InfoComm 2016: Annual A/V Show Holds Plenty for Sports-Minded Attendees

InfoComm returned to the Las Vegas Convention Center this week, and, while the focus of the A/V show — much like its European counterpart Integrated Systems Europe — remains centered on the needs of conference rooms, hotels, and restaurants, sports-venue professionals could find plenty to excite them as well. SVG checked out the latest LED-display technology, projectors, audio systems, and more that could be used to enhance fan engagement in sports venues.

Here are a few of the show highlights.

Sony’s Canvas display system is based on its new Crystal Light Emitting Diode Integrated Structure (CLEDIS) technology.

Sony’s Canvas display system is based on its new Crystal Light Emitting Diode Integrated Structure (CLEDIS) technology.

Sony Canvas
Sony kicked off the show with the unveiling of its Canvas display system, which uses the company’s new Crystal Light Emitting Diode Integrated Structure (CLEDIS) technology to deliver a high-end visual experience. According to the company, the scalable Canvas is designed for commercial applications and immersive experiences — such as industrial product design and manufacturing, theme parks, and museums — but could also provide a stunning visual centerpiece in a broadcast studio or sports-venue concourse. Canvas comprises multiple display units (each measuring 18 x 16 in.) that can be joined to create a seamless large display.

Avid VENUE | S6L
At the Avid booth, the VENUE | S6L was on display. The live-mixing system features expanded networking capabilities; more than 300 processing channels; advanced engineering design; a modern touchscreen workflow; and more plug-ins, processing power, and Pro Tools track counts than previous versions. Avid announced that the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign’s Krannert Center for the Performing Arts has invested in an Avid VENUE | S6L live-sound system to serve all its diverse needs. The system will be deployed primarily in the university’s 979-seat Tryon Festival Theatre, as well as the 2,066-seat Foellinger Great Hall and the 678-seat Cowell Playhouse.

Blackmagic Design showcased its Mobile Demo Van for demonstrating new gear and training users.

Blackmagic Design showcased its Mobile Demo Van for demonstrating new gear and training users.

Blackmagic Design Mobile Demo Van
Compared with April’s NAB Show, InfoComm seems calmer and less frenzied; attendees browse the booths longer and ask more questions. Blackmagic Design took advantage of its less crowded booth to show off its Mobile Demo Van. The Van — not intended to be rented out as a mobile production unit — gives Blackmagic an ideal way to show off new gear and train new users. For example, at InfoComm, interested attendees could try out the latest iterations of the company’s production switchers, editors, and more and check out its latest unveiling: Blackmagic Duplicator 4K, which allows users to record a production on SD cards in SD, HD, and UHD, up to 2160p60, all in real time.

Panasonic Projectors and Displays
Panasonic continues to innovate in both projectors and displays, and that was evident at this year’s InfoComm. The company has expanded its lineup of professional projectors, including new flagship PT-RQ32K 4K+ SOLID SHINE laser projector, and showed off the latest in its SOLID SHINE laser-projector portfolio and LCD projector series. On the display side, the new flagship VF1H Series professional display with a bezel-to-bezel distance of just 0.07 in. (1.8 mm) could be used for video walls; the EF1 Series 84- and 75-in. professional displays cater more to the corporate meeting room or retail environment.

AJA Video Systems RovoCam
Having debuted at this year’s Integrated Systems Europe, AJA Video Systems’ RovoCam hit the InfoComm show floor. The compact block camera captures HD and UHD imagery using superior Sony optics with built-in 12X optical and up to 20X zoom with Sony Super Resolution Zoom. An integrated HDBaseT interface supports uncompressed video, power, stereo audio, and RS-232 control over a single CAT 5e/6 cable at lengths of up to 100 meters — suitable for in-venue video applications. In addition, AJA introduced the HA5-Fiber, a mini converter for HDMI–to–3G-SDI conversion; a small form factor enables the mini converter to fit easily onto the back of a camera or neatly behind an equipment rack, extending HDMI signals up to 10 km.

NewTek NDI
NewTek’s show presence this year was all about its Network Device Interface (NDI), which can be used in sports venues. To demonstrate that, the company used its booth and the Las Vegas Convention Center standard Gigabit Ethernet infrastructure: stationing PTZ cameras in the Panasonic, Vaddio, and Pro Optics booths, it brought H.264 signals via NDI into both its NewTek Connect Pro and its TriCaster systems.

Christie Mystique
In addition to continuing eye-catching booth displays, Christie used this year’s InfoComm to preview its new Mystique suite of tools, including software, hardware, and services. Supporting the design, installation, and operation of sports venues and other location-based entertainment (LBE) venues and attractions, Mystique will augment Christie’s line of projectors, visual displays, and services by providing system design, pre-visualization tools (including virtual-reality technology and 3D printed scale model systems), camera-based alignment tools, and system-level monitoring.

Pliant Technologies CrewCom
The company formerly known as CoachComm celebrated its coming-out party at NAB 2016 and has continued to make waves: at InfoComm, it unveiled CrewCom, a professional wireless intercom product. The first product launched by Pliant since the NAB Show announcement, CrewCom is based on a new technology platform that offers high user density, wide range, and scalability. With CrewCom, production crews large or small can easily and quickly deploy communications solutions to connect more people in more places than ever before.

Clear-Com FreeSpeak II
Clear-Com unveiled the FreeSpeak II wireless base station, which supports multiple frequencies and up to 25 wireless beltpacks, and fiber-capable FreeSpeak II Splitter box (FSII-SPL) for connecting up to five transceiver modules. The complete FreeSpeak II system, including recently released beltpacks and transceiver antennas, can integrate seamlessly into Clear-Com’s intercom systems to provide a unified voice-communication solution for virtually any production need.

Barnfind Americas BarnMini
The Barnfind Americas booth showcased significant additions to its popular BarnMini family of small portable, low-cost devices for the single-channel extension of BNC, SFP, and/or HDMI connections. Barnfind Americas highlighted new BarnMini modules handling 4K and supporting signals up to 12G and also showcased well-established models delivering simple and reliable point-to-point digital extensions. Also on exhibit, BarnOne BTF1-07 frame supports all signals and functions in one chassis and features a built-in 32×32 router.