Smart Podiums Get an All-in-one Connection

As AV technology evolves, classroom AV systems are becoming more intuitive and easier to use despite the growing number of components. A new crop of AV products recently debuted at shows such as NAB and InfoComm to make the use of multiple AV components
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Smart Podiums Get an All-in-one Connection

Sep 3, 2008 12:00 PM, By Linda Seid Frembes

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Wireworks AV2000 for Smart Podiums Umbilical

As AV technology evolves, classroom AV systems are becoming more intuitive and easier to use despite the growing number of components. A new crop of AV products recently debuted at shows such as NAB and InfoComm to make the use of multiple AV components faster and easier to connect. One such product is the new AV2000 for Smart Podiums cable system by Wireworks, a professional AV cabling company in Hillside, N.J.

According to company president Gerald Krulewicz, the AV2000 was developed and engineered for the broadcast market, but the company has seen large growth in the use of its cables in education and corporate settings. "There are issues with plugging and unplugging an AV system in classrooms. Complex connection panels can mean missed or wrong connections," he says. "And where a smart podium is in use, there may be difficulty in connecting to a wall location due to the classroom setup. That's where AV2000 makes moving the podium much easier."

AV2000 consists of two components—the Access Point and the Umbilical—which are easily integrated into any existing AV system. According to the company, the AV2000 Umbilical is permanently mounted inside the smart podium and is terminated on one end with individual cables for connection directly to system components. The other end of the cable is a single, plug-in solution that connects to the system's Access Point. The Access Point can easily be mounted in a floor box or on the wall. Overall, the company claims the cabling system eliminates any additional connectors as well as complex interface panels on the wall or in floor boxes.

"In a typical higher-education environment, a professor will want to use the smart podium with his or her own laptop. A laptop connection, usually 15ft. or so, is provided with an easy plug-in to the classroom AV via the smart podium," Krulewicz says. "The smart podium usually includes a DVD or VCR player, touchpanel control for projection and lighting, as well as a built-in computer that needs access to audio and to the network." Using a single plug, the AV2000 can connect the professor to the classroom's multimedia system, yet it eliminates the possibility of cross connections.

Krulewicz notes that the education market found the company's products useful, rather than the company engineering products specifically for use in niche markets such as education. "For example, the NAB show is not just exclusively for the broadcast market anymore," he says. "People started talking to us from other markets like education and corporate. At the university level, there is an influx of users with a focus on students in addition to professors which means an increased need for simplicity."

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Smart Podiums Get an All-in-one Connection

Sep 3, 2008 12:00 PM, By Linda Seid Frembes

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Wireworks AV2000 for Smart Podiums Access Point

Customers can order the AV2000 for Smart Podiums in two ways: either as a configured product built to specifications or from one of 10 standard configurations. Wireworks offers a variety of typical smart podium signal requirements, including a combination of RGBHV, Y/C Video, stereo audio, balanced audio, Cat-5e, touchscreen, and I/O signals. Krulewicz says that the company is careful about how cables are terminated and the amount of shielding used so as to achieve flawless performance.

According to the company, each AV2000 system is configured to match each project's specific equipment requirements for cable lengths and tail terminations. The product features gold-plated coaxial contacts to prevent degeneration of signals as well as a nylon mesh jacket to prevent damage to the cable from tangling.

"Wireworks can meet virtually any demand. In the broadcast market, a cable has to work the first time and every time. We are also strong in the touring Broadway market where a show has to be moved every day. The cabling cannot be fragile," Krulewicz says. "The mixed-signal, multimedia trend is growing. Our products are even used in government settings as a secure jumper in the Senate chamber. When they want to cut off AV access to the outside world, they know to unplug one cable and it's done."

The AV2000's rectangular G-Series connector is completely modular. In the event of damage, the school can replace one part without replacing the entire cable. Overall, the AV2000 offers a time and cost-efficient multipin connector system for both the installer and end user. The company boasts that it is the only multimedia cabling system that can accommodate audio, high-definition video, high-speed data, and serial-digital-interface control signals in a single sophisticated hybrid connector.

"We respond to the challenge of interconnecting AV equipment," Krulewicz says. "The cable is not the star of the system."

Wireworks carries a lifetime warranty on all products and sells primarily through its dealer network. The AV2000 for Smart Podiums is shipping now.

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