We were pretty busy doing some super cool stuff in 2020. Here’s a video documenting some of our super-awesome triumphs.
This article has been reposted from newsshooter.com.
The new ATEM Mini Extreme
Blackmagic Design today announced the ATEM Mini Extreme, a new larger model of the ATEM Mini live production switcher. The new model features 8 inputs, 4 ATEM Advanced Chroma Keyers, a total of 6 independent DVEs, 2 media players, 2 downstream keyers, 16-way multiview, 2 USB connections and multiple HDMI aux outputs. There is also a new ATEM Mini Extreme ISO model which includes all these powerful features plus a more powerful recording engine that can record all 8 inputs plus the program for a total of 9 streams of recording.
ATEM Mini Pro and ATEM Mini Extreme models have a built in hardware streaming engine for live streaming via their ethernet connections. That means you can live stream to YouTube, Facebook and Twitch in better quality, without dropped frames and with simpler settings.
Direct input for iPhone and Android
The ATEM Mini Pro and Extreme models support connecting an Apple or Android phone to the USB port to use mobile data. It can also be used as a backup for the main Ethernet connection. The ATEM switcher will automatically detect when a phone is connected and switch its internet connection to use it, eliminating the need for changing settings.
With two independent 3.5mm stereo audio inputs, you can connect desktop and lapel microphones. With 2 extra stereo audio inputs, customers can ensure a host and guest both have lapel microphones when doing interviews. Plus all models feature a Fairlight audio mixer with all HDMI inputs and both microphone inputs are all connected to the audio mixer so customers can live mix from all audio sources. The ATEM Mini Extreme also adds a headphone output.
– Features miniaturized control panel based design.
– Supports connecting up to 8 cameras or computers.
– Supports streaming via Ethernet or tethered phones via USB.
– Tethers to 5G or 4G phones for mobile remote streaming.
– Records to USB flash disks in H.264.
– Two stereo audio inputs for connecting desktop or lapel microphones.
– Automatically standards converts and re-syncs all HDMI inputs.
– Includes free ATEM Software Control for Mac and Windows.
– Internal media for 20 RGBA graphics for titles, opening plates and logos.
– 4 upstream ATEM Advanced Chroma keyers for green/blue screen work.
– 2 independent DVEs plus SuperSource with 4 extra DVEs.
– 16 way multiview for monitoring all cameras, recording and streaming status.
The front panel includes easy to use buttons for selecting sources, video effects and transitions. The source buttons are large so it’s possible to use it by feel. It also includes buttons for audio mixing. On the rear panel there are HDMI connections for cameras or computers, extra microphone inputs, USB for webcam out plus an HDMI “aux” output for program video.
The ATEM Software Control app allows access to every feature in the switcher. ATEM Software Control features a visual switcher user interface with parameter palettes for making quick adjustments.
The built in “media pool” allows the loading of up to 20 separate broadcast quality RGBA graphics for titles, opening plates and logos. You can even use still frames for complex effects such as graphic wipes.
If you’re interested in enhancing your live streaming experience, give us a call today!
Confused, embarrassed, awkward… These are not the feelings that should be associated with your next video collaboration meeting. We get it! At Crestron and Vision One, there is simplicity for everyone involved.
Confidence in your Meetings
You want to focus on your job and not let the technology distract you from your performance. You want to hear everyone, see everyone and get on with the meeting. Sounds simple to us. We get it!
Confidence IT has all they need
For the IT department, you want a simpler deployment and management experience. It needs to work on your network, be secure and provide you with all the data you could ever need. You have standards. We get it!
Square Peg, Round Hole
A common phrase in technology is ‘a technology partnership’. Let us explain that for you.
We call it the square peg, round hole conundrum. You see, in this industry, a partnership normally means products that were never meant to work together, were made by separate engineering teams and manufactured in totally different countries, with totally different components, for a totally different purpose, are now somehow magically going to work together.
That is never going to happen.
You, your installation team and your IT department are being asked to re-engineer and use products that were never meant to work together. Yep, square peg, round hole… and YOU have to make it work.
We would not ask that of you, so we’ve done all the hard work for you. Everything is designed and engineered to work together, just as it should be.
Because it’s not about the tech, it’s about YOU.
In one room, a hundred rooms or a thousand rooms, Crestron and Vision One deliver perfect meetings, the same one platform experience in every room, anywhere. That is what Crestron’s Sophisticated Simplicity delivers for you.
Perfect Meetings; lets get you sorted…
All by myself. Private time can be key and working efficiently from your own workspace is key.
Tiny Tabletop Device
There are only 2-3 people in this room.
Simple Tabletop Options
There are 4-6 people in this room.
Table Mount, Wall Mount or Custom Options
There are 6-12 people in this room. Remembering that we offer the same level of quality and features across the range, the task may seem bigger but it is just about choosing the right device for you.
Our industry leading Crestron AirMedia is a very simple extension to your system and Vision One will know it because it’s used by almost every large enterprise and university you can think of.
Crestron Table Boxes
If you’re a neat freak, we have you covered. Sometimes you just want every little cable tucked away, we get it! We can provide a range of cables for your every need which quietly and automatically slip back into the table box.
One of the most common additions to our video conferencing solutions is room booking. Again, this is very simple. You choose the size of touch panel you want (7 or 10 inch) and then Vision One loads the software your company chooses or is using already such as Microsoft or Zoom or Teams.
This is where the IT and Property Departments get excited. With the simple addition of this cloud software license, your IT department can enable a host of clever features. For example, dashboard or remote monitoring, firmware and software upgrades and more.
This article has been reposted from 9news.com.au.
Kindergarten will be free in Victoria next year under a $169.6 million funding boost allocated in the State Budget. The free tuition is set to save around 100,000 families about $2000 for every child enrolled in a funded kindergarten program. Subsidies will also be offered to early childhood services providing funded kindergarten programs, which would mean free kindergarten for four-year-olds and eligible three-year-olds attending a participating centre.
Premier Daniel Andrews today said the funding boost aimed to support working families, particularly women, to return to work.
“This is all about household budgets and supporting families, with more money in their pocket,” Mr Andrews said.
“So that families can have certainty, security and a sense of safety.
It’s also about making sure women can work the hours they want to work.”
There will also be reduced fees for unfunded three-year-old kindergarten programs.
The move follows the state government’s announcement in September that four-year-old kindergarten would be free in Victoria in Term 4 this year.
The Victorian Government has also invested $81.6 million into a “massive expansion” of before and after school care, which will see an increase in the availability of programs.
The funding will help establish new services and support for costs including equipment, setup and administration, facility upgrades and transport.
Grants of up to $75,000 will also be made available to start new school care programs at up to 400 government schools.
“More schools will be able to establish before and after school care programs for students, giving parents greater flexibility when it comes to work, study, training or finding new opportunities,” Victorian Education Minister James Merlino said.
If you’re eligable for funding under the state government’s new kindergarten/school care plan, give us a call today! Our range of portable touch screens, portable PA systems and early learning technologies are the perfect addition to your early learning/kindergarten/school care classrooms.
This article has been reposted from graham-walsh.com.
The Microsoft Teams Panel is a brand new category of devices. They will be initially launched by Crestron and Yealink. The GA date for these is scheduled for March 2021 as per the roadmap. What’s the point of these? Well many organisations use these devices to show room booking information and guidance if rooms are free or busy. Users can book the room if free, or they can use the Nearby Rooms feature to find the next available room. What is really cool with these devices, when the Teams Panel is paired with a MTR, it will pick up the room count information and can indicate if the room is full, so you can visually see from a distance, meaning you don’t have to walk down the corridor only to find out the room is full once you get there. A great time saving feature.
The Crestron panel will be available in either a 7″ or 10″ version and the hardware will be available later in 2020, so you could plan to use them now with just Microsoft Exchange connectivity and then upgrade the software to have the Teams panel software.
You can book nearby rooms simply by tapping the icon and it will show you free/busy rooms.
Once you’ve selected the room, you can book it there and then. This saves time from heading the proposed room, only to find someone else beat you to the room booking.
Management of Meeting Rooms
Teams Admin Center (TAC) is the go to device management tool for all your Microsoft Teams devices. With your $15 MTR license, this provides you access. Previously launched at Ignite in 2019, Managed Meeting Rooms (MMR) was introduced. This has now evolved and is called MTR Premium (MTRP). Same great service, full 24×7 management of the devices. You don’t need to enrol all your MTRs into the portal, you can just select maybe the high profile ones. The cost of MTR Premium us $50 per room per month but includes the room license, so the net cost is really $35. What is interesting now is how will MTRP manage the MTR on Android devices? As the MTRP install an agent on the Windows 10 device, they’ll have to develop one for Android I guess. More info when we hear more I guess.
If you want a deep dive overview of the portals, here is a session from Ignite.
This article has been reposted from Forbes.com.
There’s no denying that COVID-19 has changed the corporate landscape dramatically. With many employees forced to work from home, video conferencing platforms have become essential alternatives to face-to-face meetings. Vendors across the technology spectrum have responded to the predicament by offering their cloud conferencing solutions for free, or by expanding the functionality of their existing free versions with more advance capabilities.
One company that might not roll off the tip of the tongue in the residential video conferencing space is Crestron. However, the company has been a mainstay in conference rooms across the global corporate world, with its video conferencing and automation solutions. Now, 48-year old company is leveraging its enterprise video conferencing chops to help support work-from-home users, and prepare organizations for their eventual, theoretical return to the office.
Early in June, Crestron teamed up with Logitech to launch the new HomeTime hardware bundle, optimized for Zoom video conferencing at home. This offering marks the emergence of a new category of video products for residential use. While many work from home users are content with a laptop’s video and audio quality, Crestron believes that there may be a class of work from home users who require better noise cancellation, cameras that compensate for poor lighting and other capabilities that deliver a more office-like experience. HomeTime seamlessly integrates Logitech’s MeetUp conference camera with the Crestron technology ecosystem. Not targeted for casual work from home users who have only sporadic video conferencing needs, the Crestron bundle is designed for individuals who want to see co-workers, friends and family in much larger video windows on a dedicated large format TV. It features built-in speakers that deliver high-quality audio throughout the room and a professional-grade full-duplex beamforming microphone for enabling natural conversation. Crestron also provides its own integrated remote control to initiate and join scheduled meetings, control the camera, and select the preferred view (e.g., speaker, gallery, or full-screen).
Crestron believes that there will be a significant percentage of workers who return to the traditional office at some point in the future. As such, the company wants to be in a position to ease that transition. The nature of video conferencing, even in a corporate setting, is bound to have changed during the pandemic. Crestron’s in-house data estimates that pre-COVID-19, only 7% to 15% of existing corporate conference rooms had video conferencing capabilities. With the explosion of video conferencing over the last several months (and the fact that many will likely continue to work remotely even as others return to the office), Crestron estimates that videoconferencing “spaces” in the office will need to increase as much as 85%.
Crestron is focusing much of its energy on Microsoft Teams and Zoom, due to their broad appeal with enterprise and work from home users. But here’s the kicker: because workers are not likely to be thrilled with the notion of packing a small conference room, Crestron realized that there is a real need for a smaller, more mobile integrated solution that preserves social distancing etiquette even in the office.
To that end, Crestron’s new Flex R-Series can be installed in minutes and wheeled into any existing space to provide one-touch video and content management. The level of flexibility that Creston is offering here is tangible—most companies do not want to (or cannot afford) to equip every conference room with a full-blown video conferencing system. The Flex R-Series is a cost-effective solution that has the potential to close the distance between remote teams, regardless of their geographic location.
A few closing thoughts
While the conventional wisdom is that significant numbers of workers will continue to work remotely after the pandemic subsides, I believe the jury is still out on that. There are still collaboration benefits from participating in in-person meetings. However, video conferencing is here to stay—particularly with workers who must engage with other co-workers that are hundreds or even thousands of miles away.
With this uncertainty, Crestron appears to be hedging its bets. Its HomeTime solutions bundle will appeal to those who continue to work from home, and desire a higher-quality video conferencing experience (though its volume potential will likely be limited to well-to-do homeowners and business executives, due to the fact that its pricing starts at $6,100). Meanwhile, Crestron’s Flex R-Series could be a cost-attractive, mobile alternative for corporate, government and even some small business accounts that require more professional-grade video conferencing capabilities. Starting at $9,000 (depending on the platform support needed), the Flex R-Series could be considered a bargain since its mobile format mitigates the need to outfit multiple conference rooms with fixed video conferencing equipment.
However things shake out, Crestron deserves credit for thinking outside of the box during COVID-19. Both are unique, premium solutions that are consistent with the legacy Crestron brand and extend the company’s value proposition to even more potential users.
Disclosure: Moor Insights & Strategy, like all research and analyst firms, provides or has provided research, analysis, advising and/or consulting to many high-tech companies in the industry. The author does not have any investment positions in the companies named in this article.
Our 2020 Audio Visual Case Study Review has landed! Featuring ESTA, Toorak College, Presbyterian Ladies’ College and Ave Maria College, our Case Study Review takes a deep dive into some of our more recent AV-mazing installations of 2020.
Click here to read the review in full.
The following article has been re-posted from shure.com:
Clear communication is at the core of every successful business meeting. Without it, meaningful discussion is compromised, important ideas may need to be repeated and participants become frustrated, leading to a loss of productivity and a negative impact on your bottom line.
But, as companies need increasing agility in the digital age, smart and reliable audio solutions have become a tool to ensure that organizations stay ahead of competitors.
The successful deployment of a microphone or microphone system can play an essential role giving your company a communications edge. Using the right microphone in the correct environment can make an important difference in maximizing the effectiveness of your meetings.
With audio conferencing now increasingly in the IT team’s wheelhouse, this quick guide aims to give your team the confidence to implement flawless audio solutions in a range of corporate environments.
Factors Impacting Audio Quality
From meeting rooms to huddle spaces, it’s important to remember that every meeting scenario offers different and unique challenges. While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, some essential factors are universal.
When installing a boardroom microphone and audio solution, professionals need to consider:
- Room size
- Number of attendees
- Seating arrangement
- Number of presenters
- Presentation style
Looking at these fundamentals will help you make an informed choice about your microphones, and microphone system.
The Boardroom Scenario
Boardrooms typically accommodate between 6 and 30 participants who are usually seated at one large table. Microphones are common in boardrooms, both for teleconferencing and as a means of recording proceedings for archival purposes.
Attention is almost always given to the room’s aesthetics and acoustical characteristics. Room surfaces – ceilings, walls and floors – often benefit from sound treatment materials, panels and furnishings in an attempt to optimize audio by making these spaces less reflective.
Key Issue #1: Room size
In some boardrooms, the greater the number of attendees, the greater the risk of intelligibility issues in certain areas. Speech level fades as the distance between the speaker and listener increases. The negative impact is often heightened when participants fail to face each other when speaking.
In these scenarios, a microphone solution incorporating voice lift technology can be very effective. Voice lift, available in most conference systems, amplifies the voices of attendees in one part of the room so other attendees can hear them clearly. It subtly enhances frequency ranges most critical for intelligibility to restore natural speech levels and ensure greater clarity.
Ceiling microphones can work effectively with voice lift applications, but only if they are extremely directional to avoid picking up sounds and subsequent reverberations from nearby loudspeakers. The microphone’s pickup area also needs to focus only on the desired group of talkers, even if participants lean back or stand up when speaking.
Key Issue #2: Security
Often in boardroom meetings, highly sensitive issues are debated or discussed. Security and privacy options are more important than ever before. Look for systems that offer:
It’s important for a meeting to sound great, but it’s equally important for senior employees and directors to be confident that when they push the mute button, any confidential information is not heard.
Encryption is an important security method for video conferencing. As AV conferencing equipment now sits on networks, organizations need assurance that these devices are not open to cybersecurity breaches.
For AV teams, this creates the new challenge of balancing the demand for high security without compromising on audio quality. Whether microphones are wired or wireless, the signal between network audio devices cannot be breached. No one within your facility, even those on your network, can listen to your meetings.
Key Issue #3: Room Acoustics
Room acoustics in the modern meeting environment are far more important than most people realize. Many contemporary spaces feature glass surfaces which are on trend for designers but cause headaches for audio, producing reflections that lead to hollow sound and reduced audio quality.
While applying acoustical treatments and consulting with an acoustics expert can help, microphone choice and placement are also key to overcoming the challenges of a room with hard surfaces. If microphones are aimed accurately, they will pick up less room noise and more of the essential communications required.
Key Issue #4: RF Interference
If you’re located in a city’s downtown area, wireless microphone systems are at risk of RF interference from other wireless equipment. Interruptions from these unwanted signals can ruin dynamic interactions with distracting noise and dropouts.
RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) is defined as an unwanted signal that compromises a sound system by directly interfering with wireless microphones or inducing noise in other audio components. Typical sources include FM radio stations, AM radio stations, walkie-talkies or cell phones. The resulting noise takes the form of unwanted buzzing, noise bursts or even music. If you’re implementing an audio solution in a dense urban location, make sure to evaluate the capabilities of microphones in combating these unwanted distractions.
Shure Microphone Solutions
In its nearly 100 year history, Shure has emerged as a global leader in pro audio, known for its game-changing engineering as well as its unassailable reputation for quality and reliability. Those attributes are present in Shure’s wide spectrum of meeting, discussion and boardroom solutions.
If a table has many meeting participants or is of an unconventional size, then end users might prefer the microphone to be elsewhere for less office clutter and better audio quality. In this case, Shure’s MXA910 Ceiling Array Microphone is a great solution. It works effectively whether the boardroom setting is fixed, temporary or multi-purpose. The Shure MXA910 with Intellimix® features state-of-the-art DSP technology that works intuitively to provide the best audio experience possible.
The MX395 Microflex Low Profile Boundary Microphone offers an economical microphone solution and works best when several are positioned along the center of a table.
Microflex Wireless offers greater versatility and more effective audio without the need for excess equipment clutter in the form of wires or plugs. It offers security from interference in corporate environment and larger meeting spaces. The MXWAPT8 Access Point Receiver is an 8-channel wireless access point compatible with Microflex Wireless microphone systems. It works well within the corporate environment as the supplied mounting plate and paintable cover allows discreet placement in boardrooms.
Directional and wireless microphones from the Microflex Complete Digital Conference System offer a variety of potential options for professionals all with a focus on delivering scalable world class audio within your meeting environments.
Flexible for Room Sizes and Types
Camera tracking technology, also when used with the MXA910, can elevate your boardroom meeting, especially for larger gatherings. Multiple cameras will enable external viewers to see different angles and views of participants. Because the MXA910 quickly and reliably selects the right lobe for any talker, the camera tracking system always shows the appropriate view. When used in combination with a voice lift system, the pickup lobes of the MXA910 can be easily adjusted to precisely match a room’s configuration and capture audio from the desired coverage areas.
The Shure P300 Audio Conferencing Processor’s Mute Sync feature can be used in tandem with the MXA910. This intuitive, programming-free LED mute sync functionality works with leading third-party software codecs including Zoom Rooms and Microsoft Skype and guarantees security is maintained so sensitive conversations can remain offline.
Shure Audio Encryption offers protection against any data breaches when used with the IntelliMix P300 Audio Conferencing Processor or Shure Audio Network Interfaces.
The network uses AES-256 encryption to protect confidential content flowing between Shure audio devices. This is one of the safest forms of network protection currently available and used by financial services organizations, government bodies and health care services
Not that long ago, end users had to adapt to the demands of technology. But now, audio solutions are so advanced, they can adapt to each situation and be tailored to how you like to do business. It means you’re now free to stop worrying about audio quality and focus on what you do best: communicating clearly with clients and customers to drive your organization’s success.
The following article has been re-posted from nas.solutions/blog:
Listen Technologies, the leading provider of assistive listening systems for 22 years, is collaborating with Disney Parks, Experiences and Products to develop advanced technology that provides a more inclusive experience for guests. Listen Technologies will develop assistive technologies and tour solutions utilising the Disney MagicALL suite of Disney SyncLink® Technologies.
MagicALL is an accessibility platform featuring a suite of proprietary technologies, intellectual property and patents that enable all guests to experience the magic of Disney. MagicALL is for guests with hearing loss, who are deaf or blind, or guests who speak a different language. Disney licenses MagicALL to other organisations so they can use this technology to enable magical guest experiences everywhere.
In collaboration with Disney, Listen Technologies solutions will pave the way to bring products to market that dramatically improve experiences and increase inclusion for users whether they are in a theme park, a performing arts centre, on a tour or other destination.
In 2018, Listen Technologies entered into a technology agreement with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to use Disney SyncLink, a synchronisation technology that delivers customised content and information. Together, the technology and solutions will deliver the right information at the right time and place to the right person, seamlessly.
“Imagine entering an immersive ride, exhibit, or performance and being able to listen in real-time to synchronised audio in your native language or hear clearly despite having hearing loss,” said Maile Keone, president of Listen Technologies. “Disney and Listen Technologies are making this possible. Our solutions, combined with Disney’s SyncLink Technology, will provide inclusive experiences for guests with hearing, visual or translation needs.”
“Disney is synonymous with delivering magical experiences to guests so Listen Technologies is thrilled to team with Disney on its MagicALL initiative and bring greater accessibility, inclusion and engagement to all people,” said Russ Gentner, CEO of Listen Technologies. “Listen Technologies is committed to improving life’s experiences by providing exceptional, personalised audio and content on any platform at any venue.”
Listen Technologies products provide a new level of connectivity by utilising a variety of advanced solutions for assistive listening as well as customised content for guided and self-guided tours. Listen Technologies will extend the inclusive, Disney MagicALL experience to concert halls, museums, houses of worship, stadiums, walking tours, and more, providing the technology to allow all types of venues to offer immersive experiences.
“We have a commitment to share our accessibility know-how and technology with companies around the world to help enhance experiences for everyone,” said Chief Safety Officer and Vice President for Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Greg Hale. “We are pleased to license Disney SyncLink® Technology to Listen Technologies to further develop seamless synchronised Disney© MagicALL experiences for guests with hearing, visual or language needs.”
Crestron touch screens are found almost everywhere: work, home, colleges and government offices. Given the current situation facing Crestron global customers, we wanted to provide simple steps on how to clean and disinfect Crestron touch screens to help protect the people who use them.
Keeping our customers and their families safe from the transmission of COVID-19 is our first priority. Per the CDC recommendations, frequent cleaning of high touch surfaces is important.*
To clean Crestron touch screens
- Use any commercially available non-ammonia glass or disinfectant cleaner.
- Apply a small amount of cleaner directly to a microfiber or a similar disposable towel or cloth-be sure the cloth is damp and not wet.
- Wipe the glass touch screen clean.
- Do not apply cleaner directly to any interface (as most of our systems are not waterproof). And do not wipe the plastic surrounding the glass.
Our goal is to make sure we’re doing all we can to keep our customers and their families safe. For more information and updates on approved cleaners check our online help article here.