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InfoComm Best in Market 2021

Best of Market acknowledges products that were unable to exhibit at InfoComm 2021. Products were judged virtually by AV experts. Congrats to the teams. Please note that we loosened some rules for product release timing given the circumstances of Covid.

Atlona Room Kits

Atlona Room Kits provide bundled, fast-to-install, single SKU AV systems for a variety of common meeting room environments. These spaces typically include AV technology that allows participants to present content to a display or collaborate via video conferencing. These predesigned and preconfigured solutions include a unique low-profile wall-mounted rack ready to hang with the majority of AV components already installed. Component technologies include Atlona’s proven Omega, Velocity, and AT-HDVSCAM products. Judges immediate saw the value in the concept. “These kits would fit extremely well in the enterprise market where simple, repeatable solutions are worth their weight in gold. The features and capabilities are impressive, but the real value is in the all in one, simple single SKU ordering and design.”

Shure Microflex MX415DUAL Dual Catridge Microphone

This beautiful new premium gooseneck–the most recent addition to the Microflex line–ensures that every word is captured not once, but twice. With Shure’s dual capsule design, two cardioid cartridges capture simultaneously, each to a separate output preamp. The cartridges are also interchangeable to accommodate other Microflex polar patterns for increased flexibility. To avoid electrical interference between the microphones, each audio signal path is isolated with its own ground. With the integrated CommShield technology, RF interference from mobile phones is rejected, resulting in a clean signal. Thoughtful install and cable features caught the judges attention, in keeping with this high-end product. “Anytime you can improve on the industry standard, you have done something. This product does just that. The features and performance of this microphone make it an obvious choice.”

Epson EB-PU2010B WUXGA 3LCD Laser Projector with 4K Enhancement

Positioned as the world’s smallest and lightest 10,000 lumen projector, the Epson EB-PU2010B 3LCD Laser Projector builds in pro-level features and installation tools, many previously unavailable in this lumen range, such as built-in NFC function to reduce installation time of multiple projectors; read and write setting information using Epson’s mobile app; and easy access to automated tools for projector stacking and tiling with an optional clip-on external camera. Interchangeable lenses including .35 ultra short-throw, built-in edge blending, image warping, and USB playback are among the features. An optional clip-on external camera requires no angle of view adjustment and gives integrators access to powerful automated tools including auto color calibration, screen matching of multiple projectors, tiling assists for edge blends, and the stacking assist function. From the judges: “This projector is a no brainer for use in a variety of instances, and the feature set it carries are a welcome benefit to the price tag.”

Atlona WAVE

This wireless presentation and collaboration platform is designed for easy content sharing with iOS, Android, Mac, Chromebook, and Windows devices. It allows up to four presenters to share their content simultaneously on-screen, with an Instructor Mode available for managing additional presenters and selecting which to be displayed. Wireless BYOD interfacing is simply enabled through the device’s native casting protocol (such as AirPlay, Google Cast, or Miracast), without the need to install an app. YouTube Live streaming is also supported. For hands-free, effortless user operation, Dynamic Layout Mode is an innovative feature of the WAVE-101 that automatically adapts the on-screen layout to new incoming or disconnected source content. Judges liked the way it leveraged consumer devices and platforms, paired with pro features for integrators and end users, including programmable display control, display of useruploaded images and video media, and support for cloud-based digital signage applications. “This product would be a natural fit in many of the enterprise conference rooms with an eye toward BYOD. The addition of an integrated wireless access point is a nice touch.”

Jabra PanaCast

For this next-gen Panacast, the 13-megapixel camera delivers 4K Ultra-HD video, while AI-powered features handle new Intelligent Zoom, Intelligent Lighting Optimization, and Picture-in-Picture features. It works with all leading UC platforms, by clipping PanaCast 20 onto any computer screen or monitor and plug in. The protective carry case, is a nice touch for hybrid workers and it integrates with Jabra headsets or speakerphones. “ This camera would be a great fit for someone looking to upgrade their home or hybrid office, and the features it offers are robust and expansive.”

Sharp NEC Display Solutions ActiveScene

In June 2021, Sharp NEC Display Solutions partnered with Avery Dennison Vela Dynamic System to introduce ActiveScene, a sophisticated, interactive AV solution combining Avery Dennison’s Vela film and NEC projection technology. ActiveScene can be retrofitted to any window or glass surface, effectively turning the underutilized space into a video wall. Controlled electronically, the film toggles between clear and opaque upon command. For example, ActiveScene can be used to transform glass storefronts into large advertising displays, corporate conference room windows into dynamic privacy screens, or glassfronted museum vignettes into signage, etc. The ActiveScene complete digital display solution includes one of three NEC projectors, lens and standard mount, VELA film, VELA designated controller, media player, basic Content Management System (CMS). From the judges: “There are countless applications that this innovative product could be used for today, and many more that it might be used for in the future.”

Sony VPL-FHZ85 and VPL-FHZ80 Laser Projectors

Sony’s brand new standout WUXGA 3LCD laser projectors, the VPL-FHZ85 and VPL-FHZ80 add to the strong options for the mid-range projector class. The VPL-FHZ85’s size and weight make it the smallest and lightest available in the class. The projectors offer high brightness – the VPL-FHZ85 at 7,300 lumens (8,000 lumens center) and the VPL-FHZ80 at 6,000 lumens (6,500 lumens center); both support 4K60. Sony’s Reality Creation real-time signal processing supports mapping and analysis and enhances the overall sharpness, resolution and quality of pictures, graphics, and text. Intelligent Settings, thoughtful installation features, USB power for wireless presentations, and a range of other relevant features caught the judges’ attention. “These products are chock full of features and next gen performance. The ability to stuff this many features into such a small footprint with the functionality is exceptional.”

DVIGear Wildcat DVI-7570, 4K HDMI CAT6 Extender

DVIGear Wildcat extenders utilize new technology that enables them to extend HDMI signals for a fraction of the cost of other twisted pair extenders. This result is achieved using visually lossless compression that allows resolutions up to 3840 x 2160 /60p (4:4:4) to be extended up to 30 meters (98 ft.) over a single CAT6A cable. Resolutions up to 3840 x 2160 /30p (4:4:4) can be extended to 70 meters (230 ft.). This extender includes a buffered HDMI Loop Output for a local HDMI display on the transmitter unit. The receiver unit includes de-embedded Analog and Digital (TOSLINK) audio outputs to facilitate connections to an external audio system. The DVI-7570 supports HDMI 4K /60p, is HDCP 2.2 compliant and supports bi-directional Power-overCable. “This fills the need for an easy to use, value priced point to point extender. The feature set is extremely robust, and the addition of a looped output could come in very handy in the field.”

Biamp Desono EX Series Surface-mounted Loudspeakers

Designed for high-fidelity music and speech, these speakers could not be evaluated for audio quality virtually, however the judges were all familiar with the rest of the Desono line. Judges tracked to the aesthetic and the weather rating including the 100% corrosion resistant hardware and weather-sealed wiring connections out of the box at no additional cost. They come in a range of sizes from 6.5” to 10”. The two-way Desono EX Series includes 6.5-inch, 8-inch, and 10-inch two-way coaxial loudspeakers, as well as a 10-inch subwoofer. For installers they include choice of Biamp’s incredibly versatile ClickMount Pan-Tilt brackets or ClickMount U-Brackets. “These products are a shoe in for use in a variety of cases including enterprise, retail and higher education.”

TEKVOX 120-MV Universal Switcher 

This most recent in TEKVOX 1201 line of switchers, the 1201-MV Universal Switcher supports resolutions up to 4Kx2K@60Hz 4:4:4, and supports up to six video sources: 5 HDMI, and 1 USB-C with 60W charging. Its Mic (with selectable phantom power) and Line audio inputs offer modern audio mixing, and the audio source can be selected independently from the video. Balanced stereo and SPDIF optical audio outputs provide streamlined audio de-embedding for driving an amplifier or DSP. Because TEKVOX’s Universal Switcher features simultaneous HDMI and HDBaseT outputs, it can send video to a distant room display or projector—up to 328 ft/100m away—and a local HDMI confidence monitor at the same time, with no other hardware needed. Installation is simplified with 5-Play HDBaseT over a single CATx cable. For collaboration it supports remote USB camera and mic (up to 328 feet); it supports twelve flexible multi-view configurations. From the judges: “This is a very intriguing product that is rich with features.” “Well-designed especially for some education and smaller presentation spaces.”

Crestron DM NVX 4K60 4:4:4 HDR Network AV Encoder/Decoder

This new compact AV-over-IP encoder/decoder designed to function as either a transmitter or receiver. Capable of handling a network AV installation of any size, the DM NVX 363 includes features, such as secure web-based control and management, a scaling HDMI output, video wall processing, an analog audio input or output, surround sound audio with downmixing, native Dante and AES67 transmit and receive capability, USB 2.0 and KVM integration, and support for copper and fiber Ethernet connectivity. In DM NVX encoder mode, adaptive bit rate can be enabled or disabled using the web interface or a control system. Depending on the operating mode, the DM NVX 363 can encode or decode a video signal to achieve imperceptible end-to-end latency of less than 1 frame. The image quality of the source is maintained across a 1-Gigabit network at any resolution up to 4K60 4:4:4. From the judges: “This is the Ferrari of networked AV.” “This product compliments the other NVX components making up one of the most robust networked AV portfolios, able to solve nearly any challenge one might encounter in an install.”

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