The InfoComm 2018 trade show takes place this week in Las Vegas, and VCA has a team there to learn about the latest audio, video and control innovations. This is a prime method we invest in to deliver systems at the highest quality and create more value for our clients. Here are four areas we are focused on learning more about.
IP Control, SDKs, APIs
One of the things that our team will be looking for at InfoComm this week is IP control, along with open source, software development kits (SDKs) and APIs. The reason being that when there are open source developments for a standard of different protocols over Ethernet, not only can other manufacturers make products based on those, but it creates a larger community of interoperable devices. This applies to protocols specific to audio, video, control or any combination of those, as well as licensed protocols like Dante or SDVoE. With an open architecture, the integration community can now make more things happen with the scalable flexibility that software coding provides.
Direct View LED
When it comes to video display technology, price points and technology progression have made LED displays much more accessible. We need to know exactly what we can and cannot do with LEDs. Where can we be using LEDs better? We are now able to implement LEDs in conference rooms as pixel pitches and other limiting factors have been largely resolved. Outdoor signage is another growing area. At InfoComm, we’ll be focusing on finding the differentiators between the wide range of LED solutions on the market, as well as control and monitoring capabilities.
Along these lines, we’ll also be looking at the video processing side of LEDs. Specifically, what do you need to fill pixel spaces? These are no longer defined within standard offerings. They’re all based on very specific use cases. Now we need to build LEDs that can either be within the parameters of a standard, or they can just be an odd resolution. You need sophisticated graphics processing to achieve that. This also points to possible services to add on the software side, from a graphics and content creation perspective.
Audio Networking Platforms
With audio at InfoComm, there’s a lot of different technologies and applications out there. Dante networking has been a real disruption since it was early to the market with an actual, physical product that people could get their hands on and implement.
While Dante is so immersed in the market, from the integrators side, the interoperability has limitations. For example, Dante now has compliance for AES67, but only on the higher channel count products—Brooklyn II. Dante-enabled speakers and microphones will be top of mind as we peruse the audio pavilion as well.
Any audio manufacturer that makes a solution that can interoperate with other standards presents lot of advantages. That’s especially true when you look at the platforms that live in the conferencing world. They all have their own different advantages. But how to apply each platform best to each client is where we look to make a difference.
With these audio platforms, we’re looking to see where these products are going next. We know DSP manufacturers are taking video and control into their products. They have been for a long time, but now it’s actually coming to the market. That’s exciting. However, the functionality may still be limited from the audio side to add in the video. That is only going to change, and we’ll be looking for a more concrete idea of when and how.
Lastly, but not least, InfoComm has some of the best opportunities for training. The training VCA engineers are focused on is all network, network, network. If you don’t know the network today, you can’t really do much of anything. Even though we work with IT departments that are made up of experts on the network, when it comes to what we want to do with audio and video on the network, that’s a whole other beast.