WASHINGTON—Video is ubiquitous in today’s world, and the range of needs covered by the exhibitors, sessions and demos on day one at the 2017 Government Video Expo and National Drone Show is only increasing.
Jose Alvarez (L) and Marvin Martinez from Ministerio Edificando Las Familias.
One exhibitor that reflects this change is Communications Engineering Inc. (CEI), a Newington, Va.-based systems integrator and dealer with more than 30 years in the broadcast sector. Spike Jones, vice president of sales and marketing said the company has over the last 10-15 years fully expanded its business focus to include high performance audio visual customer requirements. Many new customers from the AV-side of the company’s projects in fact operate in higher resolutions than many broadcast facilities—military command and control operations for example, Jones said. He added that the two broad sectors of the company’s business—broadcast and AV—are in many ways merged, so having experience in both is helpful.
As for trends seen at the show, Jones said that the migration from projection to new, increasingly cost-effective LED direct view displays was gathering pace. Another hot topic across the AV realm was BYOD (bring your own device), and collaboration for distance learning or telecommuting-style applications. In broadcast, getting 1080P HD upconverted to 4K or downconverted to a format for Internet use was topical.
Both sectors benefit from IP transport and production. “The move toward IP from SDI is now becoming cost effective and practical,” said Jones. “It is really helpful in collaboration efforts and in all sorts of field productions.”
Upgrading an existing infrastructure was on the minds of show attendees Jose Alvarez and Marvin Martinez. They are respectively the audio engineer and multi-camera director for Ministerio Edificando Las Familias (MELF), a Spanish language house-of-worship in nearby Hyattsville, Md.
One of the MELF cameras went down for good recently, and when the pair saw that SI and supplier Digital Video Group and Blackmagic Design would have cameras on demo, they made the short trek in to the city to get some hands-on time with the cameras. “We’re considering a 4K camera,” said Martinez. “In the long run it makes sense to upgrade now.”
MELF’s short term plans also include moving to a new facility, making it a good time to upgrade the audio infrastructure. Having recently added a digital mixer, Alvarez said the organization was considering and researching AoIP options. “We’re also looking for ways to make remote productions easier,” said Alvarez, who noted that the church’s band frequently requires live sound capture away from the facility.
IN THE SKY
The National Drone Show component of the day saw a steady stream of demos taking place in the Drone Cage, and a Q&A session with winners of the D.C. Drone Film Festival. Dominating the left side of the exhibition hall was Stampede Global, an Amherst, N.Y.-based AV distributor. While Stampede does a lot more than just UAV/drones, its GV Expo presence reflected the growing importance of the technology across all sorts of applications from industrial to security and surveillance to ENG/EFP and more. The company offers drone training and certification along with all of the hardware from UAV to the NOC.
Peter Hunley, vice president of sales at Stampede said two trends in the UAV sector evident today were resellers including a drone option in their product offerings, and increased outsourcing of the drone enterprise for customers who might not want to make a larger upfront investment.
The Government Video Expo continues Thursday, Nov.30 at the Walter Washington Convention Center.