InfoComm was a bit of a blur, and we had to go to press before I could fully process what was one of the most practical and infrastructure-oriented shows in my memory. As always there were some gorgeous displays and uplifting speaker demos. One of my favorite microphone demos was the ingenious Shure Mircoflex Advance—a line of ceiling and tabletop speakers that seem to bend physics to their will.
But the topline for me is “distribution is sexy again.” And everywhere. On the sound side, Dante continues to just work for more companies. On the picture side, the phrase “Video Over IP” was very busy. I saw it applied to so many situations—from applications that resemble IP-based streaming to robust implementations of Ethernet standards and switches (i.e. Biamp TesiraLUX) or proprietary codecs like VC2 (i.e. Atlona OmniStream).
As is often the case with progress, there is now a fruit salad of apples and oranges to compare. For example, the distinction of whether signal is moving within the LAN or outside of it is not always carefully made, especially, I notice, in digital signage. At the same time, I saw the results of some very serious engineering all over the industry from players of all sizes.
As always I was drawn to the Aptovision booth, if I can single one of the many companies out. I remember the first time I saw the BlueRiver chip two years ago. At the time it was a pretty stunning glimpse of what the future paradigm of “matrix switching” could look like if it wasn’t physical hardiron matrix switching—if it used Ethernet switches. Now the talk is of 10GbE. Two years went fast.
At InfoComm, AptoVision announced the BlueRiver NT+ chip, which allows the distribution of 4K at 60 fps and 4:4:4 color sampling on a 10 GbE network. AptoVision chips were under the hood in distribution products at DVIGear, Aurora, and ZeeVee that I saw and I’m sure there are more. This is by no means the only contributor to the paradigm shift, but they continue to be disruptive and pioneering.
On page 67, you will see that our panel of professional judges gravitated to some distribution products for the Best of InfoComm awards, including the DVIGear DisplayNet. This was the 3rd outing for this awards program and our most competitive yet. Many worthy products fell just under the winning cutoff. We’ll be looking at more of these products next month, as well as a wealth of other releases that came out of the show. For now, congratulations to the winners.