Video and AV News


Sidev Display Systems joins Atlona network

Thursday, 23 March 2017

France - Atlona has bolstered its global partner network with the appointment of Sidev Display Systems as its new distribution partner in France. Sidev will join forces with Atlona’s local sales team in France, including Christophe Gaborit and Kevin Andry, to strengthen Atlona’s presence across the nation.
In addition to distributing Atlona’s complete solutions portfolio, the Sidev team will provide technical services for systems integrators, resellers, consultants, and end users across the sales, installation and commissioning process. Sidev’s presence in France, which includes show rooms in Paris and Lyon, offers two central locations for education and training purposes related to Atlona products.
“With more than 20 years of experience in the audio-visual market, a track record for quick delivery, and a reputation for supporting many of the industry’s strongest brands, Sidev provides Atlona with a unique opportunity to expand its presence and market penetration throughout France,” said Mr. Gaborit, regional sales manager, Atlona.
In addition to providing sales and support for Atlona’s legacy HDBaseT switching and distribution portfolio, Sidev will focus on business development for Atlona’s recent innovations that move beyond its traditional focus. This includes Velocity, Atlona’s new cloud-based control system; the AT-UHD-HDVS-300-


PLASA Focus Leeds returns with a top seminar schedule for 2017

Monday, 20 March 2017

UK - PLASA Focus Leeds is back with a stellar line-up of seminar sessions and speakers for this year’s event on 9-10 May at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds. The free to attend exhibition is a leading platform for the entertainment industry, offering an opportunity to discover the very latest technology including products from recent international launches.
Speakers this year include James Simpson, lighting visualiser at the Royal Opera House, who will be discussing the latest technologies in use at the Royal Opera House, with a look at how some recent projects have been technically achieved. Simpson will also be talking for the first time about an exciting new R&D project being developed at the ROH which uses Augmented Reality technology to create new opportunities for design teams to visualise their ideas – the talk will include a live demonstration.
The future of audio technology is also high on the agenda; d&b audiotechnik’s Oran Burns will be exploring this topic in a session titled ‘What’s Next for Pro Audio.’ LSi audio journalist Phil Ward will host a panel session to discuss ‘Is Point Source Fighting Back?’ an exploration of the varied applications of point source over line array.
The hugely popular Riggers’ Forum will return to Leeds, led once again by Harry Box and Chris Higgs, known for their thought provoking sem


CPL Technical Sales is launched

Monday, 20 March 2017

UK - Technical production and rental specialist Central Presentations Limited (CPL) has launched a new division – CPL Technical Sales - to focus on the sales of selected product lines, all of which CPL carries in its rental inventory.
CPL Technical Sales will be based at CPL’s facility in West Midlands, UK, headed by Sam Thomas. The aim is to cross-rent only to other professional AV / rental companies and organisations, in the process supporting the selected brands through CPL’s extensive working knowledge of them, providing fully comprehensive backup.
So far, the list includes Analog Way, Avolites, Connex, Denon Professional, DPA Microphones, ETC, Extron, Fiberfox, Interspace Industries, Kramer, Lightware, Marantz, Panasonic Business, Sennheiser, Shure and Unicol. More will be added as CPL Technical Sales develops its business.
CPL Technical Sales will also be in a position to support these manufacturers and brands by making kit available to end-clients in specific scenarios, e.g. like bridging any fluctuations in pre-purchase delivery / production schedules with rentals … enabling clients who have bought kit to have immediate access to it if needed, and ensuring that CPL’s stock always contains the latest products.
CPL’s Matthew Boyse (Max) explains: “This underlines our commitment to these brands. We already extensively evaluate a


Chauvet video wall for King Kong premier

Friday, 17 March 2017

UK - Since the world’s most famous oversized gorilla first appeared on cinema screens in 1933, King Kong has become one of the most renowned movie icons, with countless comics, video games and theme park rides adding to a string of film remakes. Now the iconic ape has surfaced again with the release of the Warner Bros. film Kong: Skull Island.
For the recent UK premier of the highly anticipated film, Limited Edition Event Design awarded the red carpet in London’s Leicester Square with a 36m long Kong-worthy video wall to display graphic content and film related video, utilising 216 Chauvet Professional PVP X6IP LED video panels, supplied by Impact Production Services.
The low 6.9mm pixel pitch and the 4,500 NITS of the PVP X6IP panels provided the perfect solution to display video and King Kong graphics with exceptional visual clarity both during the day and evening at the event.
“The Chauvet Professional PVP panels ensured incredible brightness, contrast and clarity,” commented Tom Warden, project manager at Impact Production Services. “The panels even performed staggeringly during the daylight hours, with the wide viewing angle of the panels also ensuring maximum visibility for the gathering audience.”
The video wall, which consisted of three separate 6.5m x 3m LED video screens, could be connected to the Layher trussin


Backup charity raises awareness at special event

Friday, 17 March 2017

UK – Supporters and trustees of Backup - The Technical Entertainment Charity - gathered in London on Monday evening to help raise the profile of the charity’s new name and logo in entertainment industry. Around 80 guests attended the event, which included live entertainment from Jay Johnson.
Backup exists to provide financial support to technical professionals working in live events, theatre, TV and film, helping them to get back on their feet when their lives are disrupted by illness or injury to themselves or to family members. Previously known as Behind The Scenes UK, the charity changed its name to Backup in 2016.
Backup’s chairman, John Simpson, welcomed guests to The Hospital Club in London’s Covent Garden, which generously sponsored the event. He reiterated the purpose of the charity by highlighting some of its achievements to date. “We have helped a number of technicians and their families when they have suffered falls from sets and studio rigging, been involved in horrific vehicle accidents, suffered rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, mental breakdowns and other circumstances that have prevented them from earning a living for a period of time.”
Among those being helped by the charity is Mark Pritchard, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma while touring with Level 42, and has just undergone a fourth round of c


Mix Wave is new AV Stumpfl distributor for Japan

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Japan - AV Stumpfl, the Austrian AV technology manufacturer, recently announced the Japanese company Mix Wave, Inc. as their exclusive media server and show control distributor for Japan. Mix Wave is well known for professional AV product distribution and related services in Japan.
AV Stumpfl’s global business development manager Horst Damoser commented on the announcement, which was made public for the first time at this year’s ISE exhibition in Amsterdam: “Japan is without doubt a country with very discerning AV technology customers, for whom superior product quality is of great importance. We have a very successful and constructive relationship with our projection screen customers in Japan and are looking forward to growing the media server and show control side of things with the help of Mix Wave. Their great reputation and their experience with media server related technologies make us very confident that they will soon become one of our most successful distributors.”
Mix Wave co-founder and director of their Visual System division Ken Sampei commented on the reasons behind Mix Wave’s adding AV Stumpfl Wings media servers to their product portfolio:
“We are very excited to handle the AV Stumpfl Wings media server product range. Japan is quite a 4K/8K oriented country and I’m sure the Wings media server products will fit even our most


Eurotek invests in BlackTrax

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Ireland - Coinciding with the company’s 50th anniversary, Irish broadcast, AV and video conferencing experts, Eurotek have taken delivery of BlackTrax real-time motion tracking system. The purchase meets the exponential requirement for clients within the broadcast technology, Audio Visual, VFX and communications industry requiring real-time motion tracking throughout Ireland.
“Eurotek has made a commitment to focus on growth, and new projects in our home country are central to this expansion. The projects we work on are getting much more complex, and systems like BlackTrax will enable us to deliver impactful and compelling presentations to clients,” said Noel McMahon, technical sales & business development at Eurotek.
“The BlackTrax system is already used by our sister company AVtek for live event projects, so we’ve invested in a further system.
“With BlackTrax, we see a great potential to enhance the market for projected images. BlackTrax lets you project video (or lighting) onto free-moving objects, using techniques similar to tracking software in VFX systems,” added McMahon.
Eurotek took delivery of BlackTrax at ISE 2017 and will finalise training this month.
(Jim Evans)


Thermal images and new technology at the Barbican

Thursday, 16 March 2017

UK - An extraordinary new exhibition at the Barbican uses a military camera capable of detecting an individual from 30.3km distance, day or night, to make a visceral three-channel video installation about the journeys of refugees fleeing conflict.
Christie M Series 3DLP projectors were designed with features able to show the luminous footage, with remarkable detail and clarity, at a greatly enlarged size. The immersive quality of the projection not only underlines how technology is putting new tools in the hands of artists, but how those tools combine to create new art forms, content possibilities and – ultimately – new experiences to keep audiences engaged. “We’ve had a record 20,000 visitors in three weeks with over 2,400 on the opening weekend,” said Alona Pardo, curator at the Barbican.
For Incoming, conceptual documentary photographer and Deutsche Börse Photography Prize winner Richard Mosse worked in collaboration with composer Ben Frost and cinematographer Trevor Tweeten. They followed refugees trying to flee on foot, by boat or on vehicle. The camera’s extraordinary telephoto capability can pick up staggering details of the human form from a great distance. In turn, the 3DLP Christie M Series can translate that level of detail because it is designed to maximise every facet of the video pathway. Projecting along the wall are three Christie


CT delivers for Mobile World Congress 2017

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Spain - Held at the Fira Gran Via in Barcelona, the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress draws together leaders from the world’s largest and most influential companies in the mobile ecosystem, as well as government delegations from across the globe.
Creative Technology (CT), contracted by the Fira and working with creative communications and brand experience agency Line Up for the GSMA, provided their full suite of services to support the Mobile World Congress Conference and Ministerial Programme.
Project managed by CT’s Mick Jones and Nick Whitehead, these programmes utilised video, projection, cameras, audio, digital signage using CT’s Mercury system, PowerPoint management software using CT’s Apollo system, full networking, IT infrastructure and streaming services.
Almost 100 crew members from every CT service and department were on site for this project, for the build, show and de-rig. Line Up’s team, headed up by technical director Mark Bell and managing director Rob Leach, managed all the production and creative elements for the project.
CT also provided full live stream and broadcasting feeds to Mobile World Live (MWL) TV, with CT’s Chris Ellis and Nick Askew managing this aspect of the project.
CT’s head of corporate events, Matthew Eve commented, “Mobile World Congress really runs in my blood after so many years of involvem


inspHire launches new website and branding

Monday, 13 March 2017

UK - inspHire has introduced its new global website. Cementing inspHire’s position as a leading promoter of hire software globally, with offices in UK, USA, Netherlands and Australia, the user-friendly site provides a hub of information about the hire management software provider; from innovative products and customer case studies to company news and values.
The new website features customer case studies, as well as inspHire’s latest software updates and product developments. Over 2200 hire companies are already utilising inspHire software, the company says.


Evans Audio Visual accepts Lego challenge

Friday, 10 March 2017

UK - Hundreds of aspiring young engineers and roboticists took part in an exciting science and technology challenge at the University of the West of England in Bristol. The finals of the FIRST Lego League Challenge: Animal Allies were held in the university’s Exhibition and Conference Centre on Sunday 26 February.
Evans Audio Visual Staging teamed up with Utopium to supply sound and lighting to the event, which was part of a global Lego-based robotics contest, and featured tens of thousands of young people. For the sound installation, working with the in-house PA system Evans supported that by installing two Yamaha QL1’s with two channels of Shure ULXD radios on a Dante network. The Evans team connected the main competition space with the studio to allow the Institute of Engineering and Technology to stream the event live on YouTube.
Helping add to the interactive nature of the challenge, Evans also supplied three of its 10,000 lumen Panasonic projectors along with cable runs, which displayed different images at different times during the challenge, to match the activities taking place in each area. Evans also teamed up with Utopium, who supplied lighting and rigging to the event.
The Utopium team worked on the practice area, stage and studio space, supplying three truss ground supports. Each of the structures were constructed from Thomas 305mm tru


Wings over the Maltese Cittadella

Friday, 3 March 2017

Malta - The walled Cittadella on the Maltese Island of Gozo has been of strategic importance since the Phoenicians first set out in boats to trade with their neighbours more than a thousand years before the beginnings of the Roman Empire. Over the centuries, the fortifications were regularly extended and improved by whoever had taken possession of the island at the time. Ironically, 300 years without a siege has meant that it has been allowed to lapse into serious decay.
The Maltese government has adventurous plans to restore the Cittadella as a World Heritage site and museum to cater for the wave of tourists beginning to pour on to Gozo for its natural beauty. Renowned museum and attraction design and AV specialists Sarner International were engaged to design and implement an unusual experimental visitors’ centre located in the Cittadella’s abandoned water storage reservoirs.
There are no historical objects on display here; every aspect of the experience is purely audiovisual, although many of the projection surfaces are the ornate architectural elements of the building and require highly detailed image masking. There are three main areas. The exhibition area is divided into seven zones. There is a tunnel that links the exhibition area to the main show area. The main show area can fit a maximum of 30 people for each show lasting just over eight-minutes


Painting With Light helps Panasonic at ISE

Friday, 3 March 2017

The Netherlands - International creative design practice Painting with Light was commissioned by Panasonic to produce a high-impact multimedia live show for their stand at the 2017 ISE (Integrated Systems Europe) expo at Amsterdam RAI.
Painting with Light’s creative director Luc Peumans initiated the idea of simultaneous tracking and projecting onto multiple objects. It was a mission for which no-one could calculate a potential success rate in the confined and frenetic space of an exhibition booth.
Panasonic’s Hartmut Kulessa and Thomas Vertommen, both in charge of the Visual Systems Marketing, first asked the question which fired Luc’s love for creative risk and experimentation - setting a trail of events in motion. “Luc’s vision and determination plus the unwavering support from Hartmut and Thomas were real driving forces,” confirms Michael Al Far, Painting with Light’s video content producer who was right at the hub of the action.
Luc's concept for the show was that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. His hand-picked team included Michael as the visual designer and Painting with Light's project manager Wouter Verhulst - who worked on delivering this exciting and exacting collaboration which produced stunning results that illustrated the power and versatility of the new super high brightness Panasonic


Christie Pandoras Box at Meraas City Walk

Thursday, 23 February 2017

UAE - Christie Pandoras Box is synchronizing more than 100m pixels of Float4 content at Meraas City Walk in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. City Walk was conceived as a destination par-excellence for both locals and tourists complete with upscale shopping, dining and living with a park-like ambience by Meraas, a Dubai-based holding company with extensive assets in real estate, retail, hospitality and entertainment.
Meraas approached Float4, an award-winning studio that designs and produces site-specific interactive multimedia installations, to create a digital feature for City Walk. The scope grew to encompass an outdoor digital experience that includes more than 30 LED installations, nearly 30 projectors, and a water fountain show that uses water screens. In total, there are over 100m pixels that cover a space the size of 12 football fields.
“Meraas wanted to differentiate themselves,” says Alexandre Simionescu, co-founder of Float4. “One of the things they wanted to do was create a location that was pedestrian-friendly. It’s not something that you find in Dubai, so they’re very innovative. They like to question things beyond ‘can we do it bigger’ and ask ‘can we do it better?’“
Float4 worked with XYZ Cultural Technology, a long-time Christie partner, to design a system powerful enough to synchronize and control all 100 million pixels


PRG XL Video moves to larger London location

Thursday, 23 February 2017

UK - PRG XL Video, the UK operation of Production Resource Group (PRG), has moved to a new, larger, London location. Continuing its strategy for growth, the company has relocated within Central London.
The office, in the very heart of London’s theatreland, houses sales and support teams from four major market sectors – concert touring, theatre, television and film, and corporate and events. The location at 77 St Martin’s Lane, Covent Garden includes space for PRG XL permanent staff, hot desking space for clients and creatives to visit, and multiple meeting rooms, which are not only used by PRG XL’s own teams, but are utilised by industry organisations for their regular board meetings.
PRG XL Video’s director of human resources, Alistair Todd comments: “The space has been designed not only to house our growing team, but also as a hub of creativity for clients and visitors. “We aimed to create a modern, pleasant working environment. The location has lots of natural light, which creates a bright, open space which our team will enjoy working in.”
PRG president and Chief Operating Officer, Stephan Paridaen continues: “As our UK business continues to grow, we have invested in a larger London location. This has given us the opportunity to locate sales, production, event services, crewing services and support teams all together, promoting an a


FLEXStorm answers outdoor challenges

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

USA - PixelFLEX has announced the introduction of the weather-rated FLEXStorm LED video technology. Designed specifically to overcome the challenges associated with traditional outdoor LED video displays, FLEXStorm utilizes an intelligent, auto-correcting light sensor control system to ensure the appropriate brightness at all hours of the day. FLEXStorm is available in a variety of custom sizes, resolutions and configurations.
“Operating in an outdoor environment presents numerous design challenges for permanently installed outdoor LED video displays,” said David Venus, PixelFLEX director of marketing. “Understanding how to overcome these challenges, the FLEXStorm design engineers have created a truly remarkable system that allows flexibility of choice including the ability to sense the ideal brightness based upon the weather conditions and then self-adjust for an optimum LED video display.”
Built to withstand adverse weather conditions while still providing “a truly breathtaking experience”, FLEXStorm can be utilized for outdoor advertising, entertainment, and much more.
With its adjustable sensors that communicate directly with the cabinets control system, FLEXStorm has variable brightness offerings between 6500-7500 Nits to look its best day or night. Additionally, using cloud-based content management, updating the FLEXStorm is simple and


ImageCue releases new user content utilities

Monday, 13 February 2017

USA - ImageCue has made available a new suite of free content preparation utilities for its users. The utilities are now available for downloading from the ImageCue website.
One of the new utilities is designed specifically for users new to the content preparation process. “We’ve encountered many potential customers that want to integrate projection and digital content into their productions but feel overwhelmed by the complexity of the process,” says Bill Hewlett, ImageCue CEO. “This new utility allows the user to plug a USB flash drive into their PC and the utility steps them through the process.”
The new utility prepares the USB drive for use with ImageCue and analyzes the user’s content, determining how best to convert or modify it for best performance with the ImageCue compact server. The tedious task of adding numeric prefixes to file names is handled by the utility.
Another new utility in the suite will take a PowerPoint presentation in PDF format and convert it to individually numbered jpeg images ready for use with ImageCue. Like all of the other utilities in the suite, it prepares the content for use in one of the selected ImageCue output resolution settings.
Rounding out the suite are utilities that convert commonly used graphic formats like bmp, gif, and tif to jpeg as well as a video conversion and extraction tool. Both of


ISE 2017: NEC Solutions Zone platform launched

Friday, 10 February 2017

The Netherlands - NEC Display Solutions Europe has today launched the NEC Solutions Zone, a free web-based information and networking tool for professional end-users, distributors, NEC’s eco-partners and reseller partners.
The platform supports Pan-European as well as local suppliers and partners. By providing insights into a broad range of real installation scenarios, the platform makes users aware of the added value services provided by the NEC partner ecosystem.
The NEC Solutions Zone platform supports many different verticals, from aviation and transportation, cinema, corporate office and Digital out of Home (DooH) to education, healthcare, retail and many more. It gives peripheral vendors the opportunity to showcase their products, solutions and services, giving end-user customers a wide variation of solutions to choose from.
When it comes to display applications, different verticals often have requirements beyond the display technology hardware. Most applications require numerous additional products such as media players, application software, loudspeakers, stands, mounts, display holders etc. to support the displays and projectors to their intended uses. With the NEC Solutions Zone, visitors to the platform can pick from tested and approved combination of additional products around NEC’s display technology to build their own tailored solutio


Hawthorn premieres virtual experience at EPS

Friday, 10 February 2017

UK - Hawthorn is inviting visitors to step into virtual reality as it launches its innovative virtual venue experience at this year’s Event Production Show (1-2 March 2017).
The creative technical event production expert has for the first time ‘built’, in virtual reality, just some of the diverse venues it works in partnership with in real life. This will enable event planners to pop on a HTC Vive headset and explore incredible event spaces without leaving the Hawthorn stand.
The venues showcased in virtual reality at the Event Production Show will include some of Hawthorn’s key partnerships from around the UK. Built by Hawthorn’s in-house 3D and visualisation team using Cinema 4D and Unreal Engine, the virtual venue experience will offer delegates a unique on-stand experience, demonstrating the versatility of virtual reality as a powerful tool to support the event planning process.
Rachel Waterfield, head of sales & marketing at Hawthorn, said, “We wanted to shake things up on our stand at EPS this year and offer visitors the opportunity to experience some of the UK’s most iconic venues in a completely new and fun way.
“As virtual reality technology becomes ever more accessible, the opportunities it offers the event world are endless and not just as part of the live event experience.
“We wanted to harness it to showcas


ISE 2017: Lawo debuts processing toolkit

Friday, 10 February 2017

The Netherlands - Lawo has introduced its V_pro8 8-channel video processing tool armed with a comprehensive software update. With its latest update, Lawo’s V_pro8 became even more powerful, further increasing its features-per-RU density, says the company.
Amongst the latest additions is an updated A/V sync tool, which, in addition to the native V_line sync pattern and the EBU pattern, can now also read the Vistek VALID8 format. Furthermore, the integrated quad-split multiviewer now also features multi-colored Tally lamps, which are switchable via Ember+, allowing to integrate the MV tally in the overall tally system of your installation.
The V_pro8 can be used to connect different video formats as well as to connect between audio and video. High quality format conversion, colour correction as well as audio embedding and de-embedding make the V_pro 8 a compact and powerful video processor, building bridges between different worlds and formats.
The powerful video / audio router of the 19”/1RU device provides an internal 8x8 video routing matrix and a 384x384 audio matrix. The in-built frame-synchronizers are syncing the incoming independent free running signals to the same reference (Blackburst or TriLevel) whereas the variable video & audio delays for compensating latencies and lip-sync match between incoming or outgoing audio (up to 320 ms del


ISE 2017: Panasonic aims at large event market

Thursday, 9 February 2017

The Netherlands - Panasonic will introduce a new 20,000 lumens projector at ISE 2017 this week, a laser light source companion to the PT-DZ21K.
The PT-RZ21K is a three-chip DLP Solid Shine laser series aimed at the rental, events and large venue market. It is compatible with existing Panasonic lenses and comes in a similarly compact, lightweight body as the DZ21K, which became an industry essential since its launch in 2012.
The RZ21K generates up to 20,000 lm of brightness at WUXGA or SXGA+ resolution using dual solid-state laser drives. A durable dust-proof optical system means that the projector offers extended maintenance free operation beyond lamped rivals.
“The industry is ready to make the switch from lamp to laser,” said Hartmut Kulessa, European marketing manager at Panasonic. “Panasonic research identified that many projection projects are not being realised because of the high operating cost caused by replacement lamps and service requirements. We believe moving the industry’s most popular high brightness projector to laser will grow the market for projection even further.
“We have ensured that the RZ21K is similarly lightweight compared to other projectors in this class, enabling easy handling. This expedites transport and installation for staging professionals at major events, and, because it’s laser, rental companies will


Avonic appoints Polar as UK distributor

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

UK / Netherlands - Polar has been appointed as UK distributor for Netherlands based Avonic, a leading manufacturer of PTZ cameras and accessories. Avonic offers a full range of high quality pan-tilt-zoom cameras, with a choice of output, including USB3.0, IP, HDMI and SDI. Control units and accessories complement the range, designed for use in a host of applications from video-conferencing to broadcasting, lecture capture to webcasting and beyond.
Polar – long known as a pro audio distributor under the name of PolarAudio - continues to extend its reach into whole AV solutions, brands such as Avonic are integral to its growing portfolio of video and Unified Communications products. Without concessions on quality, the Avonic range is an affordable choice for courtrooms, council chambers, churches and meeting rooms – or anywhere that recording, broadcasting or streaming of visual events is required, says Polar.
Stuart Leader, director at Polar Integrated Solutions Division comments: "Avonic manufacture a range of PTZ cameras that can complement any and every AV scheme. We are regularly involved in complex and ambitious projects that combine elements from across the entire AV spectrum and it's essential that our customers have access to the best quality and widest-ranging portfolio of products. Avonic is a perfect fit for Polar - high-quality, competit


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