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3 Questions for Mad Systems: Quicksilver All-in-One AV System

Mad Systems has created a new all-in-one AV system, Quicksilver, that the AV integration firm is selling to other AV integrators. CI sat down for 3 questions with Maris Ensing, creative technology consultant for Mad Systems, to learn more.

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It’s not often you see an integrator develop a product for other integrators, but that may be why they put the “Mad” in Mad Systems. The company has developed its Quicksilver AV system to provide flexibility and scale that Mad Systems considers completely revolutionary.

CI editorial director Jonathan Blackwood spoke with Maris Ensing, creative technology consultant at Mad Systems, to learn more about this new system.

Jonathan Blackwood: What is Quicksilver?

Maris Ensing: “Quicksilver is the ongoing development of a brand-new audiovisual system. It’s something that we’ve wanted to do for a long time and a number of things fell in place. We felt that there were enough things that had come together for us to put together a complete, brand new, designed-for-the-purpose AV system that would not only be affordable but would save a lot of money on infrastructure.

“We went the wireless route which saves an enormous amount of money on infrastructure. The other main thing was that we didn’t want to use anything that was proprietary. We wanted to buy equipment that we know people will be able to get for the next twenty years. That became a driving factor for us to start putting together a new AV system.

“Then we had to find a name. We can up with Quicksilver because Quicksilver is the old name for mercury, and mercury is what hatters used to use and it used to drive them mad.”

JB: How does Quicksilver eliminate the need for cables and components?

ME: “The way Quicksilver works is that all of the content is stored on the device. The only thing we’re sending over the network is commands. Do something, have something happen. For example, if you have a motion detector, the motion detector will detect motion, wirelessly send the command to the show controller, and then the show controller will wirelessly send the commands to the lighting controller, audio controller, video controller, and basically kick things off that need to happen.

“The only other thing that the wireless interface is used for is the updating of content. When we turn the system off at night, Tea Party, which is the control system, will wirelessly update all of the media and then it will turn those units off. Tomorrow morning you have new content.

“One of the things that Quicksilver also does is power management, which again is handled wirelessly. So it’s very cheap and easy for us to integrate things. Basically, what we’re trying to do is reduce the amount of traffic on the wireless network to the point where it is immediate and it is never an issue.”

JB: How does Quicksilver fit into the overall AV system?

ME: “Quicksilver is an AV system. If you’re looking at the average things you want to do with an AV system, Quicksilver will handle all of it. There is a show controller, video, audio. There are IO buttons, motion detectors, RFID sensors, barcode readers, relay outputs—basically whatever you want for inputs and outputs.

“We have a rotary device where you can go through video frame-by-frame forward or in reverse. We have DMX control for lighting, interactivity, and a host of other things. It really is a complete AV system and we’re adding to it as we go along.

“There’s a lot that comes with that and here’s the big difference: not only is the price point very aggressive, but we are particularly looking at integrators. We have a facility called Quicksilver Equalizer, which would help us implement an AV system and reduce costs not only for the client, but would actually improve margins at the same time.

“This is completely different than anything we’ve done in the past 40 years realistically. It is that far advanced. It basically does everything. So there’s a whole bunch of stuff which just hasn’t been seen before and we can just do it from scratch. It’s part of the system. It’s just there.”

To learn more about Mad Systems’ Quicksilver AV system, log on to