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NAB Show Product Review: Furniture

Jerry Hahn, president of TBC, relaxes at the SmartTrac HD four-bay monitoring console.

The 2014 NAB Show was a great place to “kick some tires” and in general get some real hands-on experience with some of the new gear you might be considering purchasing. Broadcast furniture is no exception. It’s always nice to “try before you buy” and where can you sample all the brands but on the floor of the NAB Show.

FORECAST CONSOLES showcased MasterVision, which was especially created for master control and net operation facilities. The line features a shallow base structure and slim-line countertop to reduce overall console footprint and also to optimize operator interaction with touchscreen monitors and other equipment.

MODE-AL introduced a new range of completely modular Edit Desks. The desks are of a curved ergonomic design and can be configured with up to 12U of rackmount pods that can be added at any time. The unique curved screen mounting system allows the easy configuration of multiple screens, a choice of 19-inch racks from 14U to 24U with or without CPU enclosure, and a choice of static or motorized height adjustment for the desk frame.

TBC CONSOLES brought along its new Monitor Frame System which was created with the ever-increasing trend to use large near-field displays driven by multiviewers, rather than individual video source monitors. The Monitor Frames accommodate flatscreen monitors up to 80-inches in size, allowing them to be mounted to existing desks or to any of the TBC console units. TBC also displayed its first SmartTrac console to incorporate a full base unit for mounting computers or conventional rackmount equipment. Also being featured was TBC’s fourth-generation Intelli-Trac console which has an extremely low profile along with light turret transitions. The company also showed a new low-cost basic console that provides a simple lever type of height adjustment.

WINSTED displayed their EnVision Command consoles which are engineered to provide both the form and function needed in today’s control room arrangements. The consoles’ modular design can be obtained in single-, double-, or triple-tier configurations, with each tier supporting either 7.5- or 15-inch “slat-track sections to allow the mounting of multiple video monitors at comfortable and ergonomically correct viewing angles. Cable management has also been addressed, making initial wiring or configuration changes later on convenient.

James E. O’Neal has more than 50 years of experience in the broadcast arena, serving for nearly 37 years as a television broadcast engineer and, following his retirement from that field in 2005, moving into journalism as technology editor for TV Technology for almost the next decade. He continues to provide content for this publication, as well as sister publication Radio World, and others.  He authored the chapter on HF shortwave radio for the 11th Edition of the NAB Engineering Handbook, and serves as editor-in-chief of the IEEE’s Broadcast Technology publication, and as associate editor of the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal. He is a SMPTE Life Fellow, and a Life Member of the IEEE and the SBE.