I've wrapped up day one of InfoComm and what a day it was. My schedule ended up being pretty light today. I arrived at the convention center around 7:30AM Pacific time to get checked in. I was already registered, as where my two staff guys. There was a lot of confusion around how we were supposed to get checked in. We each ended up being told something different. I would highly suggest InfoComm look into that process. It wasn't great.
"Good video is a transformational experience. Bad video is disruptive. Right now the world is being filled with bad video"
"The millenial generation will change the way we communicate perminately in the next ten years."
Once we were checked in I headed my to first class . The course was officially titled something like, "emerging global trends in technology", but the course instructor decided to change the title to, "video architecture". I enjoyed the class, even though it wasn't what it was advertised to be. It also went very short, getting done 45 minutes early. The instructor, Michael Harttree, is a senior engineer at Cisco. A few quotes that jumped out to me""We should be in the business of connecting people not devices. People are not endpoints."
After my class concluded I spent a significant amount of my day on the massive show floor. I made it through a first pass of the video and audio booths. Just walking the booths took a solid 5 hours. I did stumble upon a software product called Float4. Of course I had to show it to Travis so he could mess with it! The software uses a Xbox connect, which was attached to the side of this video screen. The software digitally puts you into the video image and also lets you interact with the image in real time. For instance as travis moved his hands he could catch the letters falling around him. It's very cool. You can check it out at www.float4.com to get more info.
I took the time to go hang in the Martin Audio demo room with Birkey and take in their presentation. We heard a few of their products including some ceiling speakers, subwoofers and compact line arrays. The most significant product they presented was the MLA compact array. It's a fully integrated, 3 way, self-powered, array with over 130dB at one meter output. That's loud. It kicks 2100 watts cintinous with a 4200 watt peak and contains 5 channels of DSP per box for nearly component level control. This means in an array of 8 boxes you're running 40 channels of DSP on the PA. Holy complicated, Batman!
A major downside to the units is you have to buy a Merlin DSP to connect to a system of boxes. You can't just download a software app and/or connect via web browser. That's a major inconvenience for such an advanced system. The boxes are IP25 rated for outdoor use, which is good. They should take direct sunshine and mild rain without any issue. Martin claims that using their software app will get the array consistant to plus or minus 1dB in the listening area. This is incredibly misleading because there software app is only taking into account vertical coverage patterns. On the plus side, it will allow you to integrate with EASE and this will give you a much more accurate representation of the frequency response. My honest opinion of Martin audio? Still not very good. I was hoping they had made progress in the past few years but they haven't. It's the classic case of an audio company chasing feature count and completely forgetting to make things sound good. Unfortunately, a lot of integrators will use the product because of the features and forget about how it sounds as well. Too bad.
I think we can call the first day of InfoComm 2012 a success overall. I enjoyed connecting with a group of Technical Directors from church facilities all over the country and talking about gear, volunteers, and other random topics. I'm looking forward to walking the lighting and staging areas of the floor today and grabbing some other great ideas. Also, I'll be attempting to get by the demo rooms for Electro-Voice and Sennheiser.