Last Tuesday, we hosted Harman Professional (a subsidiary of Samsung) at the Technology Engagement Center (TEC) to showcase their digital media offerings the the Duke Digital Media Community (DDMC). Harman has a portfolio of nearly twenty brands including AKG, AMX, Crown, Harman/Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Lexicon, DigiTech, Mark Levinson, Martin, Revel, Soundcraft, and Studer. As you can imagine, it would be impossible to reference all of Harman’s catalog of offerings… without making the DDMC a ten-hour session, so we narrowed the scope to new offerings ideally suited for higher education.
During the session, Steve Schwarz of Harman quickly reviewed 23 new products that Harman released at InfoComm, some of which have just begun to ship. Of those devices, we focused our attention on five items that may work well in an academic environment. The first item was the AMX Acendo Vibe. The Vibe is essentially all-in-one webcam, microphone, and speaker device ideal for smaller, bring your own device (BYOD), meeting spaces. The camera’s wide angle, hardware based acoustic echo cancelation, and attractive price point makes it a compelling piece of hardware for budget conscious meeting spaces. Also mentioned was the AMX Acendo Core, a one-click micro-computer for Skype for Business, wireless screen sharing, and room scheduling system. We’ve seen a number of these devices enter the market, and look forward to receiving a demo unit to evaluate. Also, we were intrigued by AMD N1134A SDI networked AV encoder. Media encoders are becoming somewhat of a ubiquitous item these days, but many cameras still send SDI signals. This would eliminate one media converter (the SDI to HDMI box).
In the JBL department, two items were highlighted. The JBL Professional EON ONE PRO is an ultra-portable, battery-powered, budget-friendly, linear-array PA system that could be a good fit for schools that need a temporary, but high-quality, PA system for all those one-off events (think graduation ceremony, holiday staff events, student gatherings, small guest lectures on the lawn, etc.). It could also act as a backup system should a classroom AV system fail. The second JBL item is the Professional LCT 81C/T ceiling tile. We’ve all seen speakers added to ceiling tiles, but this item offers high-quality audio in a very attractive form factor, ideal for spaces where aesthetics is paramount. It’s also said to be a dream to install.
I’m not even going to touch on Harman’s AV over IP offerings (it’s extensive), but they have been offering those devices for over seven years (in fact, they are being deployed on one of the new buildings on campus). If you are looking AV over IP (or realistically… any AV related technology), Harman most likely has a solution for you.