the infrastructure is allowing more and more “dumb” meeting rooms to have AV installed making them smart but the administration of them is commonly underestimated cost. To solve this, the likes of Poly, Logitech, Utelogy, etc. are making Realtime admin a particular selling point. The AV system administrator can easily get an overview of system status and be alerted to any issues. Some are offering a limited this service for free with restricted functionality and the ability to upgrade.

A meeting room requires a visual display element, be it typical large format displays using LCD or OLED, projection or the rapidly increasing availability of fine pitch LED walls. All were on offer and LED again was the main draw. Optoma and Calibre have some very nice offerings for the all in one LED wall requirement for easy refitting in existing rooms. The Barco UniSee range although LCD panels in the style of traditional video walls, is again gorgeous to see and despite it only being bezel-less, the quality of the images and available resolution makes up for it spectacularly.

The stages in audio after the Digital Signal Processor (DSP) are difficult to get excited about, that is until you find the hidden gem that is LEA Professional, a new American company filled with industry veterans who have made a very exciting amplifier range. Remote monitoring, built in Wi-Fi, Dante, (very) smart bridging, Direct LoZ and HiZ selection per output along with 96 khz DSP are just a few of the well thought out features. The other hidden gem is Zero Ohm Systems that appear to break the laws of physics by using their entirely passive unit to drive multiple LoZ speakers in parallel to below 1 ohm. Removing the need for 100v systems and their degraded audio quality.

Every space needs furniture and Arthur Holm knows this and does it very well with their integrated articulating powered displays and microphone cubbies. Not all spaces require this though or have the budget. TeamMate’s Totem SBS is an excellent product for refitting a Large Format Display (LFD) and it’s sources into an existing space by offering very inbuilt mounting functionality and secure rack storage with space for a simple controller. Top-Tec’s collaboration furniture can easily be used in the commercial and educations sector by utilizing the inbuilt storage it offers but also the stylish “plectrum” table shape which stops huddle room video feeds being too huddled.

Traditional room booking that was simple display mounted to the side of a meeting room, showing if free or not has long been left in the past. The likes of Condeco now integrate with enterprise analytics, way finding, security and agile hot desking with a host of 3rd party service options being able to connect to the room users i.e. beverages, presentation equipment etc. Slick panels for outside of the room and hot desking really do offer a smooth experience for the user.

The sport of eGaming is gathering more and more traction, not just in popularity with egame athletes and general viewers but technology companies too. Panasonic dedicated an entire stand to the sport where it showed of it’s 4k video production workflow.  8k cameras, 4k visual mixers then to 4k laser projectors. In a live setting with gamers and commentators. Black Magic Design as always come to impress and their new “Video Assist 12G HDR” range fits nicely in to the eGaming arena.

In conclusion, the above is only a very small fraction of technologies that touch the AV space. New technologies and products are continuously coming to market that are potentially a paradigm shift or catastrophe for the unprepared. To take the right path, ExcelRedstone’s team of AV industry experts are ready to assist and mitigate the risk in applying these technologies and the additional expertise of converging our business silos of Datacentres, Smart Buildings, Workplace Services and Cloud.

Get in touch today to speak to one of our AV specialists by emailing us at sales@excelredstone.com