OK….OK, trip to Amsterdam, got to be a jolly, yeah??…. As I say to my colleagues, if I was to choose a time for a tourist trip to Amsterdam, it wouldn’t be at the start of February when to coin that well know northern phrase ‘its cold enough to freeze the nuts of a brass monkey!’
On a serious note, Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) is the worlds largest AV systems integration show, and each time we visit it is easy to see why, this year being no exception, spread over 15 Halls and countless demo rooms.
This year we weren’t sure what to expect, with 4K being exhausted over past years, anything new? Was it going to be 8K, IPTV, more streaming solutions???
It was in fact HDR (High Dynamic Range). HDR gives us better contrast, greater brightness levels and a wider colour palette. It’s about making your films and TV shows look that bit more like real life. The idea is that your eyes can perceive brighter whites and darker blacks – greater dynamism – than traditional TVs have been able to display. HDR aims to improve on that.
HDR content preserves details in the darkest and brightest areas of a picture that are lost using old standards. It also allows for more natural, true-to-life colours that are closer to how we see them in real life.
This was the buzz around the show, here everyone was discussing this and showing us how their systems were able to process this new video technology that is clearly going to become part of our daily lives in the near future and how we watch TVs and Video content.
I’ve always been of the opinion that good quality HDMI cables are an essential part of any good installation, however you needn’t break the bank as some local retail stores/specialist AV retailers would have you believe.
High quality certified cabling and high speed HDMI cables are now going to become an even more prominent part of our installations, due to the amount of information and content that is required in order to cope with handle these signals. When we say high speed, we are talking cables that can handle a bandwidth of 18GB/s+.
Even now, HDMI cables are becoming ‘active’ cables (ie have some electronics in them) and use Fibre optics as a transmission medium as opposed to traditional copper, in order to handle these large amounts of information.
This takes me back to a point I always raise and how important your wiring infrastructure is..(commonly referred to as Digital Plumbing). With higher broadband speeds, more in-depth Video Content being distributed around homes, we can’t stress how important it is to use good quality, certified cabling. Anyone can install cabling, but ensuring they are of a satisfactory standard to future-proof your home is where a good custom installation company can give clear and knowledgeable advice/consultation.
HDR is going to raise the standard yet again for the picture quality within homes and for us as a company we can’t wait to show you this. The difference is huge and genuinely will excite anyone who sees it.
Without being overshadowed by the HDR technology coming online, other highlights from ISE where the whole array of new speakers coming to the market, with TRIAD developing some really high end soundbars, Origin Acoustics with their easy to fit speakers, SONANCE with their new ultra-compact but hugely powerful subwoofers and Monitor Audio releasing their new in-corner speakers, the way we as a custom installer are going to be able to meet the requests of our clients aesthetics is becoming much easier to realise.
As impressive was the latest Wyrestorm offering of 10G video over IP transmission. Although at the moment we feel that this is potentially more suited to the commercial sector of the AV industry we can only see this being a future technology embraced in most homes. Think of it in these terms: the technology developed and used in the highest spec F1 racing cars ultimatley filters to cars we use every day, this is the same in the AV sector and I’m certain of even more exciting times ahead in the future. Good to see Wyrestorm (one of our core brands) leading the way with this technology.
Control4 being one of our other Core brands also launched a new more compact processor, suited to support of our lighting control only systems, but offers enhanced features for smaller projects like one room solution modules.