InfoComm 2019: The industry moves forward

InfoComm 2019 wrapped up in Orlando, USA last week. Official attendance for the show was 44,129 which compares favourably to last year's figure of 42,811 in Las Vegas and just beats out 2017's numbers of 44,077 visitors in Orlando. Inavate was at the exhibition and here are some of the main trends we discovered at the show.

Integrator concerns
Across every booth and manufacturer, the messaging at InfoComm 2019 focused on one thing – making the life of the integrator easier. From panels to projectors to loudspeakers, the main talking point of every product presentation and conversation was a feature that seemed to address an issue faced during deployment. While new technological breakthroughs where not readily apparent, everyone seemed to have an improvement to design.

AV over IP fine tuned
The battles lines for AV over IP are drawn and defined – 1Gb versus 10Gb, quality versus compression, bandwidth, latency. There was nothing gained or lost by competitors at InfoComm 2019. However, quality of life improvements were introduced across platforms and products.

SDVoE introduced previews and multi-view functionality. ZeeVee showcased the implementation of its features at InfoComm 2019.

On the other side, Crestron showcased its NVX boxes baked directly into displays via the OPS slot. The eventual goal is to have a range of panel manufacturers directly ship displays with NVX already fitted into the product.

Building the chain
Everyone in AV wants to be a one-stop shop but this is easier said than done. We saw more manufacturers take the steps towards the one-stop shop endgame with Biamp providing a good example. It introduced Desono speakers, which have been built in-house with a focus on ease of installation. The addition of speakers completes the audio chain so to speak with Biamp already providing digital signal processing and amplifiers.

Projection split
The troubles projection has been facing in the market are well documented. Manufacturers have been responding with projector models with ever increasing brightness, something that LCD panels and LEDs are unable to match. At InfoComm 2019, manufacturers shifted tack by splitting the projector head from the light source. Both Christie and Digital Projection showcased models that connected these two halves via fibre for light transmission.

Softer world
We’ve seen virtualisation, where the function is abstracted from hardware, in the consumer technology and IT worlds. InfoComm 2019 presented evidence that the AV industry might be going down the same route. Audinate introduced Dante as Software, a move that allows Dante capabilities to be introduced as to DSP with the appropriate architecture. QSC showcased how this new development will be implemented. For now, Audinate will pursue the OEM course for this new development. But could this be the first step towards the virtualisation in AV?

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