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ISE 2018 review: networking and unified comms

Following our look back at the standout display and audio technologies from ISE 2018, our final review considers the most significant networking and connectivity products as well as those in unified communications and collaboration.

Networking and connectivity
KVM specialist Adder Technology unveiled its ADDERLink Infinity 100T unit – a ‘zero U’ IP-based KVM for video, audio and USB – on day one of the show. Billed as ‘the world’s smallest high-performance KVM transmitter’ the unit can be plugged into the back of any computer, meaning it takes up zero rack space. It is powered over USB, consuming around 2W of power. It works with the ADDERLink INFINITY Manager and ADDERLink INFINITY receivers.

Aurora Multimedia showed its HT Series of HDBaseT 2.0 products. These can transmit 4K60 4:4:4 18Gbps HDMI 2.0/HDCP2.2 a distance of 100m over a single unshielded Cat cable, with no quality compromise and with zero frame latency. All the products have an integrated web server for remote IP control, USB 2.0 with directional control, and the world’s first Dante option for 2- or 8-channel Dante, the company says. Also, the HT Series can power both TX and RX from a single port on a PoE switch, eliminating external power supplies.

Visionary Solutions was showing its platform for delivering Dante connectivity for video. The PacketAV Duet Encoder and Decoder deliver visually lossless, ultra-low latency 4K UHD video and Dante over Gigabit Ethernet, harnessing the flexibility and scalability of converged IP networks. Scott Freshman, chief operating officer at Visionary Solutions, said: “This is video for audio pros. If you know how to use Dante for audio, you know how to use PacketAV Duet for video. It really does change everything.”

tvONE launched the CORIOview 4K multi-window processor, which handles up to eight sources. Designed for ease of use and plug-and-play operation, CORIOview features auto-layout functionality which automates preset selection. For more advanced applications, users can take full control via the unit’s front panel, which gives access to user-definable or pre-programmable presets, video and audio switching. An info button displays on-screen information about the source and window selection.

Barco was showing its Enterprise Virtual Matrix solution, which offers IP-based uncompressed video, audio and USB switching. The Enterprise Virtual Matrix, the company claims, brings the virtual matrix concept to the next level for use cases where no compromise can be made in latency, image quality or functionality, including high-resolution 3D and multi-projector synchronised set-ups.

Merging Technologies announced enhancements to Aneman, described as the first cross-platform and cross-vendor audio network manager for audio-over-IP applications. Aneman allows the connection, monitoring and management of networked audio devices, particularly AES67, and as an open solution it allows new manufacturers to adapt it to their specific devices. The basic version, downloadable free, is designed to control any network featuring Merging Technologies devices, plus other partners’ equipment. ISE 2018 saw the launch of the Enterprise version, which can offer this capability to other manufacturers’ products, as well as the ability to manage larger networks.

Audinate was showing Dante IP Core, a soft IP solution for audio manufacturers. This allows OEMs working with FPGA-based designs to add Dante audio connectivity to AV products at a lower cost and with greater flexibility than ever before. According to the company, development teams can save time, reduce BOM costs and minimise their internal footprint by using a single FPGA to implement both product applications and Dante audio networking.

Dante IP Core is claimed to run efficiently alongside OEM product applications such as ASRC, audio encryption, and signal processing on a range of Xilinx FPGAs. This provides channel counts up to 512 x 512 with ultra-low latency and sub-microsecond synchronisation.

Unified comms and collaboration
was showing the NDI HX, described as the world’s first network device interface (NDI) pan/tilt/zoom camera with video, audio, PTZ control, tally and power via one standard Ethernet cable.

This 20x zoom IP video camera can transmit full 3G 1080p 60 video directly to NDI-compatible products across a standard network.

ZeeVee was demonstrating Meeting Room in a Box – a complete starter kit that allows ‘pain-free’ installation of an AV over IP solution. By leveraging ZeeVee’s Zyper4K AV over IP signal distribution solution, the new kit is said to allow customers to distribute uncompressed 4K video with minimal installation and configuration time.

Bob Michaels, ZeeVee CEO, commented: “A complex control system is not required because the ZyPer MaestroZ interface allows control from any device on the ZyPer network, and includes admin rights. Up to three sources can be switched to two screens and expanded up to eight more devices.”

The ZyPer4K meeting room starter kit can be adapted to connect multiple meeting rooms.

Samsung’s Flip is a portable display that is designed to replace the traditional flipchart. The display’s embedded hall, proximity and accelerometer sensors immediately activate the system as participants approach or lift a corresponding writing tool.

Users can enjoy a smooth, natural writing experience comparable to that of a pen and paper, with up to four participants able to make notes at the same time. For added versatility, the display remains compatible with multiple writing tools and offers a variety of distinct font sizes, colours and textures.

Crestron was showing version 2.0 of its AirMedia network-based wireless presentation technology. Built into popular Crestron presentation solutions, AirMedia 2.0 is said to deliver the fastest, easiest, most manageable and secure wireless presentation solution. It leverages the latest security protocols: 802.1x network access control; Active Directory user authentication; AES-128 content encryption; and SSH, SSL, TLS, and HTTPS. It frees people to sit or stand anywhere in the room or space and easily connect their smart devices and laptops to the room display, regardless of operating system.

With a focus on optimising huddle room spaces, Lifesize was showing the Icon 450 HD camera. This is equipped with a smart-framing sensor that automatically pans, tilts and zooms to the optimal position. When new participants join the meeting, the sensor readjusts and centres the frame. The camera is compact enough to sit comfortably in small huddle room spaces, and uses an 82º wide-angle lens, capable of capturing all participants. Set-up is simple, says Lifesize, and the system updates its own software automatically through the Lifesize cloud-based service.