InfoComm11: 1 bat, 2 mergers and a digital signage overview

This year's InfoComm, "the world's biggest audiovisual trade show," is ratcheting into high gear today and will go into overdrive tomorrow.

The show, which bills itself as "the largest and most comprehensive pro-AV event in the world," has been holding conferences since Saturday, and the show exhibition floor opens tomorrow at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.

According to the InfoComm website, the show will draw more than 32,000 A/V professionals and more than 950 exhibitors, and an HP exec will be delivering an opening keynote address this afternoon at 4 p.m.

Rob Scott, vice president and general manager, HP Visual Collaboration, will be delivering a keynote address today looking at detailing how companies today are using high definition video to extend natural visual experiences across the enterprise to extend the power of personal connections. According to a release from InfoComm, Scott will address and demonstrate how new software-based technologies for videoconferencing are transforming total cost of ownership and opening up a new world of opportunity for businesses — erasing distance barriers, increasing workforce productivity and effectiveness while reducing their organization's carbon footprint.

But that's only the beginning.

Following the news of their merger, Minicom Digital Signage and EnQii are showcasing their merged offering at the show's Digital Signage Pavilion. (And rumblings are that the company may be unveiling a new name for the merged entity at the show.)

A company release said show attendees will "receive first-hand information on the first merger of the industry, creating a leader to drive digital signage innovation," as well as have the opportunity to view live demos of media distribution solutions with DS Vision Digital and ScreenGate IP Streaming, as well as content and network management solutions with EnGage and ScreenGate Management Gateway.

And Omnivex Corp., Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and provider of enterprise-level software for digital signage networks, will be demonstrating the latest features of their recently released version of Moxie software, 6.08, which includes a new dynamic wayfinding module. Moxie enables customers to develop engaging and informative digital signage content that drives business results and improves operational efficiencies, the company said.

Omnivex Moxie software offers customers the ability to distribute information and communicate with their targeted audiences through the effective use of real-time data.

Moxie 6.08 offers a number of performance enhancements which not only broaden the scope of its graphical and functional capabilities, but also make it more user-friendly, according to Omnivex. By replacing the previous MSMQ communication protocol with TCP, the software offers faster and more reliable message delivery between applications. Further benefits of 6.08 include improved playlist management features and greater encryption control for better security and stability of user networks.

Also, LG Electronics has announced that it will be unveiling innovations that enhance commercial business operations and guest experiences at the show. At this year's show, LG will be showcasing its commercial-grade 3-D LCD HDTV and LED HDTV, along with its LED Video Wall, SuperSign Premier-s and SuperSign Elite-s. LG said it will also debut a new digital signage product at the show.

Mounting solutions provider Video Mount Products has announced that it will give away a baseball bat autographed by baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken during this year's InfoComm. Show attendees have to stop by the VMP booth during show hours in order to enter for a chance to win, and the winner will be announced during the show's third day.

"Cal Ripken is a favorite of many baseball fans," Tony Pelura, VMP director of marketing/business development, said in an announcement from the company. "But, since VMP is based in Maryland and Ripken was born in Maryland and played his entire career with the Baltimore Orioles, he's also a local hero and held in even higher regard for us. I'm just mad I'm not eligible to win!"

VMP also will be showcasing its new PDS-LCM2B dual large flat panel ceiling mount adapter during the show, at its booth.

"Now shipping, the PDS-LCM2B adapter allows our PDS-LCB large flat panel tilt ceiling mount to accommodate two 37- to 63-inch flat panel displays back-to-back with a combined weight of up to 360 lbs.," VMP President Keith Fulmer said in an announcement.

Among the products scheduled to be displayed by NEC Display Solutions of America are its new ultra-narrow model addition to its X Series, the 55-inch X551UN. This professional-grade large-screen display is a direct LED-backlit LCD display, which allows for improved uniformity, reduced power consumption and mercury-free components. The X551UN has a 5.5mm distance between active screen areas of two neighboring displays. This model is the third product in NEC's X Series to support Intel's Open Pluggable Specification (OPS), which is the first industry-wide standardization in option slots to simplify digital signage.

NEC also will be showcasing the new 65-inch model addition to its commercial-grade V Series, the V651. NEC said this model offers digital signage users world-class features at a cost-conscious price.

Designed for extended use in retail, restaurants, indoor venues, training facilities and corporate boardrooms, the V651 introduces several features to the V Series product line, according to NEC: full 1080p high-definition resolution in a commercial-grade LCD panel; a built-in expansion slot allows for seamless integration of NEC accessories, third-party components and OPS-based products; and built-in low-profile 10W speakers.

At this year's InfoComm, Haivision will highlight its partnership with Kodak and demonstrate the integration of Haivision's CoolSign digital signage solution with the Kodak JV1000 and JV700 Digital Frames. Haivision said the combined solution is ideal for delivering scheduled content to any retail queue or checkout within franchises, to hotel guests, across campuses and anywhere Wi-Fi is available.

Haivision also will be launching its Viper multiStream IP video streamer/recorder, its fifth-generation H.264 technology for capturing, streaming, reviewing, distributing and publishing multistream content.

X2O Media's next-generation NITRO graphics platform also will be making its debut at InfoComm 2011. According to X2O, NITRO combines graphics and real-time animations with powerful features such as an innovative Channel-in-Channel capability for a virtually unlimited number of overlapping channel layers, and integrated 3-D support for the creation of 3-D objects and tickers. NITRO is bolstered with support for multitouch touchscreens and for any resolution output — from single screens to giant multiscreen command centers and video walls.

X2O Media also will launch a new version of its Xpresenter vClips video kiosk, the first product to be powered by the new NITRO graphics platform. The latest version of vClips combines new dynamic-display capabilities, including a 3-D video carousel that displays HD videos, with simple on-screen navigation. The Xpresenter vClips video kiosk is a complete interactive video application that allows users to browse and play back video clips using a simple touchscreen interface.

Also, Netherlands-based end-to-end 3D solutions provider Dimenco will be showcasing its full-spectrum 3-D system, including 3-D displays, components, rendering solutions, software and content conversion services, and the AOpen Digital Engine, at the AOpen booth at this year's show.

Dimenco recently announced that it had selected the AOpen Digital Engine DE7000 to power its 3-D technology. Dimenco offers end-to-end glasses-free (autostereoscopic) 3-D solutions, including 3-D displays, components, rendering solutions, software and content conversion services. Dimenco acquired a 3-D technology license from Philips, enabling them to commercially use and further develop this technology on Philips Public Display screens.

The AOpen America booth will display four different solutions, including mobile proximity marketing with interactive content, 2-D into 3-D content rendering technology, interactive wayfinding and an interactive reception.

AOpen recently announced its new Digital Engine DE67 product, which boasts built-in remote management technology via Intel vPro and Intel's new WiDiTM network content broadcasting.

And BrightSign recently announced that it will welcome visitors to its retail-focused showcase booth with a huge synchronized HD video arch. The arch was constructed with seven BrightSign HD1010 solid-state digital sign controllers driving seven 52-inch screens and measures almost 20 feet across and 9 feet high. The arch will serve as the entrance to a simulated specialty clothing store showing how retailers can enhance their customers' shopping experience.

The video arch was the result of a collaborative effort between BrightSign, MMD, Philips Commercial Displays, Chief and Flixio. Other digital signage solutions to be showcased in this replicated retail setting are the newly-introduced BrightSign TD1012 portable tabletop display, as well as a sleek 6.5-foot floor kiosk with touchscreen interactivity driven by a BrightSign HD1010w controller.

For the synchronized retail video arch display, BrightSign delivered seven BrightSign network-enabled HD1010 solid-state controllers to play back the seven videos with HD video quality. Each player also controls the Ethernet synchronization across seven monitors. Using the free BrightAuthor software application, the seven presentations were created and synchronized together to create the seamless playback effect.

One BrightSign unit acts as the master player and the other six act as slaves, linking up their playback based on the synchronization commands sent from the master. Featuring a very low profile, the player can be tucked out of sight — even with the slim monitors used for the video arch.

MMD, the company that markets and sells Philips Commercial Displays worldwide, supplied seven Philips commercial-grade full-HD LCD monitors for the arch. The monitors feature Smart Insert, a VESA standard mounting location at the back of the display which allows the compact BrightSign media player to be inserted discreetly on the back of the display and to draw power from the display chassis. In addition to providing 24/7-grade commercial performance, the displays provide full diagnostic feedback to the network center.

Chief, a division of Milestone AV Technologies, provided its FUSION wall mounts for each of the seven screens and the digital media player mounts that hold the BrightSign players. The system works together to ensure a secure and clean fit throughout the arch frame.

And the content for the arch is provided by Flixio, a provider of high-definition footage, motion graphics and 2-D/3-D animation for premium digital content use across the country.

in other merger news, Scott Gill, CEO of Chief parent company Milestone AV Technologies, and Richard Lundin, President of Da-Lite Screen Company, will be hosting a press conference at InfoComm to provide an overview of the recent merger of the two companies and the opportunities it provides to customers worldwide.

This merger brings together the Chief, Da-Lite, Sanus, Projecta and Procolor brands under Milestone AV Technologies.

The Milestone/Da-Lite press conference is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. tomorrow in Room W-102A at the Orange County Convention Center.

Finally, Milestone AV Technologies also will be sponsoring a June 16 charity concert at InfoComm, to benefit the National Systems Contractors Association Education Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports the future growth of the commercial electronic systems industry.

Proceeds from the concert support the NSCA Education Foundation's efforts to provide training to commercial electronic systems professionals and scholarships for students training for a career in the industry. For more information about the organization, visit www.nscafoundation.org.

"It is important for Milestone to support and contribute to the growth of the electronic systems industry," Gill said in an announcement of the benefit. "The NSCA Education Foundation provides excellent training and educational resources for existing and future professionals in the field, and we are proud to support the efforts of this organization."

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