2019 saw Universal AV shake up the annual supplier event, inviting all technical staff and customers along to the Queens Hotel in Leeds on the 14th March.

The event was requested by suppliers and customers alike, with many customers and potential customers excited to see the technology on offer, some of which was showcased in the UK for the first time.


The Suppliers were present, the kit had arrived and been set up, the Stage was set. The day kicked off mid-morning with all Universal AV sales and technical teams in attendance visiting the key suppliers and having demonstrations of the latest product sets.

We wanted staff and customers to be able to work around the room and gain a real sense of what could be achieved through the use of AV. We were very precise in our brief we did not just want kit on a stand and had instructed our partners to work together and create engaging solutions that would wow the teams and customer base.

Panasonic, Dalen and Sahara Presentation Solutions did exactly this and took up a 14m space showing the progression of meeting room technology, from a very traditional and basic flip chart and pens (Laugh as you will but nearly everyone present said they still have these) through to Smart Markers being used on Glass Table, to Clevertouch Screens, Panasonic tracking cameras, displays and projection to full collaboration/huddle spaces.

Dalen Top-Tec brought a range of furniture including their Synergy and FOCUS pod. These form the basis of their collaborative furniture collection, designed to allow users to come together for collaborative meetings and discussions where they can share information and ideas seamlessly. TOP-TEC builds furniture that integrates technology to create innovative, collaboration areas and agile working environments.

Collaborative furniture creates active learning environments in Education where students can engage in multiple activities that boost productivity and engagement rather than sit through a more traditional lecture. The Dalen Top-Tec range of products also help build agile workplaces where users can adapt and change their environment providing users the choice of how and where to work.

SYNERGY, is a collaborative work table range, designed to provide users with a dynamic and interactive solution that is fully AV and IT integrated and meets the high standard expected from educational furniture today.

Table shape selection is key since the interaction of user’s changes depending upon whether the group or screen has primary focus. SYNERGY range offers distinct table shapes all designed to fit specific user requirements, ranging from a two-person huddle space to a 20-seat classroom. The variety of shapes available allow for flexible working and higher levels of engagement.

The SYNERGY range offers a height adjustable model which can be adjusted the HA area of the table. Dalen Top-Tec can also build fully height adjustable tables where the entire surface to suit users with special height requirements or that simply would like the option to present to the group from rises and falls to give users the sit/stand option, which is proven to boost movement, productivity and improve health.

New to their collaborative furniture range is the FOCUS. FOCUS was designed to adapt and enhance the ever-changing workplace. This is a collaborative solution that can be placed in an open plan area to create an instant meeting space for a small group of people, or huddle spaces. The unit consists of a table fixed to a sleek media unit which features a recessed screen, fully integrated AV equipment. Focus allows users to collaborate, develop and share work seamlessly.

Clevertouch's multi award-winning interactive displays offer up to 20 simultaneous points of touch, 4K resolution, a consistent user experience, access to device mirroring, and wireless connectivity. Choose from four different sizes from 55 to 86 inches with optional slot in PC and the unique LUX interface designed for large touchscreens. All the 4K resolution screens come packed with features that are subscription free, reducing the overall cost of ownership.

Send real time messages and live video to single screens, groups of screens, or all your panels regardless of location with Clever Message. When your Clevertouch is not in use, place advertising on your screen to become a panel that can be utilised 24/7.

With Over the Air updates and remote management, you’re always in control of when and what you update, ensuring you have the latest version of Clevertouch.

With high quality and low maintenance, Clevertouch is the most advanced interactive display on the market.

Panasonic demonstrated their Auto tracking software solution. The use of high-performance "Motion Detection" and high-accuracy "Face Recognition" enables high-precision auto tracking of the subject with minimum tracking error regardless of the direction the person is facing, even in situations where a lecturer is writing on a blackboard with his/her back to the camera. In addition, since this function does detection/tracking with streaming video from the camera, it is not necessary to have the video capture board needed for capture on a PC. This reduces the processing load for video capture, thereby eliminating the need for a high-performance PC.

Up next was SONY who really wanted to showcase the full product offering, and we were delighted to be the first integrator in the UK to demonstrate the new Edge Analytics solution with handwriting extraction. The Edge Analytics Appliance creates impactful video presentation content which previously would have required significant time, expense and human resource to produce. With Artificial Intelligence-led technology, the REA-C1000 vastly improves the quality of communication by empowering the presenter to deliver content and to engage their audience like never before.

Sony also showcased their TEOS system, display and projection range. TEOS Manage is a complete AV and IP device and room management solution for corporate and large education environments. Powerful, flexible and easy to use, TEOS Manage empowers your IT department to efficiently manage, schedule and monitor the content across all your networked screens, projectors and display devices.

CTouch were up next demonstrating the latest in screen technology with camera and speaker options for full meeting room solutions.

Kramer Electronics brought their AVoverIP solution (KDS-6 Encoder & Decoder).  This technology allows for the distribution of 4K60 4.2.0 Audio, IR, RS232, & USB video signals, for example from a PC, laptop or tablet/phone, across the existing data network to any endpoint. This produces a low cost, infinitely expandable and flexible AV system.

Next on show was the Kramer VIA Connect Plus for BYOD & Collaboration. This allows up to four people to present &  collaborate simultaneously on one screen, has built in apps for “Zoom” & “Bluejeans” allowing you to turn the VIA Connect Plus into a web-conferencing solution for small meeting spaces, both wireless and wired connections.

Midwich arrived with a selection of product including the; Mersive Solstice Pod, Tripleplay and Brightsign

The complete BYOD solution for the corporate and education sector; the Solstice solution comes as either a “pod” or a software solution. Incredibly powerful and flexible, Solstice supports Windows, Android, OSX, and iOS to give you the freedom to use the device you are most comfortable with. There’s no limit to the number of content posts each participant can share to the display which transforms the meeting and drives collaboration.




The leading single platform solution for Digital Signage, IPTV & Video Streaming. The single platform solution can deliver one or all of the digital media services to any learning institute be that school, academy, college or university. The Digital Signage and IPTV solution easily distributes communications, advertising and messaging around campus intelligently and instantaneously. The Media Video Player delivers live TV, lecture streams, video, audio and documents to educators and learnings securely via our desktop App to Thin Clent, PC and Mac users, via the Tripleplay Mobile Media App to Tablet and Mobile users, or to STB and Smart TV's.

BrightSign award winning digital signage players offer state-of-the-art technology found around the world, powering digital signage in every vertical market. BrightSign hardware is known for ultimate reliability and an extremely robust operating system purpose-built for digital signage. With BrightSign, your digital signage can be as simple and turn-key or as specialized and power-packed as the application demands.

Extron TeamWork® Systems are complete collaboration systems for multiple wired or wireless sources. TeamWork systems include Extron Show Me® cables, a switcher, a system controller, an optional enclosure, cables and accessories. Each custom system can be created to meet your exact needs. TeamWork is designed for ease of installation with virtually any furniture system, new or currently in use. Optional enclosures and mounting hardware are available to facilitate different collaboration table or work surface designs. TeamWork Systems are ideal for corporate and education applications that require a reliable, easy-to-use collaboration system that adapts to evolving collaboration needs.

TeamWork system operation is simple and intuitive. Connect the Show Me cable to a laptop or tablet to start the system. As soon as a signal is detected, power is automatically directed to the display. By pressing the Share button, the switcher automatically selects the appropriate input and the button lights for easy identification.

TeamWork systems work with most flat panel displays, laptops, and tablets. This collaboration system supports full resolution, full frame rate digital computer and video signals up to 4096x2160 @ 60 Hz for most TeamWork configurations. With no latency, video is displayed at optimum quality. The TeamWork system also provides high fidelity audio transmission to the display. All signals are switched to the main presentation display on a single HDMI cable. For added convenience, several TeamWork systems can be set up within the same room to accommodate multiple collaboration groups.

Peerless-AV’s displayed their All-in-One Portrait Kiosk (KIPICT2555). This is the ideal solution for a variety of digital signage applications, such as retail, hospitals, public spaces, government and much more. This kiosk, powered by BrightSignR, delivers flawless Full HD 1080p60 single & dual video decoding, HTML support, networked content playback, as well as an abundant set of features like interactivity via the GPIO port, remote snapshot, live text, media feeds and multi-zone. The kiosk’s sleek, stylish design offers the ruggedness needed for public use, and simple installation and maintenance.

Lunch   

Lunch was served in a syndicate room for all customers/suppliers and staff in front of an LED screen. Everyone was welcome formally by Nick Fitzpatrick, Managing Director of Universal AV before Chris Southern from Sahara Presentation Solutions provided the welcome thought provoking keynote presentation.



Chris did a fabulous job of setting the scene with a clear message was that education and especially Universities have to adopt a “corporate” attitude. They are in competition just like any other company and if they want to attract the best talent they have to demonstrate the best facilities and technology. If you are spending £30K putting your precious little darling through University, you want to make sure they are getting the best possible.

It really did set the scene in preparation for customers moving through into the exhibition space.

Customers spent the next 3 hours having demonstrations of the technology and solutions on offer, guided by the team of Universal AV to ensure they were introduced to the relevant suppliers and the correct application of the technology was shown.

It really did create a real WOW Factor with one customers providing feedback of:

“I just wanted to say well done for yesterday, I’ve been to a few of these events with different Integrators over the years but that was probably the best one I have been to, I certainly took more from it on a technical level than any other and to actually find some resolutions to a few long standing challenges by seeing new kit is great.”

Just as we were about to break for the drinks reception, Prince Edward arrived at the hotel causing a small stir. Who knew the technology day by Universal AV would be so far reaching! Once everyone had a little nosy at the visiting Royal, we held a drinks reception where suppliers, customers and staff further networked discussing the technology and opportunities on offer.

Evening

Universal AV hosted a dinner for suppliers in the evening to further cement the working relationships that are so important to us as a company. We host these days with suppliers and product we truly believe in so it is always good to have an informal catch up over a sparkling water….

Watch this space for the next event to be hosted by Universal AV services and key suppliers, plans are already being put in place….

For more information from our day or if you wish to book further demonstrations contact your account manager…

Visit our YouTube Channel to see some of the product videos. Click Here

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