Xilica Enhances Hospitality Experience at Dubai’s Hutong DIFC

July 2, 2020

High-end Chinese restaurant in Dubai International Financial Centre manages audio experience for diners and bar patrons across multiple zones through Xilica’s compact Solaro QR1 DSP

Toronto, April 30, 2020 — Xilica®, a global leader in digital signal processing technology for AV and installed sound, continues its forward momentum in the hospitality vertical with a Solaro Series DSP installation at Hutong, a high-end Chinese restaurant located in the busy Dubai International Financial District. Installed by Levels, a regional integratorspecializing in the hotel, bar, restaurant and nightlife sectors, the project leverages a Solaro QR1 DSP to process and manage analog and digital audio across two floors.

Levels was brought into the ground-up construction project early, and carefully specified the audio system to live on the main IT network and complement the architectural design. The Levels team selected the Solaro QR1 for its price-to-performance ratio and compact design, providing a high-quality, cost-efficient and space-saving networked DSP solution ideal for fine dining environments.

“The Solaro Series is our preferred choice for our hospitality installations, and the Solaro QR1 offers the same powerful signal optimization and programming flexibility as larger Solaro DSPs in a far smaller form factor,” said Daniel Ball, Partner, Levels. “It’s an ideal solution for restaurants with modest I/O requirements for a select number of zones. And since we were dealing with limited real estate for AV systems, the Solaro QR1’s quarter-rack-width footprint addressed our physical integration concerns.”

The Solaro QR1 efficiently manages analog and digital connections across multiple zones, processing Dante digital audio for the livelier public dining and bar areas (public and private), and analog audio for secondary spaces including private dining areas, restrooms and an outdoor terrace. Live DJs in the bar area plug straight into the network via a Dante injector, with most background music coming from standalone media players in the central equipment rack.

Ball adds that Xilica DSPs are built with the IT network in mind, which eliminates many upfront concerns from IT integrators about AV system interoperability. That was especially important in this installation since Xilica would live on the main IT network, versus being segmented on a separate network to process audio streams.

“We worked closely with the IT integrator to develop a controlled environment with a layer of switching for the AV equipment,” said Ball. “The Solaro QR1 lives on the general campus network without affecting general IT traffic, and quietly processes and controls audio signals in the background.” The Solaro Q1 feeds Powersoft Audio and Sonance amplifiers co-located in the same equipment rack, with loudspeaker systems from Pioneer Pro Audio, Powersoft and Sonance reproducing audio in the various zones.

Hassan Alwan, Managing Partner at Levels, said that the overall systems design goal was to provide simplicity for the Hutong staff, and the DJs that plug into the system. “There is a controlled philosophy built into the entire system that provides simple, zone-by-zone control elements for the entire restaurant. The Solaro QR1 is an important part of that simplicity and user-friendliness, without any sacrifice to audio quality and the hospitality experience.”

About Xilica

Xilica® is an award-winning manufacturer of innovative, next-generation digital signal processing solutions for AV control and command applications including conference, corporate, hospitality and leisure, retail and transportation. From its headquarters in Toronto, Canada, Xilica sells and supports products worldwide in over 75 countries, gaining rapid acknowledgement for its all-modular, ultra-small-format and high-performance product ranges that solve critical business challenges.


Glantre Engineering Resolves 4K HDBaseT Connection Problems with MSolutions MS-TestPro Test Device

July 2, 2020

UK-based integrator quickly solves HDBaseT connectivity issues for PTZ camera system in Turkish museum project, and now uses MS-TestPro device exclusively for HDBaseT testing

RA’ANANA, ISRAEL/LONDON, April 29, 2020 — MSolutions, a leading supplier of test devices for commercial and residential AV environments, reports that Glantre Engineering, a UK-based AV and entertainment systems contractor, has added MSolutions’ portable MS-TestPro MS104B test device to its installation toolset. The device gives Glantre Engineering’s installers a new handheld device to verify 4K HDBaseT connectivity and signal presence for projectsthroughout EMEA, and a cost-efficient alternative to competing test devices that limit installers to specific applications.

Glantre Engineering previously used network test devices from a competing vendor that have performed well, but fell short during a theater AV installation for the recently-opened Arter Museum in Istanbul, Turkey. Challenges arose while testing HDBaseT connectivity for HDBaseT PTZ HD camera systems, with the other test equipment being unable to verify HDBaseT compatibility over a 65-meter category-cable run—well below HDBaseT’s maximum connection distance of 100 meters (328 feet). The equipment vendor’s support team had passed blame to the cabling infrastructure.

“It turned out to be a device firmware issue that was difficult to resolve,” said Tim Davies, Director, Glantre Engineering. “We purchased the MS-TestPro, certified the cable for 4K HDBaseT and identified that the Valens firmware on the camera transmitter board was very old. This information sent us back to the manufacturer to obtain replacement HDBaseT transmitter boards to fit onsite. We now exclusively use this tester for certifying our HDBaseT systems, and can quickly certify all of our CAT6A shielded tie lines for HDBaseT at various resolutions.”

Tim is especially impressed with its user-friendly nature in the trenches, including Wi-Fi connectivity between the MS-TestPro and personal mobile devices. “I don’t have to physically carry a tester up a ladder with me anymore, or accessboth ends of the cable to fault-find,” he said. “I can plug the MS-TestPro into one end of the cable, recall the software on my smartphone, connect to the tester, and certify a cable using whatever HDBaseT receiver is attached to the end. This proved very helpful for the Arter Museum project, which covered theaters, art galleries, meeting spaces, and other AV environments across eight floors.”

Tim is currently evaluating MSolutions’ HDMI Cable Tester module, which attaches to the MS-TestPro for verifying structural cable integrity. In limited use, Glantre has used the module to identify problems with 10-meter passive HDMI cables prior to installation. The HDMI Tester Module eliminates the need to purchase a separate HDMI device for testing, most of which are limited to pattern testing versus structural wire testing underneath the HDMI cable shielding.

For Tim, the real value comes down to knowing that his installed AV systems will perform as advertised after leaving the job site. “This is a better fit for AV installers than an expensive network tester built for structured cable testing and certification. It offers a much quicker return on investment for AV installers,” he said. “We leave with 100 percent certainty that our systems are properly tested and functioning correctly, and with certification documents to validate every HDBaseT connection in the system. That is important, as warranty claims can be investigated without installers being on the hook for problems caused elsewhere.”

About Glantre Engineering

Glantre is a Systems Integrator, undertaking Stage Engineering, Production Lighting, Performance Audio, Broadcast Video and Audiovisual projects for Venues and TV studios worldwide. Glantre’s in house design and build capability enhances their integration of professional audio/video equipment. Alongside production of custom AV control software, Glantre design and manufacture custom hardware to address specific client requirements, when off-the-shelf solutions are unavailable. For more information, visit www.glantre.com.

About MSolutions

Since 2016, MSolutions has developed state-of-the-art HDBaseT test, multimedia and switching solutions for leading enterprises and integrators in the Pro AV and government markets. The company designs and manufactures advanced, high-quality systems that make media networks based on HDBaseT easier to install, more stable, and more enjoyable for end users. The MSolutions team leverages extensive experience and expertise, having been directly involved in HDBaseT development, support and sales since the standard was introduced in 2010. For more information, visit www.m4sol.com and follow MSolutions on Twitter @m4sols.

Hitachi Kokusai Introduces Innovative New 8K Camera

July 2, 2020

SK-UHD-8060B incorporates advanced CMOS sensor with organic photoconductive film to expand dynamic range of 8K acquisition

Woodbury, NY, April 28, 2020Hitachi Kokusai Electric America, Ltd. (Hitachi Kokusai) is continuing its leadership in 8K camera development with the introduction of its new SK-UHD8060B dockable 8K UHDTV camera. The company’s fifth-generation 8K acquisition solution, the SK-UHD8060B combines the rich features and proven advantages of previous Hitachi 8K models with an innovative organic photoconductive CMOS image sensor to capture stellar 8K video with expanded dynamic range.

Existing 8K camera sensors have been limited in their dynamic range and sensitivity by the size of their pixels, which must be much smaller than those of 4K and HD cameras to accommodate 8K’s higher resolution. Using a CMOS image sensor with an organic photoconductive film (OPF) enables a higher saturation charge compared to silicon photodiodes, thus increasing dynamic range without the diminished image quality inherent with previous range expansion technologies. The SK-UHD8060B offers greater than 400% dynamic range, maximizing the effectiveness of its support for the Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) HDR specification, and combines it with built-in signal-to-noise management to optimize visual performance.

The SK-UHD8060B’s Super 35mm OPF CMOS sensor delivers 8K video with 7680×4320 resolution, providing 16 times the picture information of HDTV. The new camera conforms to global standards including UHD-2, the ITU-R BT.2020 color specification, ITU-R BT.2100 for High Dynamic Range, and Japan’s ARIB specifications.

The SK-UHD8060B supports PL-mount lenses and can flexibly output multiple television standards including 8K, 4K/UHD, 1080p, 1080i and 720p. The new camera head can be paired with a dockable recorder that uses a visually lossless codec, avoiding the time-consuming, post-acquisition processing typically required with RAW 8K recording approaches.

“Hitachi Kokusai has been at the forefront of 8K camera technology for many years, and the SK-UHD8060B continues this tradition of innovation,” said Sean Moran, Chief Operating Officer, Hitachi Kokusai. “The use of a sensor with organic photoconductive thin film enables increased dynamic range not previously possible at 8K resolutions, while its compactness and configuration flexibility make it suitable not only for studio and outside broadcast applications but also for cinematography when combined with an appropriate lens and recorder.”

The SK-UHD8060B, as well as Hitachi Kokusai’s new SK-UHD8240 240 fps high-speed 8K camera, will be used at the major international sporting event in Tokyo next year.

About Hitachi Kokusai Electric Inc.

Hitachi Kokusai Electric Inc., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a company that manufactures broadcasting systems, security and surveillance systems, wireless communications and information systems. Fiscal 2018 (ended March 31, 2019) sales totaled 85,932 million Yen. For more information on Hitachi Kokusai Electric Inc., please visit the company’s website at http://www.hitachi-kokusai.co.jp/global/en/index.html.

Atlona Updates Online Training Portal and Webinar Schedule

July 2, 2020

Company emphasizes online and hands-on education as COVID-19 affects integration schedules

SAN JOSE, Calif., April 23, 2020 – Atlona has updated its online Training Portal to better organize its global educational initiatives, given the increased number of visitors accessing the website during the COVID-19 crisis. The company has also added a series of new webinars for integrators seeking education in specific product and integration categories that involveAtlona solutions.

The updated Training Portal, accessible at https://atlona.com/training/, divides training initiatives into five distinct categories (Atlona Academy, Education Portal, Webinars, Live Training Events, and Meet Our Trainers). A selection of most popularvideos follows, along with a link to Atlona’s complete on-demand video library at https://www.gotostage.com/channel/atlonawebinars.

Atlona has also scheduled a series of new webinars for global audiences beginning April 28 and running through May. The April 28 webinar provides a detailed look into Atlona’s latest Velocity Control Solution upgrades, with a second Velocity webinar on May 26 focused on IP configuration and control. In between, Atlona will offer a special webinar (May 12) that provides an overview of Panduit Connectivity and Routing products – ideal for integrators seeking detailed education on the Layer 1 infrastructure, and its relation to AV over IP systems.

Atlona will also continue its special Spanish-language LATAM Webinar Series through the month of April, and will add trainings specific to EMEA and APAC regions in the coming months. Registrations and additional detail for all webinars can be found at https://atlona.com/about-us/events/#tab_webinars.

“Atlona first ramped up its Atlona Academy training and certification program in early 2019, and has since added higher level courses for systems integrators seeking to sharpen their AV over IP expertise,” said Ilya Khayn, CEO, Atlona. “The initiative meets growing demand for targeted, certified training with continuing education credits, along with an updated suite of accredited online courses.”

All Atlona Academy certification courses offer industry credits towards CTS and CEU renewals. Additional information on programs and certifications across all education levels can be found at the Atlona Education Portal. Requests for individualtrainings can be made through the “Meet Our Trainers” page, where Atlona training professionals are listed by region.

About Atlona

Atlona, a Panduit company, is a leading global manufacturer of AV over IP distribution, connectivity, and control solutions. The company designs and engineers innovative, award-winning products for a diverse range of residential and commercial AV and IT markets. Backed by an award-winning 10-year warranty, Atlona’s products are developed to enable our customers’ ability to connect and collaborate with simplicity. More information about Atlona is available at atlona.com.

About Panduit

Global connectivity leader Panduit Corp. creates innovative electrical and network infrastructure solutions for applications across the enterprise. Headquartered in Tinley Park, Ill. and operating in 112 worldwide locations, Panduit’s technology leadership and robust ecosystem help support, sustain, and empower business growth in a connected world. panduit.com

Atlona Welcomes Back Roger Takacs as Strategic Account Manager

July 2, 2020

In his return to Atlona, the AV industry veteran takes on a diverse role focused on education end user programs, partner engagement, and management of key accounts across all US sales regions

SAN JOSE, Calif., April 21, 2020Atlona, a Panduit company, is proud to announce the return of Roger Takacs as Strategic Account Manager, a newly developed position that crosses several key business areas. Reporting to Jamey Swigert, Director of AV Sales and Business Development, Roger will focus on sales, management and customer engagement initiatives designed to bring Atlona closer to its partners and end users.

Roger’s previous employment with Atlona began in 2013 as National Sales Manager, where he helped successfully launch Atlona’s commercial AV business. This initiative included Atlona’s HDVS family, a broad product range introduced to smooth the transition from analog to digital in schools and businesses. His vision was so successful that the HDVS lineremains alive today, with evolution into new areas such as PTZ cameras and soft codec conferencing. While in this position, Roger also built a dedicated team of regional sales managers to better serve customers in every US region, and worked closely with major distributors and manufacturer representatives throughout North America.

Atlona will leverage Roger’s diverse industry experience gained throughout his professional history as Strategic Account Manager. One key initiative is the relaunch of Atlona’s Ed Tech VIP program to drive stronger engagement with K12 and higher education end users. Elsewhere, Roger will manage large end user business accounts and drive new initiatives to engage partners, including consultants and national AV systems integrators. His previous experience with leading AV manufacturers (Crestron, Custom Display Solutions) and systems integrators (CompView, MSCi, The Intellisys Group) offers the broad level of expertise required for success in a such a diverse position.

“Panduit’s acquisition of Atlona has introduced the company to an entirely new base of customers, including consultants and end users that are less familiar with the AV side of the business,” said Takacs. “At the same time, AV integrators are increasingly finding jobs that take them deeper into the network infrastructure. It is exciting to work with a broader customer base and communicate how one company can help them expand their businesses and leverage our combined technical resources.

“I also look forward to working with Atlona’s education customers, a vertical that I have intimate knowledge with through earlier positions at Atlona and Creston,” he added. “K-12 and higher education end users are very self-reliant today, and my experience will help to guide these customers through configuration, programming and technology refresh initiatives that keep learning environments modern and engaging.”

“Roger comes to Atlona with a rare and perhaps unique range of expertise that will bring value and knowledge to our key partners and end users throughout the United States,” said Swigert. “His background in Director-level positions around education vertical programs and consultant engagement, as well as experience in the trenches with systems integrators, positions him for success in this critical new role. We are excited to welcome back Roger to the Atlona team.”

About Atlona

Atlona, a Panduit company, is a leading global manufacturer of AV over IP distribution, connectivity, and control solutions. The company designs and engineers innovative, award-winning products for a diverse range of residential and commercial AV and IT markets. Backed by an award-winning 10-year warranty, Atlona’s products are developed to enable our customers’ ability to connect and collaborate with simplicity. More information about Atlona is available at atlona.com.

About Panduit

Global connectivity leader Panduit Corp. creates innovative electrical and network infrastructure solutions for applications across the enterprise. Headquartered in Tinley Park, Ill. and operating in 112 worldwide locations, Panduit’s technology leadership and robust ecosystem help support, sustain, and empower business growth in a connected world. panduit.com

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