Furniture Consoles Reaching New Heights

ALEXANDRIA, VA.—Adaptability is the name of the game right now for furniture manufacturers in the broadcast industry, whether it involves adapting to shrinking room sizes, the switch from hardware to software-based workflows, or even the continuing trend of standing desks. Advances in the ergonomic category were on display at this year’s NAB Show, particularly the capability of adding height-adjustable monitors.

Furniture vendors including Forecast Consoles, TBC Consoles and Winsted all showcased this and more at the 2016 NAB Show. Here is a look at what each company offered.

TBC’s ST3 Plus features a height-adjustable console and monitors, as well as a touchscreen cutout.

Forecast Consoles updated its MasterRail production console, MasterVision operations and monitoring console, Sightline quick adjust monitor wall, and showcased the latest addition to its ImageMaster console line. It also introduced GCX, a customizable accessory tool for ImageMaster.

The adaptability and customization of these new products is a result of customer feedback, according to Ryan Haberman, director of brand development with the Hauppauge, N.Y.-based company. He says this has led Forecast to “expand our customization offerings to keep pace with the way that operators are interacting with equipment and the type of equipment that is being offered to the market.”

This ability to be able to fit a customer’s specific needs is a result of space becoming more valuable because rooms are getting smaller. “The amount of technology that is going into these rooms is increasing in complexity but decreasing in physical size,” Haberman said. So that was the goal of Forecast’s products at NAB Show this year; as Haberman puts it: “Figuring out how to accomplish people’s wildest dreams.”

One of those dreams includes the ability to have height-adjustable monitors, a feature TBC Consoles previewed for show attendees. Despite skepticism over the need for height-adjustable monitors, Jansen Hahn, TBC’s chief operating officer for the Edgewood, N.Y.-based company, says the new feature arose from experience with height-adjustable consoles. “If you’re moving your console up, you may lose your sight lines with your monitors, so if you also have a track stand or a track wall that also height adjusts, then you can maintain those perfect sight lines,” he said. To make things easier, TBC’s height-adjustable monitor wall comes with a remote control, according to Hahn.

“The trend is continued adaptability of our consoles,” he said; and that is what the company demonstrated with some of its other products at the show. In addition to the height-adjustment feature available for monitors and the console itself, TBC’s ST3 Plus console now includes a cutout for a touchscreen wall. The ergonomics of the SmartTrac and IntelliTrac have also been adjusted to be customized to fit specific room sizes. “We’ve designed our furniture to meet customer demands one way or another,” Hahn said, “so we’re trying to stay ahead of the curve.”

Winsted also demonstrated adjustable consoles at its NAB Show booth, giving attendees a preview of its Impulse dual sit/stand console. The console offers electrically adjustable monitors—both vertically and horizontally—and personal workspace.

“Being ergonomically correct and being able to adjust to a particular person, operator, editor, what have you, it really is unmatched in the industry,” said Brent Leimer, marketing manager for Winsted in Winchester, Conn.