Extron’s Technology Showcase in Manchester

Live updates on the latest Audio Visual solutions from Extron at their 2016 showcase in Manchester, United Kingdom.

mike 24th November 20167:02 am

Good morning all. Our journey begins! (Well, 5 minutes time according to the train boards). I’ll be posting updates throughout the day on here, so don’t feel it’s like watching Twitter, but I’ll try to keep them as regular as I can!

mike 24th November 20168:08 am

1 hour to go until the Showcase begins and I’ve just passed through Manchester, heading towards the outskirts of Manchester Airport where the event takes place.

mike 24th November 20169:34 am

Arrived with a warm welcome. Now time for a seminar on Audio Systems

mike 24th November 201610:48 am

First seminar complete. Very interesting talk on the importance of coverage in the room for listener distance, not just the size of the room and how some of their recent and semi recent innovations have addressed everyday issues with sound output in meeting and conference spaces. More to come in a future Audio post…

mike 24th November 20161:18 pm

Sorry for the silence, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind with the tech demos, calling work, the second seminar and calling work again. So where to start…

mike 24th November 20161:34 pm

So firstly, the session I left was discussing the future of 4k and it’s successors and the implications it will have on Extron’s products. With the 50 Gig backplane for transmitting visual data through its behemoth XTP range, there’s certainly no shortage of bandwidth anytime soon.

mike 24th November 20161:39 pm

With resolution, they talked distance and in a demo with 2 identical displays, 2 4k players with the same disc playing at the same time and the output to only one of them being 4k resolution (the other being 1080p), it was clear to see on smaller screens at a distance, due to the halved height of the pixels on the screen and the way our eyes will pick up this information there was no visible difference. Press up close to the screen however and it starts to become clear.

mike 24th November 20166:42 pm

With the final talks completed and some complementary drinks with the Extron Representatives it was a productive afternoon with some really interesting closing thoughts for this post.

mike 24th November 20166:47 pm

Firstly I found it really exciting to hear about the reveal that Extron’s drivers (sets of instructions for devices including IR codes and RS-232 codes and feedback preassembled into prebuilt commands – known as actions – for you to reference in configuration) are all written in Python and with their new “Global Scripter” development environment to complement their existing software, they have unlocked Python use with some prebuilt modules (only accessible to authorised programmers that attend their new course) and allowed you to craft your own drivers and commands to build into their control systems.

mike 24th November 20166:50 pm

With that word it currently means you have to either build your systems from scratch in Python or in Global Configurator Plus/Pro. If you’re just looking for drivers they’d find these should be able to be implemented (but don’t hold me to that!)

mike 24th November 20166:50 pm

*said

mike 24th November 20166:54 pm

The final talk was on byod and the future of collaboration with respect to meetings and small sessions.

The biggest talk was around the use of the ‘TeamWork’ systems which was great as a demo to what we will start using in The Health Academy in a few weeks and the use of their ‘Media Port’ device that helped to bridge the gap between room systems designed for Video Conference systems and that more modern platforms such as WebEx, Skype (and Skype for business), Google Hangouts and others.
mike 24th November 20166:56 pm

The Media Port works using the more modern drivers backed into Windows Mac and Linux systems meaning nothing special needs to be installed and your software will pick up the device as a camera and microphone. In the other side the MP will offer connectivity for the kit allowing you to interface it like that is your VC codec.

mike 24th November 20166:59 pm

Finally we were shown ShareLink, a wireless equivalent to teamwork using technology such as the Airplay, Chromecast and Miracast methods, known as Mirror Op (there is native support for Airplay built in to so iOS and MacOS will pick it up straight away).

This will definitely be an insight for a future project.
mike 24th November 20167:01 pm

With that, I think that wraps up this blog. To those who have checked in on it thank you for joining and to those who are reading this in the future, I hope it was an interesting read and am insight into what one of the larger and most forward thinking manufacturers of AV switching, control and many in between are famous for.

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