Five years after introducing HiQnetâ„¢ as the professional audio community's only dedicated configuration and control protocol to address the complete audio signal path, Harman Professional continues to invest in what is now the most useful and widely-used AV networking toolset of its kind. Not only is HiQnet a highly effective control protocol to run parallel to the increasingly ubiquitous AVB 802.1 transport protocol but the HiQnet System Architectâ„¢ software went through a comprehensive user-inspired design and functionality overhaul with version 2.0. Now, with over 500,000 HiQnet components in the field and a user community of over 35,000 AV professionals, Harman Professional's System Development & Integration Group (SDIG) is debuting HiQnet System Architect version 2.2, representing a significant step forward in the new design paradigms introduced with version 2.0.
According to Adam Holladay, Senior Market Manager, Harman Professional System Development & Integration Group, the newest iteration of System Architect is at once evolutionary and revolutionary: “System Architect version 2.2 is a strong, positive evolution of the design capabilities and user interface introduced in version 2.0 but also a great leap forward in its monitoring and control functionality,” Holladay noted. “Now, with the momentum of AVB, the market readiness for advanced AV networking solutions and the highly developed state of HiQnet System Architect, I believe our Harman customers — tour sound professionals, contractors and consultants — have a distinct competitive advantage in providing their customers with innovation and value.”
The user continues to draw the graphical layout of the venue in the main workspace, physically adds the devices to the rack rooms and associate amplifiers logically with the output zones they serve, but now they can also set up comprehensive venue monitoring. Each room in the layout is automatically overlaid with an output meter, which represents the maximum output level of the amplifier channels associated with it. Additionally, each room in the layout of the venue can be assigned alert colors to indicate the conditions of devices physically contained within rack rooms, or devices logically associated with output zones. With this new unprecedented, automatically-generated monitoring capability and the ability to add control panels to be launched from each room, the same design workspace is able to be repurposed as an unparalleled monitoring and control interface in the new System Architect Kiosk Mode.
Kiosk Mode makes HiQnet System Architect truly unique and especially valuable for efficient operation by automatically utilizing the exact same design environment, optimized for touch screen control and system monitoring operations. Kiosk Mode is installed as an option with the standard System Architect installer, runs from the startup directory as a separate control application, offers a pop-up, context sensitive alpha-numeric keypad and honors all Access Control configuration so multiple user logins are possible. Kiosk Mode simplifies operation and reduces repetitive tasks by reusing the very same venue workspace that was used for system configuration, saving design time and reducing design complexity.
In addition to Kiosk Mode, System Architect Version 2.2 offers three new â€˜functional' panels that can be generated automatically to save programming time and improve effectiveness. A Room Tuning Panel is provided automatically for each room, grouping together all the correct EQ parameters from associated amplifiers. Similarly, an Amplifier Meters Panel enables simple monitoring of all associated amplifier input and output meters, while an Amplifier Level and Monitor Panel enables more detailed monitoring of all associated amplifier input and output channels and individual level and mute control. Each panel is directly accessible from each room within the venue representation and amplifier channels can be added to or removed from a room — and the panel will update on the fly.
“PLASA represents an excellent launch platform for System Architect Version 2.2. The international community of audio video professionals is under increasing pressure to do much more with fewer resources,” Holladay continued. “System Architect enables our international customers in system integration to build bigger, better systems in less time and with greater impact than ever before imaginable.”
On the stand at PLASA, the Harman Professional Division will demonstrate a working AVB system comprising a dbx SC 32, a BSS / NETGEAR AVB switch and a Crown CTs amplifier with USP4/AVB card installed, all controlled from a touch screen PC running the new System Architect Kiosk Mode. Harman will be giving tutorials on how the very same System Architect workspace is used for system configuration and control. Also at PLASA, the company will show the range of AVB wall-plates from BSS.
In a compelling demonstration of interoperability, Harman will cooperate with Avid to show AVB-enabled technologies from both firms operating on a single network. At the Avid stand a Crown CTs amplifier with USP4/AVB will be demonstrated receiving AVB audio from an Avid console over a Marvell switch in a technology preview. Commenting, Avid Live Systems GM, David Gibbons notes “We're pleased to show our commitment to this exciting technology by sharing something from our live sound laboratories: an AVB interface card in a VENUE stage rack transmitting audio to a Crown amplifier over AVB.”
“AVB will be a tremendous boon to the live sound industry,” Holladay continued. “In addition to the universal aspect that enables more technologies to perform seamlessly together, AVB makes integration and setup simpler, less expensive and more efficient. Harman recognizes the integration-level advantages of a singular (AVB-powered) AV network and we are deeply committed to cross-manufacturer cooperation to help integrators deliver on the promise.”
Harman will be represented on the AVnu Alliance panel – IEEE 802.1 Audio/Video Bridging (AVB): The Future of Standards-Based AV Networking, Monday 13 September, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm, Marlborough 1 Room, Earls Court 2. Pre-registration required through the Education section of the PLASA website: plasashow.com Harman will also be represented on the Manufacturers' Panel at the AVNetworks 2010 event on Wednesday 15 September. Pre-registration is required through the AVNetworks website: avnetworks2010.com
Harman International Industries, Incorporated (www.harman.com), designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment products for the automotive, consumer and professional markets. Harman International maintains a strong presence in the Americas, Europe and Asia, and employs more than 11,000 people worldwide. The Harman International family of brands includes AKG®, Becker®, BSS®, Crown®, dbx®, DigiTech®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson®, Revel®, Selenium, Soundcraft® and Studer®. Harman International's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “NYSE: HAR.”