Peerless Entertains With A/V at Lords

Wow – two events in just three months or so! My schedule has got so hectic, now, and the second event was the Peerless AV event at the hallowed traditional home of cricket, the Lords cricket ground in London.

The event was held over two days (16th and 17th September) at the famous sports ground and for keen fans, there was the option of getting a guided tour to the facilities and trying some of them. The event, which was organised by Peerless AV, was a good scale – smaller than the UK ISE event held earlier in the year but it was better supported by brands in the industry. In particular, several brands (Sony, Samsung, Absen and Unilumin) had set up LED walls just for the event.


As a technology geek, there was not a great deal that was completely new, but there was a chance to actually see some of the products we’ve talked about, but had not yet seen.

First we talked to Sony, which was showing its C-LED C series of LEDs. The technology was announced back in January, (Sony Upgrades (and Downgrades) its Crystal LED) but is now available and shipping. On display was the ‘C’ type of display which is the one that has reduced brightness but very good black levels and was suitably impressive – I have yet to see a demo of this technology that is not impressive. We had a quick look at the new set-up. The original Crystal LED needed skill and a lot of time to set up to be really well aligned and that added considerably to the cost of installations. The new version can still be adjusted to be (very nearly) completely seamless, but this can be done much more quickly, which should make the technology more accessible.

 Despite the high level of ambient light, the contrast of the new C-LED display was very good. Image:Meko

The second display that we looked at was the 100″ FW-100BZ401, which is a VA LCD monitor. The contrast was very good and, as usual, Sony had good demonstrations running on the unit.

Hypervsn is the company that makes fast-spinning LED sticks which are designed to create very impressive ‘floating’ images. The quality of these images improved a lot a couple of years ago when the firm upgraded its video processing and a number of other changes are planned including a switch to round LEDs from the square ones currently used. At the show, it had its usual POS-style demonstration and also had a ‘virtual assistant’ demo. It reminded me of the demoes that used to be done by 3M.

Hypervsn has done well technically, but is now boosting its channel presence and commercial side with help from Gordon Dutch, the founder of BBG Distribution, which was bought by Peerless. After stepping down from Peerless, he set up Re-sauce as a consultancy to help companies in the AV space. Dutch told us that he is explanding that business with an office in Germany. He told us that he is working with Hypervisn to develop the virtual assistant to work with voice controls such as Amazon’s Alexa.

Samsung was highlighting its new touch kiosk products, but also featured a range of different display technologies.

We had an interesting chat with Unilumin’s VP Steve Scorse, a veteran of the AV industry including Barco and SiliconCore. He showed us around the latest products from the firm, which is at the highest level of quality in the brands from China. There has been a lot of work to minimise the depth of the LED modules that it creates and even shallower versions will be coming in the very near future. On display were modules from the USlim series.

I asked Scorse if there had been challenges recently in the rental side of the business, which is notoriously unstable in terms of the level of sales that it can support. The rental companies tend to be very influenced by the availability of finance and, of course, over the last 18 months, there have been dramatically fewer events such as concerts.

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It seems that the rental companies have been able to change their target markets. As we have reported, there has been a lot of interest in ‘LED volumes’ for video and cinema production and this has provided a good market for suppliers. Further, the lack of trade shows has meant that companies have had to make product launches virtually. Firms that want to make a big visual impact, such as car companies, still want to look impressive despite the change to online launches, so they are also using the technology. As a result, Scorse told us, some rental businesses have actually grown over the last year!

DTen, the maker of dedicated Zoom displays and is backed by the video conferencing firm, was showing its integrated displays, which we saw at ISE, and also the camera system that has been developed to add to existing ‘dumb’ displays. It is optimised for the Zoom application.

Matrox was showing its flexible video wall technology. Among other topics we discussed was the flexibility of its solutions and the features that help the remote management of its systems. We also agreed that you might have thought that other codecs beyond H.264 might be in the market in a big way by now, but issues with licensing have delayed the use of more modern and more efficient codecs. (BR)

 Matrox showed the flexible configurations of its video wall technology. Image:Meko