Product Briefs

Jazz re-freshed

April 8, 2020 · MQA Supports Jazz re-freshed Live Broadcasts

Jazz re:freshed is working with MQA to amplify the reach of its artists’ stunning live performances at the recent successful livestream of The British Music Embassy (BME) Sessions.  Beginning with Noya Rao, and with other acts to follow as part of a weekly release schedule – you can now enjoy HD video with MQA audio of the live sets here.  

MQA is an award-winning British technology that cleverly ‘folds’ the full sound of the live studio performance into a stream that fits perfectly alongside HD video.  Before MQA, only compressed low-quality sound has been streamed with video.  Here, for the first time you can enjoy video with original, superior sound.

The BME Sessions will also be available as audio-only tracks on TIDAL.  All listeners need is a TIDAL HiFi subscription, as the TIDAL app will unfold the MQA master file to reveal the full sound captured in the studio.

“The artists delivered some extraordinary live performances, and it’s a privilege to work with our partners to make these available in their original quality,” says Mike Jbara, CEO, MQA.   

“This was an unmissable opportunity to support some of the U.K.’s most exciting young talent and push the boundaries of what’s possible when you pair HD video with MQA audio.”

The livestream on 18 March was organized to provide some of the official showcasing artists a platform to remotely connect with fans and the international music industry, who would otherwise have converged at the now cancelled South by South West (SXSW) festival.  

Despite playing behind closed doors, without an audience of fans and only limited crew in attendance, the musicians put on a very special show.  The positivity was perhaps best summed up on the day by Noya Rao’s frontwoman Olivia Bhattacharjee, “It’s so great that we’re not just playing in Austin, but to the whole world!”

Acts who were due to perform as part of Jazz re:freshed’s Outernational line-up at SXSW this year included: Daniel Casimir & Tess Hirst, Noya Rao and Theon Cross.  They each performed a 30-minute set from the Mill Studios in London, which was captured in  HD video and 24 bit/96kHz audio.  Jazz re:freshed Outernational is an Arts Council funded initiative in partnership with British Underground, and exists to create a springboard to international career opportunities for world-class UK jazz artists.  Moses Boyd, Nubya Garcia and Shabaka Hutchings – now established names – are just a few of the many artists who have participated and benefited incredibly from this support in previous years.

More news from MQA: Can Millennials Distinguish Between High-Res MQA Audio and Apple Music Streaming?

April 8, 2020 · Extron Waives Online Certification Testing Fees

Extron recently announced that it is waiving the fees for its online certifications. In addition, the company is conducting free live online Extron Institute classes to help technology professionals who are working remotely.

Extron online training has always been free and AV professionals now have an opportunity to earn their AV Associate or Extron Control Specialist certification without charge. Online Extron training and certification programs are conveniently available via any platform. The courses cover a wide range of AV technology topics and all of them provide additional opportunities to earn required industry certification Renewal Units. Extron recently added live, instructor-led Extron Institute classes designed to help participants master 4K AV technologies in a week-long series of two-hour sessions. The student-instructor ratio is kept low to enhance the student experience.

“We are very excited to offer these award-winning certifications and live classes at no charge to help AV professionals stay on top of their game while working from home,” says Casey Hall, vice president of worldwide sales and marketing for Extron.

“Extron certification is recognized worldwide and our online courses provide the best technology training, as well as the latest on trends and best practices, in the industry.”

Extron online training and certification offerings include:

  • NEW – Live Online Instructor-Led Training (seating is limited)
  • AV Principles Course
  • AV Associate Online Certification
  • Extron Control Specialist Online Certification
  • ProDSP Specialist Online Certification
  • Extron Video Resources
  • Publication Review Program 

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April 7, 2020 · Catalyst AV adds ELAC Audio Gear

ELAC, a global provider of high-performance speakers and electronics, has announced a partnership with Catalyst AV, a national network of distributors.

“Our new partnership with Catalyst AV aligns perfectly with our mission to provide complete solutions for the custom installation, home theater, and premium 2-channel audio markets,” says Jim Krodel, senior vice president sales, ELAC.

“Catalyst AV’s premium distributor network sets the standard for delivering excellent customer service, training, and support to their dealers.”

Helge Fischer, Catalyst AV executive director, adds that ELAC’s balance of performance and value will help integrators meet a range of customer needs.

“Over the years, ELAC has developed from a speaker company to a broader based company offering not only loudspeakers, but also electronics and custom products,” comments Fischer.

“It’s exclusive and controlled distribution fits right in with the quality and educational approach which Catalyst AV embraces. We are looking forward to a very solid and long relationship with ELAC.”

ELAC’s entire line-up of custom install and premium home audio products are available through all 9 of Catalyst AV’s distributors. 

For additional information please visit the Catalyst AV website.

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iPoint gift cards tool

April 2, 2020 · iPoint Software now Offers Gift Card Tracking

Businesses often desire to have the option to sell gift cards to their customers. Since gift cards can be given to another person to use at a different time, it’s essential to track these sales in a liability account until they are used against a future purchase. Selling, tracking, and using gift cards inside iPoint is easy.

The Sound Room in Chesterfield, Missouri, uses gift cards often inside their retail storefront. A customer simply purchases a gift card, then the system captures that gift card’s unique tracking number, and the sale is complete. When a customer comes back in to redeem the gift card, iPoint has the opportunity to use the balance to be redeemed on a new purchase. 

“It’s pretty straight forward,” explains Jared Lange, Electronics System Designer at The Sound Room.

“We generate the gift cards, and it’s pretty simple to track and redeem. iPoint just makes it another payment option, so on the sales side of things, it’s straightforward to use.”

The feature also allows gift card balances to easily be looked up, and new reporting options show gift cards sold with their original amount and current balance.

More news from iPoint: iPoint Email and Lead Tracking Tools Now Available

April 2, 2020 · LogMeIN Announces GoToMeeting Updates

 LogMeIn has announced new updates to GoToMeeting for improved remote collaboration. As businesses around the world shift to 100% remote operations, LogMeIn is seeing high levels of demand for its remote work solutions, with GoToMeeting usage spiking 10 times over 2020 norms and app downloads surpassing 600% on Android and 370% on iOS in the past two weeks.

The GoToMeeting updates deliver a number of improved desktop and mobile experiences, streamline workflows and assure customers of reliable and secure communications every time. They include:

  • Microsoft Teams integration: Allows users to quickly launch GoToMeeting and GoToConnect from within the Teams environment. The integration enhances Teams’ collaboration to ensure fast, high quality and reliable meetings and calls with participants.
  • Noise suppression: For better filtering of background noise as many employees deal with home distractions.
  • Better audio even in poor network conditions: Using a new and more reliable transport protocol, the technology adapts to network conditions and optimizes how data is transmitted resulting in fewer choppy or dropped audio moments.
  • New toll-free and call-me options: This feature make it easier to connect with colleagues and customers around the world.
  • Mobile multitasking: With this tool iOS users can switch between applications while on a GoToMeeting call on their phone to support productivity when a user is not able to access a computer. 
  • Increased security and reliability: This feature eliminates any single point of failure and allows users to specifically choose what content is shared and how.

You can find the full list of updates here, as well as details on how LogMeIn is making the GoToMeeting experience as secure as possible.

More collaboration news from CE Pro: Small Businesses Zoom into Collaboration Market

March 30, 2020 · Almo Pro AV Helps Bloom Energy Distribute Ventilators

Bloom Energy Corp., and Almo Corporation have announced they are joining forces to refurbish unused, out-of-warranty ventilators.

The two companies will ship these ventilators to state agencies and hospitals throughout the country, particularly as an increasing number of patients experience critical respiratory issues as a result of COVID-19. 

As part of this process, Bloom is refurbishing the ventilators, while Almo is using its national logistics network to ship the ventilators to/from Bloom’s manufacturing facilities in California and Delaware for refurbishment and out to the state agencies and hospitals that need them the most.

“This is our call to action,” says KR Sridhar, founder, CEO and chairman, Bloom Energy.

“We have to help. Manufacturing is in our DNA and we believe that it allows our country to stand strong, especially during a time of crisis and need. Like our customers and the communities we serve, we are strong and we are resilient.”

The Society of Critical Care Medicine estimates that 960,000 coronavirus patients in the U.S. may need to be put on ventilators, but there are only about 200,000 such working machines available.  According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, there are 12,700 ventilators in the national “stockpile.” And thousands more sit idle, having reached their end-of-service life. 

For its part Bloom is working with biomedical engineers at Stanford Health Care to test the functionality of its refurbished ventilators. 

Almo, a national distributor of appliances, A/V equipment, furniture and housewares, with its more than 2.5 million square feet of distribution space in eight warehouses across the country is aiding Bloom through its logistical capabilities.

“Our focus has always been on family — the health and safety of our local community and people of this nation is our priority now and we want to do what we can to help in this time of crisis,” states Warren Chaiken, president and CEO, Almo Corporation.

“Our logistics processes are organized and efficient, which puts us in a great position to receive the refurbished ventilators from Bloom and quickly get them to state agencies and healthcare facilities so they can be immediately put to use.” 

Almo asks that if anyone has or knows of any organizations that have out-of-service ventilators, and would like to partner together with Bloom please visit www.bloomenergy.com/ventilators; email ventilators@bloomenergy.com or reach us on the company on its hotline – +1 (888) 544-2644 

More news from Almo Pro AV: Almo Professional AV Announces E4 Experience 2020

March 27, 2020 · New Zappiti Firmware

The new version of Zappiti Video is now available. Please find here bellow the new features and improvements.

Changes in version 4.23.251

  • Zappiti Quizz: A Movie-theme inspired quizz
  • Zappiti Service: new interface to control and update the different versions of Zappiti applications.

Improvements:

  • The search for extras is more efficient.
  • Reduced loading time for launching videos with Source Direct (Direct Output).
  • Visual improvement of the display of audio languages and subtitles in the synopsis page.
  • Added icons for release date and duration on the synopsys page (classic theme only).
  • Dynamic enlargement of the synopsis text when no audio language or subtitle is displayed.
  • Improved error messages when trying to register 
  • Improvement of the layout of actors and directors in the synopsis page.
  • Adding of a verification code sent by email during registration to allow the reset of the password if necessary.

More system updates include:

  • Fixed an issue that prevented video playback from starting when Direct Output mode was enabled.
  • Fixed an issue with caption uploading that could occur for some languages.
  • Correction of trailers that no longer launched.
  • Fixed a group issue that could sometimes be created as a duplicate.
  • Correction of technical informations that sometimes went out of the synopsis page.
  • Nas Synology: Zappiti Server sometimes wrote its files in the system section.
  • Notarization of Mac applications
  • Correction of the update process that no longer worked.
  • Correction of the message which indicated the disc to be connected and which no longer appeared.

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Peerless-AV UHD outdoor TV smartmount cart

March 26, 2020 · Peerless-AV All-Weather Mobile Digital Signage Bundle

Peerless-AV, designer and manufacturer of AV solutions and accessories, is offering a bundled digital signage solution available immediately to deploy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As hundreds of testing and treatment stations are opening across the country to meet healthcare needs, the locations call for rapid triage and information sharing, often in inhospitable environments, the company says of the impetus for its packaged solution.

The bundle includes a 49-, 55- or 65-inch UltraViewUHD Outdoor TV (UV492, UV552, UV652), SmartMount Flat Panel Cart (SR560M), and if needed, custom content to accommodate a variety of considerations.

By making the switch to digital, triage and logistics teams will no longer need to manually update static signage throughout the day, nor develop static content in multiple translations to accommodate a diversity of languages, the company says.

Instead, digital signage content can be updated in real-time once connected to a network, or simply run via a USB flash drive directly connected to the TV, creating significantly more efficient workflow and information dissemination.

“Our company is continuing to operate as an ‘Essential Business’ in order to assist those impacted by COVID-19,” states Nick Belcore, executive vice president, Peerless-AV.

“As always, our team works diligently to provide innovative solutions, especially during a time like this. We hope that our bundled solution can help employees of these pop-up medical locations, as well as all others that are affected.”

As time is of the essence for these locations, the package’s SmartMount Flat Panel Cart offers a pre-assembled base to ensure a quick and straightforward setup, Peerless-AV notes.

The UltraView UHD Outdoor TV is an all-weather-rated solution with 4K resolution and an IPS panel, providing exceptional color and video quality from any viewing angle. The mobility of the cart and durability of the outdoor TV allows for convenient digital signage placement for your most important use case.

Additionally, if integrators need assistance with content, Peerless-AV is making basic content services available in the bundle to help get the digital signage up and running quickly. Peerless-AV offers full content support for leading media players and content providers.

Related Content: NanoLumens Launches Digital Signage Education Series

Yamaha UC CS-700 Zoom

March 26, 2020 · Yamaha UC CS-700 Sound Bar Zoom Certified

Yamaha Unified Communications has announced that its CS-700 Video Sound Bar is certified for use with Zoom Video Communications, Inc., Zoom Rooms.

The all-in-one video conferencing system passed Zoom‘s testing process, ensuring the audio, camera, and USB interface seamlessly integrates with the video conferencing software. The certification verifies that the CS-700 is interoperable with Zoom, making it even easier for users to connect and control the Video Sound Bar while benefitting from the highest quality audio and video. 

“With Yamaha’s exceptional audio and video technology and expertise, the CS-700 will help us transform any huddle space or meeting room into a modern, easy-to-use, and powerful collaborative workspace to our customers’ Zoom Rooms experience,” says Eric Yu, hardware partnership manager, Zoom. 

Designed for huddle rooms, the Yamaha CS-700 Video Sound Collaboration System delivers the highest quality audio, video, and collaboration capabilities in a simple and smart wall-mounted unit that is easy to install and deploy.

It features an adaptive beamforming microphone array for perfectly captured conversation; four Yamaha speaker elements to provide the highest degree of audio intelligibility; and a wide-angle HD camera for the far-end participants to see everyone in clear detail. Users can quickly connect to any UC platform, including Zoom, via a single USB, eliminating the frustrations and inefficiencies of operating disparate video, audio, and collaboration components. With Zoom certification, the software automatically detects the CS-700, enabling mute sync and optimizing the audio in the Zoom cloud. The CS-700’s integrated network management system allows IT staff to deploy and remotely manage each unit from one location, increasing service response and efficiency. 

Along with the certification, Yamaha is releasing new firmware (version 1.4) for the CS-700, allowing all existing devices to upgrade to the new version with audio and video quality enhancement, and usability improvements. The update will also provide Bluetooth connection, mute sync, and in-app optimizations for more comfortable and intuitive huddle room collaboration. 

The CS-700 firmware compatible with Zoom Rooms will be provided for free starting March 2020

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March 25, 2020 · Telguard Cellular Fire Alarms Receive Certificate of Approval

 Telguard, a manufacturer of security and life safety communications, has announced that its cellular fire alarm communicators have been issued a Certificate of Approval, #6316. This means Fire & Life Safety dealers in New York City are now able to use Telguard’s premier cellular fire communicator, the TG-7FS LTE.

New York City has strict regulations on fire communicators that can be used, and manufacturers must obtain a Certificate of Approval for fire systems dealers to be able to specify a brand like Telguard. The Certificate of Approval #6316 gives New York City fire integrators the ability to specify the TG-7FS LTE in their system designs.

The TG-7FS is a universal cellular communicator, meaning it works with virtually every fire alarm control panel. Using LTE cellular networks, the TG-7FS transmits alarm signals from the fire panel to the designated monitoring station. The unit meets UL 864 requirements and is compliant with NFPA 72 for primary or backup communications for commercial fire alarm systems. By using the TG-7FS, accounts can go from two to one dedicated landline, which will save them money.

Telguard collaborated with Carlos Santiago, owner of New York Protection Controls to obtain the Certificate of Approval.

“Telguard has been a go-to cellular communicator for authority having jurisdictions (AHJs) and fire marshals across the country for years,” adds George, president, Telguard.

“We’re thrilled to have New York City’s Certificate of Approval.”

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