Xilica® Adds Lua Scripting, Fully-Flexible Control to Solaro DSPs

January 7, 2021

With Lua scripting functionality, integrators can program their own custom drivers for almost any third-party product that has a control string, and utilize Xilica’s library of pre-designed integrations

Toronto, September 25, 2020 — Hot on the heels of bringing its Designer 4.0 software to market, Xilica®, a global leader in digital signal processing technology for AV and installed sound, has raised the bar by adding Lua scripting language to its award-winning Solaro Series DSPs.

Widely-used in the AV and IT industries among major control system manufacturers, Lua scripting is a universal language that enables products from third-party vendors to communicate and interoperate. While many other DSP brands either feature no integrated control engine functionality, or utilize a proprietary command protocol, Xilica is continuing to add value to its premium open-architecture DSP portfolio by enabling integrators to omit traditional control systems from small-to-medium sized projects, and instead utilize the existing DSP for system command.

“Xilica control systems will provide all of the functionality needed in conference rooms, hotels, restaurants, schools and many other AV environments,” said Shaun Robinson, VP Product Management at Xilica. “We can control all of these standard functions without the need for a highly sophisticated and expensive control system. While we interoperate with enterprise-level control systems, we can save our customers up to $30,000 in many cases.”

While integrated control into a DSP is ideal for many small-to-medium applications, Xilica recognizes the value of a scalable external control system for larger projects and additionally launches updated modules for AMX®, Crestron® and Control4® automation platforms, which are available on AMX InConcert, Crestron AppMarket, and from Xilica directly.

Where a third-party vendor is a member of Xilica’s partner program, Lua control modules are available inside the Xilica Designer software interface, pre-built and ready to deploy. For those situations where a particular brand may not be available, Xilica’s ‘Lua Device Driver Builder’ function enables an integrator’s in-house programming team to create custom functionality specific to their product and application. Additionally, Xilica has field resources located across North America who can provide custom driver development as required.

“System design and integration professionals have historically relied on manufacturers to create drivers that can speak to third-party devices in the library, typically because they were restrained through proprietary protocols,” said Robinson. “Lua scripting opens the programming universe within Xilica DSPs and control products for any user that can write a control universe.”

Xilica’s corporate, education and government customers further benefit from new USB I/O capabilities that improve compatibility with the latest Unified Communications (UC) platforms, including Microsoft Teams™ and Zoom®. Separately, network-based update and deployment of Solaro Series DSP products has been improved for rapid install times.

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.


Atlona Fortifies North American Sales Team

January 7, 2021

Remy Nguyen and Justin Sattazahn bring familiarity, experience and motivation to RSM roles supporting Atlona’s commercial AV business in two busy US territories

SAN JOSE, California, September 24, 2020 – Atlona, a Panduit company, announces that Remy Nguyen and Justin Sattazahn have joined the company as Regional Sales Managers in the Southwest and Northcentral US territories. Reporting to Jamey Swigert, Director of AV Sales and Business Development, Nguyen and Sattazahn will work closely with partners and end users to expand Atlona’s commercial AV business in their respective regions.

Nguyen previously served as Atlona’s Regional Sales Manager – Southwest, before taking on a brief role outside the AV industry. He returns with an expanded territory covering Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico, southern California, southern Nevada, Utah and El Paso, Texas. Nguyen’s previous industry experience includes a Regional Sales Manager position at Extron, where he developed their Pacific Northwest region business. He also served as Director of Sales andBusiness Development for AV systems integrator Avidex, which gives him valuable insight on supporting Atlona’s dealer channel.

Nguyen looks forward to helping Atlona customers faced with changing business and education environments. He’s also bullish about Panduit’s network infrastructure solutions, emphasizing the added value it brings to Atlona’s commercial AV business.

“Atlona has been on the forefront of AV product development, and its latest innovations with the Omega™ Series and an expanded PTZ camera range are ideally suited for touchless AV and distance learning environments,” said Nguyen. “I am also excited that Panduit has brought a differentiating message to Atlona with its network infrastructure solutions and built an organizational infrastructure to better serve our regional distributors, dealers and end users.”

Sattazahn will also work closely with partners and end users to raise brand awareness across his territory, which includes Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. He brings extensive commercial and residential AV and pro audio experience to Atlona across systems design and integration, sound engineering, and live entertainment production and management. His broad range of professional experience brings a comprehensive understanding of nearly all AV businesses verticals, and the unique needs of each.

“I look forward to growing our business with low-voltage and electrical contractors, which will help Atlona customers transition to complete AV over IP systems,” said Sattazahn. “In addition to Atlona’s networked AV solutions, I see Velocity™ as a key differentiator. My experience in systems integration gives me a strong understanding of how IP-based AV control simplifies design and configuration for integrators and provides a simple and scalable control solution for end users.”

​​​​​​​“Remy and Justin bring successful track records and broad industry experience to our team, which will strengthen our overarching initiatives for continued business growth and getting closer to our customers in every region,” said Swigert. “We welcome them to the Atlona team and look forward to their contributions.”

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


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.

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