AV Furniture for the Digital Age

It's sleek, functional, and even good for your health
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by James Careless

Once upon a time, AV furniture was big, clunky, and designed for old-fashioned analog technology.

Well, times have changed.


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Middle-Atlantic LCD desks The headline above may seem strange, but it is accurate. Specifically, furniture provider Bretford has introduced multi-surface antimicrobial finishes on more than 70 of its tables and carts. These antimicrobial furniture finishes are intended to inhibit the growth of mold, mildew and fungus on product surfaces.

How Bretford does this is fascinating: The antimicrobial's active ingredient is based on organo-functional silane technology. Basically, whenever a bacterium touches the antimicrobial's surface, its cellular membrane is disrupted. Since the antimicrobial bonds to whatever surface it is applied to on a molecular level, the surface itself become antimicrobial.

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VFI PL3072 wide plasma stand Bretford's anti-microbial surface is found on equipment such as its Intelligent Laptop Computer Cart, which meters out electricity to each unit based on the laptop's level of battery charge.


Luxor Furniture has released its new line of Endura Plasma/LCD Universal Display Carts. Featuring builtin monitor mounts that can support screens as big as 50 inches, the Endura series offers 48- by-24-inch shelves, three-outlet surgesuppressing power bars, heavyduty caster wheels, and molded shelves and legs that won't stain, scratch, dent or rust.

The LEW28UD Endura has two shelves and is 28 inches tall; the LEW32UD has the same specs but is 32 inches high. The LEW29CUD has two shelves, locking steel doors and is 24 inches high. The LEW40CUD and LEW442CUD both have three shelves and steel locking doors, and stand 38 and 44 inches tall respectively. Available colors for all Endura carts are gray, putty or black.


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Spectrum Industries 55280 cart for 42-inch screens Middle Atlantic Products has released its new LCD monitoring/command desk systems. Designed to be easily customized and expanded, these new desks are primarily aimed at security applications where LCD displays are used for monitoring CCTV cameras.

The desk systems feature highly adjustable optional monitor supports for up to six screens per desk; allowing monitors to be set at different heights to suit individual operators-or line-of-sight viewing beyond the desk. These new desks come with ergonomically contoured edges for desktops and keyboard shelves for more operator comfort and efficiency. Desk surface heights have been raised to 30 inches to accommodate all sizes of users.

As for looks: The units are elegant, with color options that include honey maple, dark cherry and pepperstone. They are also built upon Middle Atlantic's signature features such as space-efficient cabinet/rack enclosures, effective thermal management and intelligent cable management.


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Winsted Sight-Line console Some things can be repurposed ... and some can't. When it comes to TV carts, it is unwise to try and transport wide, tippy flat panel TVs on carts built for solid, box-like CRTs—unless you enjoy explaining to the boss why your new HDTV just shattered on the hard concrete floor!

Spectrum Industries has devised two flat-screen carts to move HDTVs safely and securely. The 55279 is designed to handle 37-inch monitors; the 55280 carries 42-inch flat panels. Both provide solid "universal flat-screen stands" that are integrated into the cart's overall body; no danger of tipping here!

Available with monitor-top shelves for videoconferencing cameras, the 55279/55280 carts are attractively finished in laminate/metal or wood grain/metal housings (indigo organix/grey or wild cherry/black) and have removable ergonomicallydesigned side handles. All carts are built with large casters and low centers of gravity, allowing them to be moved easily by one person. The shelving unit below the monitor stand has room for AV equipment and speakers. The result is a flat panel cart that looks good and works well.


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Sometimes, you need two wide-screen TVs, not one. To make the problem easy to solve, Video Furniture International (VFI) came up with the PL3072 wide plasma stand. This is a stable, wheeled equipment cabinet that can be fitted with VFI brackets to hold two plasma/LCD monitors side-by-side. (You can also outfit it to hold one monitor.)

The PL3073 has a top-mounted shelf for a videoconferencing camera, 14 RU rack mount rails on right side, two adjustable height shelves on left side, locking doors, and is ready to mount optional speakers behind its removable side panels. For smooth and steady rolling, it has six caster wheels.

"The PL3072's wider footprint adds stability for dual monitor configurations while offering mobility," says VFI marketing manager Voula Pentzos. "Internal space can be optionally configured as dual rack rail sides or dual shelves. Optional mounts and speakers can be included to create a rollabout videoconference system."


"Sexy" is not a word generally applied to AV furniture. But it's the right word to describe Winsted's new Sight-Line console. With its lean design, black matte finish and sculpted TruForm decorative end panels-available in eight different finishes-the Sight- Line console embodies the high-tech look that video is supposed to be about. As well, the Sight-Line console is made up of separate, interchangeable modules that support layout flexibility and expandability.

Mindful of the limited viewing angles offered by many LCD screens, Sight-Line consoles come with Winsted's new integrated Versa-Trak monitor array system, which lets users optimize, and easily modify, sight lines and viewing angles based on personal needs.

"If you are looking for unparalleled beauty and function designed specifically for your needs, you have found the solution," says Winsted Marketing Manager Brent Leimer. "Whether you need a single workstation or a complete control room, Sight-Line consoles are perfect for all installations."


Museum AV Takes Off promo image

Museum AV Takes Off

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum is working on a new gallery in its Washington, D.C., facility that will include a raised stage for public programming, a large interactive touchscreen where visitors can help design a virtual space station, a large projection of the Earth’s limb, or circular outer edge, and more.