April 26, 2017
HARMAN Professional Solutions Helps the University of Richmond Deliver an Incredible Student Experience
A complete networked HARMAN AV solution helps deliver a high-impact, immersive and media-rich experience for visitors and prospective students
RICHMOND, Va.—The University of Richmond recently installed a complete AV system by HARMAN Professional Solutions in its new Queally Center, a cutting-edge facility that serves as a welcome center for guests and unites the offices of admissions, financial aid and employer relations. In order to create a memorable experience for visitors and meet the needs of students throughout their collegiate journey, the University of Richmond’s Information Services team equipped the building with an integrated HARMAN AV solution made up of AMX control systems, JBL Professional speakers and Crown professional power amplifiers. Today, the university uses the building-wide HARMAN system to provide an immersive experience for prospective students—and help current students pursue professional opportunities.
“We standardized on AMX over ten years ago, and it has been an excellent platform,” said Doug West, Assistant Vice President of Information Services, University of Richmond. “The HARMAN system is incredibly flexible. Professors can walk into any smart classroom on campus, immediately configure the room for their lecture needs, and deliver high quality audio and video presentations. Although the technology capabilities in the Queally Center go far beyond those of our standard classroom spaces, we still wanted to extend that same ease-of-use to the new facility.”
The University of Richmond consistently ranks among Ivy League schools as a top academic institution, and more than 20,000 prospective students visit the campus each year. In 2014, the university started planning construction for a new building that could illustrate the university’s cutting-edge learning environment and support current students in the first steps of their professional careers.
Combining the offices of admissions, financial aid and employer relations, the Queally Center was designed as a true multi-use facility. The 56,000-square-foot building includes a welcome center with interactive touchpoints, smart conference rooms that enable students to go on virtual interviews with potential employers, staff offices and a multifunction 500-seat assembly room at the heart of the facility.
Designed in collaboration with the university’s Communications and Digital Engagement team, the building entrance opens into a hallway lined with brilliant digital displays, interactive information kiosks and a striking 9-panel video wall. A central AMX touch panel controls each of the displays and interactive touch points. Prospective students can use the kiosks to explore campus maps, watch videos about academic programs and connect with the university through social media channels.
At the same time, the gorgeous wall-mounted displays feature imagery of student life and important moments in university history. The result is a technology-rich facility that has an instant impact on visitors—and is highly functional for the faculty, staff and students who work in the center every day.
The centerpiece of the Queally Center is a premium 500-seat assembly room. The venue includes three 12-foot screens with short-throw projectors and four supporting 82-inch displays for presentations. The assembly room also features an integrated sound system made up of JBL loudspeakers and Crown amplifiers, which provide pristine sound reinforcement and flexibility for a wide range of events. Four AMX touch panels allow admissions staff members to manage the different space configurations. Master control of the facility is also accessible on an iPad via the AMX TP Control application.
To make the most of the space, the room can be converted into two or three individual meeting rooms via dividing walls that descend from the ceiling. Each space can be quickly configured with its own unique audio zone and video display, making the assembly room a perfect starting point for daily campus tours and breakout sessions for prospective students. The Office of Alumni & Career Services’ Career Gallery and Employer Suite is also located in the new building. Here, students meet with potential employers in interview suites, which are equipped with in-person and virtual interview capabilities, including displays, JBL speakers and state-of-the-art video-conferencing equipment.
“The AMX touch panels throughout the building make it easy to control all of the AV systems—from the displays throughout the building, to the conference rooms and out to the courtyard,” explained West. “In the assembly room alone, there are twelve source points that can be routed to seven content destinations, and all of that is seamlessly controlled by AMX equipment.”
Before the new facility existed, the University of Richmond offices of admission, financial aid and employer relations were in separate locations. Embarking on daily campus tours, seeking information about academic programs and tuition, and connecting with future employers required multiple trips to different buildings. With the Queally Center and the end-to-end HARMAN solution, these services and experiences are unified in a single building that not only meets the needs of all three departments, but also provides a breathtaking experience for visitors to campus.
“Because HARMAN offers a tightly integrated solution, we’re able to handle very complex A/V switching behind the scenes in a streamlined, elegant manner,” West concluded. “It makes a huge difference to presenters when technical staff are not available.”
ABOUT UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND
University of Richmond blends the intimacy of a small college with exceptional academic, research and cultural facilities and opportunities usually found only at large institutions. It offers a unique combination of undergraduate and graduate programs through its schools of arts and sciences, business, leadership studies, law and continuing studies. Richmond is recognized by virtually every college guide as one of America’s best private, liberal arts universities. University of Richmond is one of just a few colleges in the nation to be both need-blind in making admission decisions for domestic undergraduate students and committed to meeting 100 percent of demonstrated need for all accepted students.
*Photo Credit: University of Richmond
March 22, 2017
Complete HARMAN mixing solution offers exceptional speed, ease of use and seamless integration for a wide range of productions at one of Europe’s busiest cultural centers
MUNICH, Germany—The Gasteig cultural center, home to the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, recently upgraded its aging mixing console to a complete mixing solution by HARMAN Professional Solutions, including a Studer Vista X mixing console, Studer I/O systems, Lexicon Processors and AMX control systems. The Gasteig hosts hosts more than 2,500 productions each year, and in order to meet such a demanding production schedule, the facility needed a cutting-edge mixing solution that would streamline workflows and enable guest audio engineers to achieve great sounding mixes with ease. The new HARMAN mixing solution offers excellent speed, flexibility and ease of use, and enables Gasteig to deliver excellent sound quality for a wide range of concerts and productions.
“We have a very short timeframe between productions,” said Peter Brümmer, chief audio engineer at the Gasteig. “There could be classical recording on Thursday, and then a jazz recording on Friday. Or we could have four performances in a single evening. I’m a really big fan of the Studer Vista X, and the Vistonics technology provides the best user interface on the market. I can turn a knob and see it happening, without having to deep dive into a computer. It reacts like an analog board.”
The complete HARMAN mixing solution at the Gasteig was provided by Audio Pro, HARMAN’s official distributor in Germany. In addition to the Vista X console, the system includes 2 Studer Infinity Core 800 processing engines for redundancy, a Studer D21m remote stagebox with 48 microphone preamps and a Studer D23M I/O system with AES/EBU, Dante, MADI and more. The Vista X is also compatible with the Gasteig’s old Studer D19 digital preamp system with 48 microphone I/O.
2 Lexicon PCM 96 Surround processors are interfaced with the Vista X via the D23M system to provide the studio with a wide range of high quality surround effects. Parameters are controlled directly from the Vista X via the Vistonics user interface using HiQNet IP protocol, and settings can be recalled instantly using the console’s snapshot feature. Finally, an AMX control system with Modero Touch Panels enable Gasteig engineers to simplify day-to-day operations in the studio, seamlessly control lighting and power and quickly switch between different DAWs.
“Each hall in our facility is connected to the Vista X console via Dante, which gives us the flexibility to record performances throughout the building,” remarked Brümmer. “The Vista X allows us to use our old preamps, which is really important to us. We now have 96 channels of high quality I/O, which gives us the flexibility to record any performance.”
With such a busy schedule, it was important for Brümmer to select an audio console that guest engineers could operate with as little as ten minutes of preparation before each show. Three of Europe’s leading console manufacturers brought in a console for a one-week trial period, which allowed Brümmer to determine which console would enable him to mix the fastest.
“I loaded up a live multi-track recording from a pop band to determine how fast I could dial up a nice mix,” said Brümmer. “The Vista X was the fastest by far. The flexibility and mixing speed were impressive, and it was a very easy console to mix on. Now when we have a freelance sound engineer, we can show him the board in 10 minutes and have him ready to mix the performance.”
For more than 20 years, the Gasteig has recorded each and every performance by the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. The recordings are stored in an archive for posterity or released commercially to the public. They also record performances by famous jazz orchestras, big bands, chamber music and more. For orchestral recordings, they typically record with 96 kHz, 24-bit sound quality using approximately 30 microphones. Orchestral performances are currently mixed in 5.1 surround sound, but Brümmer has been experimenting with creating mixes 9.1, which convey three-dimensional height, depth and width.
“With the Vista X, I can create 9.1 mixes by setting up two surround-master busses—one for the lower layer in 5.1 and one for the upper layer in 4.0,” Brümmer concluded. “Each incoming channel from Pro Tools is routed to two mixer channels: the main channel one is routed to the 5.1 bus, while the second one gets signal from the pre-fader direct out from channel one and is routed to the 4.0 bus. With 800 channels and the AutoTouch Plus Dynamic Automation System, the Vista X makes the whole process fast and easy. The best part is, I can accomplish all of this without ever having to use a mouse or a computer screen!”
February 07, 2017
Complete meeting room solution enables teams to simplify scheduling, streamline document sharing and make optimal use of huddle spaces and small meeting rooms
ISE (Stand #1-F6), AMSTERDAM – February 7, 2017 – HARMAN Professional Solutions, the global leader in audio, video, lighting and control systems, including networked AV, today introduced the AMX Acendo Core complete presentation solution for huddle spaces and small meeting environments. Acendo Core features direct integration with Microsoft® Exchange scheduling, one-touch Skype for Business integration, native document viewers, email document sharing and more to help teams improve collaboration and maximize productivity by starting meetings quickly and easily.
"In enterprise office environments, time is a valuable resource, and outdated conference room equipment can cause unnecessary delays and frustration," said Paul Krizan, Product Manager, Networked AV Solutions, HARMAN Professional Solutions. "Acendo Core offers a complete integrated solution that enables teams to get to the heart of their meeting as quickly as possible and make optimal use of huddle spaces and smaller meeting rooms. From document sharing to web conferences to web browsing, no other solution gets a meeting started faster or more efficiently."
Acendo Core provides tremendous value for huddle spaces and other small meeting rooms. Users can easily start a meeting with the click of a button or a touch on the screen. If the meeting is scheduled as a Skype for Business meeting, participants can press a single button to join without having to search for a link in a meeting invitation. Built-in document viewers and rendering allow users to present content without bringing anything to the room. Users can simply start a session, navigate to their document on a USB drive, network drive, or the Web and begin their presentation. For enterprises who store documents on network drives, Acendo Core integrates natively with Microsoft Active Directory so users can authenticate into a meeting and instantly access stored content.
Featuring direct integration with Microsoft® Exchange, Acendo Core provides a comprehensive scheduling system to ensure that meetings begin and end on time. Users can quickly view the current availability of a meeting space and reserve the room for the desired time. Near the end of the scheduled meeting, participants receive an on-screen notification that their meeting is about to end. This provides the opportunity to wrap up the meeting, book the room for additional time, or search for another available room if the current space is already reserved for an upcoming meeting.
Acendo Core is thin enough to mount behind a display, with a sleek industrial design that is also well suited for display on a wall or credenza. When combined with the new AMX Acendo Vibe, an expertly designed conferencing soundbar powered by JBL audio technology and an optional integrated camera, Acendo Core forms the most cost-effective collaboration and conferencing solution designed for the needs of today's modern office environments.
February 07, 2017
Featuring sound by JBL and an optional wide-angle camera, Acendo Vibe delivers high-quality audio and video conferencing for huddle spaces and small meeting rooms
ISE (Stand #1-F6), AMSTERDAM – February 7, 2017 – HARMAN Professional Solutions, the global leader in audio, video, lighting and control systems, including networked AV, today announced AMX Acendo Vibe, a new line of premium conferencing sound bars designed to maximize productivity and collaboration in huddle spaces and smaller meeting environments. With a powerful feature set that includes JBL speakers, far-field microphones, a wide-angle camera and a modern office design aesthetic, Acendo Vibe harnesses HARMAN's deep history and expertise in audio technology to deliver outstanding performance that greatly exceeds traditional conferencing solutions, all in an intuitive and easy-to-install package.
"Modern enterprise organizations need to accomplish more in less space, and that includes their huddle and small meeting rooms," said Shaun Robinson, Director, Corporate Enterprise Solutions, HARMAN Professional Solutions. "Acendo Vibe conferencing sound bars are perfect for companies that want outstanding audio performance in an attractive form factor perfect for small meeting spaces. With features like legendary JBL sound, a far-field microphone array with integrated acoustic echo cancellation, a 120-degree field-of-view camera that captures the entire room, and display automation, Acendo Vibe delivers an exceptional audiovisual experience for the modern conference room."
Featuring an industrial design that aligns with the latest interior design trends of the modern office and a comprehensive feature set, Acendo Vibe is the ideal audio/video solution for small meeting spaces. Unlike other solutions that are comprised of several individual components that need to be separately installed and integrated, Acendo Vibe is an all-in-one solution that requires no programming or installation of additional equipment. Acendo Vibe comes in three colors and features softened materials and finishes to augment the interior design of the modern office environment.
Acendo Vibe 5100 and 2100 series models incorporate advanced JBL technologies, including far-field microphones and integrated AEC to ensure everyone in the room can be heard clearly. USB and Bluetooth connectivity streamlines BYOD (bring your own device) conference applications by allowing users to easily connect laptops, phones and tablets. Dedicated audio inputs and outputs allow users to integrate Acendo Vibe with other AV systems, such as assistive listening systems and more.
Acendo Vibe 5100 Series models include a 120-degree field-of-view (FoV) camera that allows everyone in the room to be seen, including individuals sitting close to the display. The 5100 Series also includes HDMI connections that enable users to route video to the display, and automatically turn the display on when a laptop is connected. In addition, when paired with the new Acendo Core meeting room system, the Vibe 5100 series can also provide visual room availability and end-of-meeting alerts to room participants to ensure effective meeting wrap up and help organizations optimize space utilization.
The Acendo huddle space solution, consisting of Acendo Core and Acendo Vibe, deliver the industry's most cost-effective and best performing collaboration and conferencing solution designed for the needs of today's modern office environment.
February 07, 2017
New firmware update brings AMX RoomBook touch panels into the new Acendo family, offering improved panel usability, enterprise-grade networking and simplified setup
ISE (Stand #1-F6), AMSTERDAM – February 7, 2017 – HARMAN Professional Solutions, the global leader in audio, video, lighting and control systems, including networked AV, today announced new firmware for AMX RoomBook scheduling touch panels, making them part of the new Acendo product family. The new firmware features numerous usability and setup enhancements that help users ensure installation success and accomplish their scheduling goals faster, more intuitively and more efficiently.
"Since we introduced AMX RoomBook scheduling touch panels in March 2016, business worldwide have adopted them to optimize room utilization and implement facility-wide room scheduling in an intuitive and cost-effective manner," said Michael Saadeh, Product Manager for User Interfaces, HARMAN Professional Solutions. "Now, thanks to our new firmware update, the newly designated Acendo Book scheduling touch panels offer customers full scheduling integration with other Acendo products, plus enhanced usability, networking and setup. This update builds on HARMAN's commitment to providing our customers with the industry's most intuitive, responsive and worry-free scheduling solution."
Acendo Book scheduling touch panels are standalone scheduling panels that integrate directly with popular room scheduling software like Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, and Google Calendar without additional system software or hardware requirements. The user interface background color and built-in room availability bars change between red and green to show room availability, enabling users to easily locate and book an available room directly from the panel. If that room is currently booked, the "Browse Rooms" feature allows users to quickly locate the nearest available room or the next available time from either Acendo Book or Acendo Core.
Leveraging the style and cost-efficiency of HARMAN's award-winning Modero S Series Touch Panel, Acendo Book touch panels enable a simple swipe to glide through the room's calendar to check availability, a brilliant full-color high-resolution display, wide viewing angle of screen and availability bar LEDs and a low-profile design. The panels can be mounted on any flat surface, including drywall, gang-box, glass, or stone, inside or outside a conference room or huddle space.
Usability Enhancements in v1.1 Firmware
- Acceleration of "Book Room" and "Browse Rooms" functions, so requests now take less than 1 second.
- Enhanced Calendar View text display for ad-hoc and long meetings (4+ hours) provides more information about the status of requests.
- Improved progress notifications when waiting on scheduling server confirmations.
- Support for Greek and Hungarian languages (16 languages now supported in total).
Setup Enhancements in v1.1 Firmware
- Support for proxy servers and custom security certificates enables IT departments to deploy AMX RoomBook in accordance with their corporate network and security policy mandates.
- Easier scheduler credential setup with the ability to validate scheduler credentials in the setup wizard.
- Detailed error logs for connection errors in setup and improved debugging tools for installers.
Acendo Book scheduling touch panels will begin shipping in March 2017.
Version 1.1 firmware will be available for existing AMX RoomBook systems in March 2017.
February 07, 2017
HARMAN Professional Solutions Introduces AMX N2400 Series Encoders and Decoders, Bringing Cinema-Quality 4K Video Distribution to Standard GbE Networks
HARMAN extends industry leadership in Networked AV by delivering the first low-latency 4K60 4:4:4 encoders and decoders that distribute video over Gigabit Ethernet networks
ISE (Stand #1-F6), AMSTERDAM – February 7, 2017 – HARMAN Professional Solutions, the global leader in audio, video, lighting and control systems, including networked AV, today announced AMX N2400 Series video encoders and decoders, the first video-over-IP solutions to deliver full-quality 4K content over Gigabit Ethernet networks with near-imperceptible latency. With support for 4K video at 60Hz and 4:4:4 chroma, the N2400 Series joins a full lineup of cost-effective 4K solutions from HARMAN that enable businesses and active learning environments to bring ultra-high-definition video to viewers.
"The 4K market is accelerating rapidly, and more businesses and institutions want to deliver top-tier video content to create the best possible experience for their customers," said Andy Whitehead, General Manager Networked AV, HARMAN Professional Solutions. "The new AMX N2400 Series enables universities, houses of worship, sporting arenas and corporations to quickly deliver true cinema-quality 4K video to hundreds of displays simultaneously."
With N2400 Series encoders and decoders, users can instantly distribute 4K video without compromising quality. The new series uses JPEG 2000 encoding to deliver content at native frame rate and color space over cost-effective standard Gigabit Ethernet with just two frames of latency. With support for HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2, the N2400 Series is compatible with all the latest 4K sources and displays.
N2400 encoders and decoders are easy and cost effective to integrate with existing video-distribution infrastructures. Because the N2400 Series can be PoE+ powered, the new encoders and decoders operate by either standard 12VDC power, or by a simple Ethernet connection from the local network switch. N2400 encoders and decoders also use the same control APIs, software, and easy-to-use web interfaces as existing AMX Networked AV solutions, making integration fast and intuitive.
The new N2400 Series joins a growing family of 4K Ultra HD over IP solutions from HARMAN that provide flexible and highly scalable networked-AV distribution, including the NMX-ENC-N2412A stand-alone encoder, the NMX-ENC-N2412A-C encoder card, and the NMX-DEC-2422A stand-alone decoder. Alongside the AMX N2300 Series, which distributes 4K30 4:2:0 video over GbE, AMX N2400 encoders and decoders represent class-leading Networked AV products that enable businesses and institutions to reach customers with top-quality content, faster than ever before.