On the Road to InfoComm - Episode 3


Barco execs are saddling up for the long ride to InfoComm, sharing their insights on how we’re helping our customers connect their worlds in and beyond the enterprise. Join us On the Road to InfoComm as we explore hot topics and provide a glimpse of what’s to come at the show.

In the Rental & Staging world, there are a couple of paradigms that drive our image processing business with respect to innovation: big things come in small packages and accommodating an uncertain future.

Regarding the former, Barco can lay claim to building the most powerful, yet compact, video processors, switchers and presentation systems in the industry. Our latest example, E2, offers twice the number of inputs and outputs as the competition. This extra “room” opens up a myriad of creative and technical design opportunities for event producers, providing the flexibility and processing power they need to deliver amazing shows and events. 

More power, less space
Barco has historically designed our presentation switchers with the highest reliability and image processing performance in the market. It’s just what we do to help show producers connect their worlds, and it ties closely with our mandate to design products that remain highly relevant many years down the road. The E2 is built on the Event Master platform – a reusable concept that leverages all of our smart technologies into a single box. Designed with a modular architecture, it easily supports future adaptation to evolving user requirements and field serviceability. So, while we stay relevant with current interface trends – such as DVI, HDMI, DisplayPort, and SDI up to 4K – we can also build a card for any type of signal interface or resolution on the horizon. In other words, we may not always know what’s coming, but we know that we can develop technology to accommodate it. And, because of our modular platform, users can interchange cards among any of the Event Master processors, making them not only affordable, but extremely flexible.

Ready for anything on the horizon
The fact is, we know that new standards, interfaces and resolutions are emerging as we speak. SMPTE continues to add standards for ever-increasing resolutions. New interface standards, such as DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 2.0, deliver increased resolution and bandwidth. Fortunately, our E2 has a very large backbone to handle up to 32 inputs and 14 outputs; again, lots of extra capacity designed in for whatever comes around the corner.

Of course, besides the obvious benefits of more processing power, our Event Master series overachieves in I/O density to create a more compact footprint – so that users can reap the advantages of lower weight and smaller size, which translate into lower shipping costs (R&S) and less rack space (fixed installs). But even more importantly, reliability goes through the roof once you eliminate the typical points of failure experienced when stringing several boxes together. Not to mention faster set-up, which saves both time and money. All around, producing bigger things in smaller packages is a win-win for show producers, technicians and bankrollers alike!

Mapping grand canvases with ease
Barco is also gaining momentum in the projection mapping space thanks to the introduction of our new media servers, purpose-built for this application. We view media servers as the next logical addition to our image processing roadmap because of Barco’s combined expertise in large venue projection and video processing. Our high-lumen projectors have been used in a large number of projection mapping projects, and our collaboration with content and software developers has uniquely positioned us to develop a robust hardware platform based on core technologies for this new application.

We recently launched the first two media servers, with more power on the way to accommodate the biggest shows. Our XHD-400 delivers a truly end-to-end visualization solution, making event automation and preview simpler than ever before by covering the entire workflow from design to operation. A key differentiator for our product is that it’s extremely easy to use, greatly simplifying the task of bringing together different types of content to create large-scale media environments. Of course it has user-friendly warping and blending tools for multi-screen set-ups and you can even create an exact simulation for preview. Another huge feature of our media servers is our ability to create a 3D projection study, showing positions of projectors, illumination areas, even showing where shadows will be created. Barco media servers are designed for video professionals, with an easy-to-use GUI, while other products on the market are typically oriented to lighting designers. 

What’s next?
Speaking of lighting, we’re leveraging mutual technologies with our lighting division, High End Systems, taking the best parts of each side of the house and combining them to create brand new live event products. Stay tuned for updates on this!

See us at InfoComm!
Please join us as we showcase all the ways Barco is helping you connect your worlds. And, don’t forget to ask your sales rep about ‘E2 x 2’ at the show to get a glimpse of something really special!”