Hitachi 4K and HDTV Cameras Double Major at Prince George’s Community College

January 7, 2021

SK-UHD4000 Ultra HD cameras help PGCC-TV educational access studio stand out in region, while Z-HD5500 models support hands-on learning in new instructional space

Woodbury, NY, September 23, 2020 — Founded in 1958, Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) in Largo, Maryland prides itself on delivering quality academic and career training programs supported by cutting edge technology. Striving to provide superior hands-on education and expand its community relationships, the College selected cameras from Hitachi Kokusai Electric America, Ltd. (Hitachi Kokusai) for two separate projects last year: a new production studio dedicated to student instruction, and a 4K studio upgrade for its PGCC-TV educational access channel.

PGCC-TV is available to more than 750,000 cable subscribers in Maryland. Until last year, the PGCC-TV studio doubled as a classroom for students in the College’s mass communication concentration, which prepares students for career positions in television, video, film, radio, and other mass media industries. In 2019, the College invested in building a second studio designed exclusively for teaching and learning in its new Center for Performing Arts (CPA). This in turn gave PGCC-TV the opportunity to expand its community engagement in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

“With the addition of the smaller studio, our plan is that the PGCC-TV studio will not only be for students, but also opened for the community to be able to learn how to use the equipment and to rent it for their community video projects,” said PGCC-TV Manager Dr. Angela Mathis. “While our external roll-out has been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, our goal is to continue expanding our partnerships with non-profits, government agencies – including our local county government, which provided the funding for our upgrade – and others in the community.”

Having used Z-HD5000 cameras from Hitachi Kokusai since their last studio renovation in 2012, PGCC-TV again looked to the company to help achieve its latest goal of offering 4K acquisition and recording. “Prince George’s Community College wanted to stand out in the marketplace by becoming the only institution of higher education to have a 4K studio in our county, if not the entire state,” explained Dr. Mathis. “We worked closely with integrator Digital Video Group (DVG) to upgrade our equipment and infrastructure. I believe we are the only two- or four-year program in Maryland that can shoot and record in 4K, and people are looking at us as a place they can go for high-quality production.”

The College purchased four SK-UHD4000 Ultra HD cameras for the PGCC-TV studio. While the educational channel is currently broadcast in HD, content can be recorded in 4K to an AJA Ki Pro Ultra unit and mastered to HD in post-production. “We can edit in 4K even though we are mastering HD, and I am very impressed with what it looks like,” said Dr. Mathis. “The SK-UHD4000s have met or exceeded our picture quality expectations.”

Hitachi cameras were also the preferred choice for the new CPA educational studio, with the College purchasing three Z-HD5500 HDTV models for the facility. “We had a lot of success with students using the earlier Z-HD5000s at PGCC TV, so we wanted to continue using Hitachi cameras in our new facility,” said Dr. Sherelle Williams, mass communications professor at PGCC. “The Hitachi cameras have great image quality and I like the fact that they’re an industry standard, so the students are gaining experience that will benefit them once they go out into employment.”

Dr. Williams also highlights the merits of the operational consistency between the Z-HD5500s used for instruction and the SK-UHD4000s used by PGCC-TV. “We value having some continuity between what we use for productions on the student side and what PGCC-TV produces on the professional side,” she explained. “Students can train on Hitachi cameras in one studio and be immediately comfortable with them in the other.”

Production Coordinator Marshall Johnson has been with the College for 10 years, and highlighted the role Hitachi cameras have played in the evolution of the PGCC-TV studio. “They have given us a level of professionalism we hadn’t had before,” he said. “We are always trying to grow with the times, and value technology that allows us to improve. Hitachi Kokusai has been very good in their ability to grow with us.”

“From both an operational and instructional standpoint, I am very proud to use the Hitachi 4K cameras,” concluded Dr. Mathis. “I think they were an excellent choice. They give a good quality image, they’re very easy to train on, and knowing that I am training students on products they will encounter in real-world situations gives the students and myself a lot of confidence.”

About Prince George’s Community College

Named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance designated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security (2015-2020), Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) provides high-quality education and training for the progressive and career-oriented residents of Prince George’s County. From new high school graduates and career seekers to more seasoned professionals and senior citizens looking to enhance their skillsets, PGCC is comprised of students who represent a wide range of ages, backgrounds, and goals. Serving nearly 40,000 individuals annually, the College is the first choice for higher education for residents of Prince George’s County. Collaborative partnerships, responsive degree and training programs, and a commitment to student success enables PGCC to address diverse education and workforce development demands. For more information, visit the college website at www.pgcc.edu.

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. For more information on Hitachi Kokusai Electric Inc., please visit the company’s website at https://www.hitachi-kokusai.co.jp/global/en/index.html.

Barix Launches New IP Paging and Intercom Talk Station

January 7, 2021

Annuncicom PS Touch combines robust capabilities of earlier Annuncicom PS16 with touchscreen zone selection interface, PoE support and more

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND, September 22, 2020 — IP audio innovator Barix has unveiled the new Annuncicom PS Touch, the company’s newest universal desktop master station for IP intercom, paging, and VoIP applications. The successor to the venerable Annuncicom PS16, the Annuncicom PS Touch is ideal for use in new IP-basedcommunications systems or as a drop-in replacement for the PS16 in existing installations of Barix’s popular Simple Paging and IC Paging solutions.

The Annuncicom PS Touch builds on the proven functionality of the PS16 with new enhancements including a 10.1” touchscreen interface for zone selection; an interchangeable, professional, XLR-connected gooseneck microphone; and powering via PoE (Power over Ethernet) for cabling simplicity. The touchscreen controls are complemented by a dedicated “talk” button, as many customers continue to prefer the tactile feel of a physical button to trigger that functionality. Key features carried over from the PS16 include a built-in five-watt output speaker; flexible codec support including AACplus, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, G.711, G.722 and PCM decoding; and optional flash memory for stored messages and announcements when used with IC Paging.

“We’re thrilled about the release of the Annuncicom PS Touch,” said Reto Brader, CEO of Barix. “The earlier PS16 was wildly popular in environments ranging from schools to public attractions, and the Annuncicom PS Touch delivers the same benefits in a modernized form. Beyond this first release, we are further developing the platform to address new challenges in the intercom, paging, and control market, so I encourage integrators and OEM partners with customrequirements to contact us to discuss their needs.”

Two versions of the Annuncicom PS Touch are now available – one tailored for Barix’s intuitive Simple Paging solution for straightforward paging installations, and another pre-configured for use with Barix’s IC Paging platform for advanced paging and intercom applications. Simple Paging lets users distribute live Public Address announcements from desktop paging stations, tablets, or smartphones with automatic self-configuration of endpoints for unparalleled installation ease. For more sophisticated requirements, IC Paging offers a complete paging and two-way intercom solution with full-featured master-slave functionality. Both solutions run on standard IP network infrastructure and do not require a centralized server, making them cost-effective and reliable while delivering Barix’s signature audio quality.

The Annuncicom PS Touch is available immediately from Barix and its extensive network of authorized channel partners. More information is available on the Barix website at www.barix.com, while integrators and developers with specific requirements are invited to contact sales@barix.com to arrange an in-depth discussion.

Barix: We Move Audio (www.barix.com)

Barix supplies simple and reliable solutions and components to systems integrators and end users worldwide.  We move high-quality audio across IP networks, adding value to customer solutions for nearly two decades with hundreds of thousands of devices installed worldwide.  Background music distribution with dynamic advertising insertion for retail shops, bars and hotels; public address solutions for schools and public spaces; and intercom and entry systems for facility surveillance, protection and security are among the many applications of Barix solutions.  Barix also supports OEM projects for a number of Global 500 listed companies serving many industries worldwide.

Renewed Vision Solutions Enable Exceptional Online Event Success for Q 2020 Virtual Summit

January 7, 2021

Dynamic flexibility of ProPresenter 7 live presentation software and PVP3 multi-screen media server prove invaluable as conference quickly pivots from physical to digital form

ALPHARETTA, Georgia, September 21, 2020 —Tennessee-based Q Ideas hosts live events that convene leaders for insightful conversations about current issues at the intersection of faith and culture. When the COVID-19 pandemic forced the annual Q 2020 Conference to go virtual, the production companies behind the event leveraged software from Renewed Vision to quickly create an engaging digital experience that far surpassed the reach of the original in-person plan.

The Q 2020 Virtual Summit took place April 22 and 23, providing an interactive online learning experience featuring two days of inspiring talks, audience participation, Q&A with presenters, and educational resources. Georgia-based Velocity Productions and Braintrust Creative had produced Q’s in-person live events for many years, but had just three weeks to plan – and within that, once given the ‘green light’, only two weeks to implement – the pivot from the physical event to virtual.

The virtual summit was streamed live from Church of the City in Franklin, TN. Physically distanced presenters and panel guests on the auditorium’s specially expanded stage were joined live by remote participants via Skype. To maintain the feel of a traditional live event, rather than simply switching back and forth to full-screen Skype feeds in the outgoing stream, each virtual guest appeared on his or her own vertically oriented, on-stage monitor. A jib-mounted camera captured these displays in the full context of the set, helping approximate a live interview with the on-stage host as if the guests were actually present.

Four Renewed Vision ProPresenter systems and a ProVideoPlayer (PVP3) multi-screen media server played critical roles in enabling the virtual event, from screen control and content playout to integrating the remote Skype feeds. Both production companies had used Renewed Vision products on past shows and trusted them to provide the dynamic flexibility the event required.

“PVP3 lets us build up layers of cues, minimizing the amount of content we needed to pre-render and thus saving us literally days of precious time,” said Drew Kimball, owner at Braintrust Creative. “We knew the show would be constantly changing – for example, remote guests might not connect at the expected time – so a timeline-based server wouldn’t have given us the flexibility to adapt in real time that we get with PVP3. Being able to easily shift display targets around once we saw the actual sightlines was also a big plus.”

One ProPresenter 7 system was used to route and manage remote participant feeds, which were brought into the software from Skype via NewTek’s NDI® media-over-IP technology. Another ProPresenter 7 system played back pre-recorded video clips submitted by remote presenters who could not participate in real time, while a ProPresenter 6 system already installed at the church was used to display speaker support materials during live presentations.

Video from these three ProPresenter systems was fed to the PVP3 server, which managed the display of the content across the set’s LED backwall and on-stage monitors. The ProPresenter outputs were also sent to the Blackmagic switcher in the facility’s control room, where they were mixed with the live camera feeds and output to a Haivision encoder for live streaming. A fourth ProPresenter system powered lower thirds and clocks exclusively for the live stream.

The resulting event was a tremendous success, reaching a much larger audience than originally planned. “We would have had 2,000 in-person attendees, but instead reached roughly 12,000 unique users online,” said PJ Culbreth, senior production manager at Velocity Productions. “This success may shape how our clients approach future events even once live gatherings resume.”

Kimball shares Culberth’s pride in what they collectively achieved. “Our goal is to make the biggest impact possible, and we actually increased Q’s reach at a time when other events were having to cancel,” he said. “We consider that a big win. Without the ability for us to pre-build the show through PVP3 and make changes on the fly while we were presenting with ProPresenter, there’s no way we could have pulled this off in just two weeks and kept it running seamlessly.”

“This was really the first time that we were able to demonstrate to Q and other clients what they can do with a virtual experience,” concluded Culbreth. “The live event space is extremely competitive, and everyone is pivoting to virtual conferences. We were able to set a high bar, and Renewed Vision products were a key part of that.”

About Renewed Vision

Founded in 2000, Renewed Vision’s mission is to offer reliable, purpose-built production software that enables organizations—spanning from churches to corporations—to create dynamic media experiences that enhance worship services, meetings and other special events.For more information on our product lines, including ProPresenter, ProVideoPlayer and ProVideoServer, please visit our website at www.renewedvision.com.

Navori Labs Digital Out-Of-Home Network Drives Visitor Engagement at West Edmonton Mall

January 4, 2021

Network keeps shoppers informed and engaged with business information, advertising content, and up-to-date COVID-19 information – all managed from a centralized QL software solution

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND, September 17, 2020 – Navori Labs continues to work closely with West Edmonton Mall, North America’s largest shopping center, to scale and update a diverse digital out-of-home network that drives engagement in public and private spaces. Navori’s QL digital signage software is powering retail, hospitality, entertainment and corporate content across a mix of video walls, menu boards and digital signage displays. The multi-phase rollout has extended media presentation and interactive wayfinding to food courts, hotel lobbies, event venues and meeting spaces, as well as along walkways with the heaviest shopper traffic.

Located in the Western Canadian city of Edmonton, West Edmonton Mall is home to more than 800 stores and services, over 100 dining areas, two hotels and twelve world-class attractions. Navori’s strategic rollout has fully centralized content management and delivery, helping West Edmonton Mall improve the customer experience and increase engagement with shoppers, Fantasyland Hotel guests, and visitors to the Ice Palace, which hosts a variety of sports, concerts and fundraising activities.

The centralized content management and delivery strategy has been instrumental to the success of the network, which allows unlimitedusers to contribute media with minimal training. This includes real-time updates such as price changes, promotions and COVID-19guidelines. The network has also provided a quick return on investment for West Edmonton Mall by eliminating printing costs associated with traditional menus, advertisements and meeting space signage.

“Navori Labs has been an integral part of our marketing strategy,” said Tiffany Banh, Digital Marketing Coordinator, West Edmonton Mall. “The QL software fulfills our need for flexibility, scalability an ease of use. The Navori team supported us throughout the whole process and provided an effortless rollout. Our continued partnership with Navori is valuable in helping us achieve business success.”

West Edmonton Mall’s QL digital signage solution architecture includes an on-premise QL Server and a QL software driving each screen. Navori’s seamless integration with third-party data systems and support for a wide range of multimedia formats allows West Edmonton Mallto provide a diverse mix of video, graphics and text to shoppers and guests, while clean integration with West Edmonton Mall’s back-end business systems drive reliable content updates, meeting room occupancy information, and effective wayfinding experiences.

“West Edmonton Mall required a technology provider that could ensure reliable and efficient management of all digital signage content and hardware across the entire property,” said Jerome Moeri, CEO, Navori Labs. “Our QL software is helping West Edmonton Mall meet its daily objectives across a very complex, multifaceted business environment that has helped staff grow more productive, reduced installation and support costs, and provided a foundation for network monetization through dynamic advertising capabilities.”

About West Edmonton Mall

The story of West Edmonton Mall is the story of how a handful of visionaries took an ordinary idea like a shopping center and turned it into a world-class destination. The Mall’s stores, attractions, and services combine to form the most comprehensive retail, hospitality and entertainment complex on Earth. As the prototype for mixed-use entertainment facilities, West Edmonton Mall is a place where people come to shop, play, and stay. At 5.3 million square feet, the Mall is the size of a small city and is accredited as a zoo. West Edmonton Mall is home to more than 800 stores and services including twelve world-class attractions, two hotels, over 100 dining venues, the widest variety of one-of-a-kind retailers, and entertainment for all ages. Average yearly visitation is approximately 30.8 million, making West Edmonton Mall the province’s number-one tourist attraction. Visit https://www.wem.ca/ for more information.

About Navori Labs

Navori Labs is a global software innovator producing technology for digital communication and marketing analytics. Navori Labs is an enterprise committed to providing the most reliable, interoperable and user-friendly software application available in the industry. An exclusive leader in the global digital signage industry with nearly 25 years of experience, Navori has built a reputation as an industry innovator strengthened by a skilled engineering team, and continued investment in research and development initiatives. Navori has also continued to invest in global growth, with local and regional resources available worldwide. Navori’s flagship QL digital signage engine is built with everyone in mind, and has been standardized for use in many of the largest digital signage networks around the world. The company’s engineering approach balances efficient design and operation with exceptional performance for answering integrators and end-users expectations. Visit www.navori.com for more information.

Xilica® Powers Meeting Space Audio for Polish Chamber of Patent Attorneys

January 4, 2021

Xilica® Solaro QR1 DSP and XTouch control system at core of AV conferencing system for onsite meetings, presentations and member trainings

Toronto, September 16, 2020 — Xilica®, a global leader in digital signal processing technology for AV and installed sound, is driving clear communications with centralized AV control for a Polish law firm at its new Warsaw location. Xilica’s Solaro QR1 ultra-compact DSP is processing and managing all audio sources within the Polish Chamber of Patent Attorneys’ large divisible conference room, while the legal team leverages Xilica’s sleek XTouch glass-to-glass controls to adjust loudspeaker volume, power video sources on and off, and mute/unmute microphones.

The complete AV solution was designed and integrated by SONITUM prior to the law firm’s relocation to its new headquarters. The large conference room provides the Polish Chamber of Patent Attorneys with a diverse space to hold its annual board of directors meetings and train new chamber members, in addition to supporting all presentations and lectures.

“The chamber previously rented space in conference centers to hold these meetings, or used the less suitable space in their previous office,” said Michal Klaczkow, President and Charinman of the Board at SONITUM. “They now have a large onsite conference space that can be merged or divided on short notice, with advanced AV technology to serve both small and large meetings.”

The quarter-inch width Xilica Solaro QR1, installed in an adjacent equipment closet, reliably processes all incoming audio signals before routing them to ceiling and wall-mounted loudspeakers. The Solaro QR1’s robust processing power correlates with the exceptional audio quality experienced within the meeting space, while Xilica’s HearClear AEC algorithm eliminates any echo originating through microphones. Xilica’s processing power, exceptional audio quality and reliable performance ensures that all speakers and presenters are clearly heard, and without echo, within the meeting spaces for every event.

SONITUM’s conceptual design included sensors to merge and divide the space on short notice as required. That was one of many reasons that led to choosing the Xilica Solaro QR1.

“Xilica offers four-channel GPIO cards that gave us the flexibility to trigger sensors from the DSP,” said Klaczkow. “These GPIO triggers allow staff to raise and lower screens, turn on projectors and microphones, and even control shades. By integrating these functions into the DSP, we have essentially simplified the overall AV system and reduced both cost and infrastructure. The fact that these GPIO triggers and all other AV sources in the room correlate with XTouch means that Xilica is supporting every AV control function in the conferencing room.”

Klaczkow also points to Xilica’s integrated programming and control capabilities that extend to third-party systems. In addition to volume, muting and on/off control, the XTouch panels allow staff to merge audio zones, multiply video signals, and even fully initiate meetings from the lobby.

“While the conference room mostly relies on circuit-based video switching and analog audio sources, all Solaro-driven control functions are powered over Ethernet and IP,” said Klaczkow. “That ensures that  all control functionality moves over the network, while also seamlessly integrating with HDBaseT and HDMI video systems. The powerful programming capabilities within Solaro and Xilica Designer software allowed us to directly map every input and output, and customize the device matrix to best meet the needs of the end user.”

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.

www.xilica.com

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