With 2015 just beginning, we wanted to take a look at the top five trends that will be prevalent in multimedia this year. Mike Chapman, a Senior Multimedia Designer at DES, sat down to give his take on the top trends for this year.
Trend 1: IP Based Controllers
IP based controllers is our first trend to watch in 2015 and the one that has the most potential. These powerful, all-in-one boxes contain audio and video switching as well as audio DSP and speaker systems to run an entire conference room. This small box can easily sit in a credenza or be mounted under a table. No longer do equipment racks have to take up valuable closet space. There is very little heat dissipation from the units allowing for creative mounting options. Approximately 60% of DES’ installations involve an IP based controller. The majority of those installations have included either the Crestron DMPS platform or the AMX DVX platform, as well as the Extron Touch Link system. These systems work well for auditoriums, classrooms, conference/training rooms, and operation centers, fulfilling the needs of the space with a one box solution.
IP based controllers allow for efficient diagnostics, testing and installing of AV systems. They greatly reduce the amount and types of cabling required to complete the installation. This lowers the overall cost of implementing a system and increases the versatility. It also allows for remote access support which reduces the amount of downtime for your system.
These devices are very secure. They are only accessible with proprietary dealer certified software and there is no access, wired or wireless, through the front end of the device. They do not support wireless connectivity so they cannot be pinged and they reside behind the client’s firewall. It is endorsed and utilized in US government systems as a secure device.
Trend 2: Technical Labor
The multimedia field has shifted to requiring more technical labor with advanced skillsets. We have experienced this trend over the past few years and expect it to dramatically increase in 2015 and beyond. In the past, we pulled large bundles of cable and could easily terminate 200-500 BNC cables for a medium sized conference room. With the transition into IP based systems, the amount of cables is significantly reduced. Our specialists focus their time on configuring software and design, instead of manual labor. There is also an increase of training for the installers. They attend infoComm seminars and are required to keep their certifications current.
Trend 3: Facility Wide Control
Our third trend to watch for 2015 is facility wide control. Where we once had one to three rooms spread throughout a building, we can easily have 30-40 conference rooms in a facility. Facility wide control systems can adjust the temperature, lights, and system functions based on occupancy sensors tied to the controllers. When meetings are cancelled, the occupancy sensors will determine that the room is empty and reduce the thermostat and turn off equipment. We can utilize room view via remote access to monitor systems and provide instant support. Building managers can make adjustments to the systems to dial in on energy usage and the energy monitoring allows for real time feedback. These systems are an integral part of the LEED certification process.
Trend 4: Laser Driven Projection
Laser illumination is an innovative and significant advancement in projection technology. Laser projectors emit a high-energy light that promotes clarity, brightness, and an increased color gamut for an overall longer lifespan of the projector. Lamp based projectors run for about 3,000 hours, where laser projectors can last for more than 30,000 hours. You could run your laser projector for 6 hours a day for almost 14 years. If you run the lamp projector at the same rate, the bulb will last less than one year. Replacement lamps for projectors are expensive and they have a high failure rate due to imperfections in the bulb.
Laser projectors are ideal in corporate boardrooms, classrooms, training rooms and network operation centers. The higher price of laser projection is offset by lower amounts of maintenance, a longer life, and much higher quality. We recommend the laser projectors to anyone who is trying to plan for the future.
Trend 5: 4K and Tweener Resolutions
This brings us to our last trend in the list- 4K and Tweener Resolutions. With the advancement in projectors and technology, screen sizes have increased. Resolutions like 2560 x 1600, 2880 x 1600, and 3840 x 2160 are becoming standard. The Macbook Pro has a resolution of 2560 x 1600 and the iMac released in October has a 5K display with the resolution at 5120 x 2880. It has 14.7 million pixels- 67% more than a 4K display. Dell also released a 5K display in December. The medical field uses resolutions up to 16K for viewing advanced procedures. As technology advances, resolutions will continue to expand. The laser projectors mentioned above are easily able to display these high quality resolutions.
Is there a trend that you think should have made the list? We would love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below!