Volume 14, Issue 20 — October 30, 2017
|Where Have All The Sales Reps Gone?|
By Lee Distad
I just spent a week road tripping in the wilds of northern Alberta. That, in itself, is not unusual for me. I do it all the time. What made it different this time was that I had cajoled the Canadian sales manager for the biggest brand we distribute to ride with me. My main objective was to work with him to promote our strategy going into the upcoming iPhone launch, which we did.
My secondary objective was to get my counterpart to come with me and go out and meet the dealers in remote areas who sell his products for us, get to know them, and strengthen those business relationships. And that objective was a runaway success.
My sales territory, Alberta, Canada is somewhat unique for two reasons. One, it’s geographically large — 661,848 km², while only having a population of just over 4 million. That means there’s a lot of open space and long drives from one town to the next.
Second, thanks to the oil and gas industry I have dealers in small, remote locations that do big city numbers. Whether their focus is commercial/industrial and fleet sales, or residential and consumer products, that deserve not only my time and attention by phone and email, but to come out and visit them regularly.
Unfortunately, with every passing year there are fewer and fewer rep positions that cover large territories. And of the reps out there that do have large territories, fewer of them are interested in travel and regular face-to-face contact with their accounts.
I know that from talking with peers in the industry. More importantly, I know that from talking with my dealers. Up in the far north, I’m the only sales rep they ever see. That’s why taking my colleague to come all the way from Toronto to meet them made such an impression.
When I was still working retail, most of the reps who visited my store had large territories. And they still made the rounds regularly. They’d show up in-store like clockwork to help drive business, whether it was leading training sessions, or even on the sales floor supported the sales staff and getting involved with the customers.
However, as these old guys have retired, brands often replace them with merchandising associates: people who cover fewer dealers and who only deal with product knowledge training and confirming that dealers are confirming to the planograms. They also get paid far less than the pros who genuinely made the effort to help their dealers sell more of their stuff.
Generally speaking, I think the sales results are far less with that approach, but hey, think of the cost savings on compensation!
It’s great to make yourself accessible to your dealers by phone and email, and I certainly make an effort to do that too. But getting out and meeting your dealers in person has advantages that you can’t get any other way.
Industry intel and gossip for one thing. You’ll hear inside scoops in person from your dealers over a cup of coffee that would never come up over the phone. Whether it’s information that’s actionable and can benefit you, or it’s “just good to know” trying to manage your territory from your desk leaves you out of the loop on things that might be critical for you to learn.
Then there’s actually knowing who your dealers are, who their customers are and what both of them need. It’s a lot harder to get a clear picture of your dealers’ business needs over the phone. If you don’t really know who they are and what they do, how can you recommend the right products and solutions to help them succeed?
More importantly, to your dealers, you’re the face of the brand. They associate it with you and the level of support your provide them. If they’re warm and fuzzy about how well you look after their needs, when they need to choose between selecting your brand or someone else’s their feelings about you, the brand rep factor heavily into their calculations.
Don’t think it doesn’t. If you’re just a voice on the phone from a thousand kilometers away then your brand is interchangeable with your competition.Leave a Comment
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|The Real Cost of a Product|
By Dr. Frederick Ampel
President & Principal, Technology Visions Analytics
Any one in the AV industry who specifies, purchases, sells or buys the essentials we use every day to build our systems knows that these “products” have a host of internal costs built into the price we pay. Let me be very clear, the price I am talking about is the net cost of the product to us, not the end-user or system price of that same product which would include our margins and other related additional costs.
The core price (which is what one of the items would cost to keep the comparisons valid) is that price which we pay for any product, hardware, software, accessory or whatever as it arrives in our hands — the invoiced to us cost of the product.
Now of course there are variables in that final number such as how many of the items are bought (quantity discounts), dealer or re-seller incentives and so forth (but for the purposes of this discussion those are not considered). Whatever that final number may be, it will always include the obvious expenses associated with producing the product, such as R&D expenses, the cost of materials, the cost of custom fabricated molds for plastics or similar materials and so forth but it will also include some significant costs that are not so obvious, but do affect the price we pay for anything.
The Marketing Costs of Surprises
The first and most obvious add-on cost is marketing expenses. Now while you may think that means advertising, promotion, and similar standard type overhead, you may not realize that lumped into that cost center are trade show expenses, associated costs for factory and training personnel travel, events or meetings/seminars, those big-bash show parties and the hidden costs of some of those events.
For example, let’s look at what it really costs the average pro-audio industry non-mega company to attend a trade show.
- Booth space cost
- Setup/teardown of the booth
- Travel costs for company personnel and endorsers, trainers, etc.
- Food and beverage, especially if they throw a party or reception
Those four items are fairly obvious and nobody objects to those expenses, but here’s where it gets sneaky.
All that hardware, booth materials and such have to be shipped from the company or booth builder to the show site and back — i.e., round trip freight — which let’s say for the average exhibitor is about $1 a pound. Pretty normal for bulk truck freight. But that only gets the stuff to the convention site loading dock and here’s where a big cost surprise that you are paying for happens. In the convention business, there are service companies that provide everything from the fork-lift truck to moving freight to the tables, chairs, pipe & drape, carpet and so forth. While the costs vary by location, in major convention locations, a few companies control that business, have long term contracts with the convention centers AND set their own rates. Exhibitors have no say in those rates, they just get a bill and there are no alternative choices — it’s a closed system.
Here’s where the wallet-stunning numbers come into play. Based on data from a mid-sized loudspeaker company’s 2016 trade show costs, the cost to move 6,000 pounds of crates from coast to coast for a show was about $6,000 — but the cost to move that same 6,000 pounds of stuff about 200 feet from the loading dock to the booth site
(called “drayage” in the trade show business) was nearly $12,000 — or about $60 per foot vs. $1 per mile round trip (6,000 miles cost to coast to coast). That 12K did nothing to make a better product or improve customer service, or train dealers or anything useful, it just went into the marketing cost budget as an expense.
Do that a few times a year and suddenly you have $40K to $60K worth of costs to allocate to the dealer price of the product and you, the buyer, got nothing except a hidden cost increase. The same kind of gigantic cost multiples apply to furniture rentals (again, no choice in who you have to rent from) or any similar expenses. Toss in some mandatory $90+ per-hour union electricians and $95+ per-hour union carpenters, $90+ per-hour miscellaneous union labor and wham — what the company faces is a bill that was three, four or five times the original cost estimate. In many of these venues, your own people (company that is) can’t even touch a screwdriver without paying for a union person match. So if you bring five people to set up your booth you have just bought five union people to go with them. Do the math. It get expensive very quickly. Trust me — you’re paying for those costs.
Almost every product that wants to offer real IT/IP connectivity needs to provide connectors based on proprietary, licensed-use technologies such as DisplayPort, HDMI and other options as well. Designing the hardware or acquiring the IP/software for this is easy and straightforward. But then there are the licensing costs. For example, in a recent blog post, Gary Kayye commented on this issue: “I was talking to one of my oldest industry friends at ISE in Amsterdam and he told me how he’d been “shaken-down” by the MPEG LA (the licensing people for DisplayPort). Basically, some two years after he’d been selling products with DisplayPort connectors, he was called, out of the blue, by the MPEG LA and told he needed to pay 16 cents for each DisplayPort connector on a product. So, if he’d sold a 1×4 DisplayPort distribution amplifier, he needed to pay $0.80 per unit sold. Plus he’d need to go back and figure out how much he owed since he started in business — back-payment.
This whole process reminded me of the neighborhood protection shakedown scheme. But it’s totally legal and officially above board.”
Now realistically, there has to be a proper and valid process for this worldwide and both the HDMI, LLC and MPEG LA are true consortiums/alliances run independently from any one manufacturer. They exist to set standards and enforce them. Thus, these fees go to fund the association and support the licensed technology and its users. But, it does add to the cost of the product and you probably didn’t think about that. Sure it’s only pennies, but it adds up and if the product in question uses multiple licensed IP or technologies to provide what the market wants, it’s paying multiple organizations for every unit shipped, assuming the manufacturer is obeying the laws and rules.
So add a few bucks to each product for this low visibility cost. Yes, they are necessary but because the AV world allows closed source ‘standards’ to exist these costs remain. Perhaps it’s a reason to push for and look to open source options and new paths to get the result? Worth a calorie or two in thought.
Where It’s Made Matters – But
Ever read the fine print in those car ads — the part about being manufactured in the USA with GLOBALLY sourced parts? Well, where something is made does have an impact on its cost. Globally sourced really means exactly that for electronics. For reference, and to showcase that supply chain, the chart below shows the number of suppliers, by country, for an Apple iPhone. This chart includes EVERY company involved in putting that product on the store shelves.
(If you are really curious, go here for a detailed listing who makes what, where.)
Clearly, China (no surprise there) is the dominant player, not just because assembly costs (wages and overhead) at vendors like FoxConn are very low, but also because huge numbers of the component parts are also made in factories in China, especially plastics and various semiconductors. Please take note of the large numbers for Japan (semiconductors, optics) Taiwan, Korea (memory chips primarily) and then the southeast Asia semiconductor quartet of Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines. If this were a laptop, Malaysia would rise up to make a quintet because of its disc drive and semiconductor facilities. But even just listing the countries obscures the real data because a company nominally based in South Korea or Japan or Taiwan, for example, actually outsources to lower cost facilities, perhaps in Malaysia or Thailand or Vietnam. So the complex web is actually far more finely meshed than the data would indicate.
But despite this obvious globalization, the one topic that gets the most headlines and attention from spreadsheet MBA management types is the hourly wage paid to factory labor. Below is a table showing (as of 2015) the average hourly manufacturing wage (converted to U.S. dollars) for countries that produce electronics or components product used in or by the proAV industry worldwide. The website credited has much more data on this topic. But here’s the rub. The hourly wages to assemble and build a product is only a fraction of its total manufacturing cost — although it is the hot button pushed by every cost control addict in our industry. To truly reflect actual assembly costs, both direct material costs and direct labor costs must be included in the price calculations, which makes the hourly wage issue somewhat of a red-herring.
So if we take JUST the hourly wage (not a true number in and of itself) as representative of location-based manufacturing cost, building an amplifier in China saves $41 vs. Sweden and $14.02 vs. Korea. Based on only that number, it becomes obvious why companies think they will benefit by off-shore production.
But not calculated here are all the other costs associated with such off-shore production, like quality control, freight, inventory/stock overhead. If you have to wait eight weeks for the product to arrive you must have enough inventory in a U.S. warehouse to cover that eight weeks and that costs serious money, not to mention items such as inventory taxes, etc. (As an aside, ever wonder why a lot of companies moved warehousing to Nevada from California? California has an inventory tax; Nevada doesn’t.)
Now you know why almost every small kitchen or personal appliance says “made in China” on the box. It’s also why that really cool Italian-made Espresso machine at your local Starbucks costs thousands and the look-a-like you bought for your office from China cost $49.95 (we will not talk about the quality of the espresso).
But remember that “globally sourced” notation from earlier? Where these wage costs really matter is when a product is built in a high cost country for “cachet” or marketing purposes, but can and does source the labor intensive elements of that product from low cost countries. That is why it is possible to build amplifiers in Scandinavia and still be able to sell them for something way less than the national debt of a third world country — and remain competitive in a global market. It’s also why the boutique limited production ‘high-end’ audio stuff has a five-figure price tag — they can’t effectively source the tiny quantities of what they need from low cost suppliers because the numbers are too small to matter to the parts vendors. Nobody who is geared to make 10,000 of something a month (like power supplies for example) wants to sell a tiny boutique company 100 of them a year.
However, there are often no choices for some product categories — especially video displays, for example. When 90+ percent of the possible sources for an LCD/LED panel are located in China or nearby areas, the manufacturer, no matter where it is located, is left with no option but to source such panels from those suppliers. The same applies to almost every IC, memory chip, CPU, DSP, chip and so forth.
The Layer Cake Manufacturing Process
Where this can and does affect your cost is hidden in the layer cake of suppliers that have arisen in the supplier countries. Let’s assume you are XYZ Display Corp., and you supply commercial displays to a wide range of users. How much added no-value to the buyer/user cost is accumulated by any SKU you build will be determined by how well you manage and vet your OEM suppliers.
Think of this process as a layer cake. If the cake has four layers, it costs x dollars per slice. But if it has eight layers, it’s still the same cake but the per slice cost has nearly doubled — at a minimum. If the product gains no actual value from those four layers (other than pure size and calories), then the purchaser is paying more, but not getting more.
So, if XYZ just chooses the lowest cost OEM for the panel itself, but then has to find multiple other OEMs to supply the bezel, housing, power supply, connector panel, etc., — its bottom line landed cost will be higher than if they had done their due diligence and found an OEM that had those capabilities built into the supply chain from the outset.
The full-service OEM will almost automatically have lower overall costs because it’s sourcing all those other bits and pieces in huge quantities for many customers. But if XYZ sourced just the amounts they needed for their panels, directly, you can absolutely guarantee they are paying more for each part even if they are using exactly the same sub-vendors and suppliers. It’s a game of numbers and in this case, bigger means cheaper.
How do you determine how many layers are in the cake you are buying? It’s not all that easy, but you can compare products and look at the value equation and cost to get a idea of who’s doing their homework on the manufacturing side and who isn’t.
For example, if the company you’re buying from makes 15 panels sizes in multiple models vs. a company that has added five key sizes to their mix to provide “one-stop-shopping,” it’s more than likely that the second company is paying more per panel (and may well be relabeling the product from the larger panel vendor just to have the SKU), so your received value is likely to be lower if the prices are the same. The cost cutting is happening somewhere along the way — you can be sure of that.
In the End
What really matters on the bottom line is the amount of non-value cost added to any product.
How do you determine who’s giving you the most actual product value for the price? It requires a little thought, some research and, most importantly, evaluating the position of the product in the supplying company’s revenue mix.
What that means is not complicated. If you’re buying a product that is part of a company’s core mix of offerings, it’s more likely to have a higher net value than if you’re buying a low volume add-on or “just because product” from that same company. It’s highly probable that the supplying company is outsourcing that low volume, but we-think-we-need-to-offer-it product, since building only a few of anything costs way more than building thousands. Think about what you’re buying and from whom.
It may require you to rethink some vendor relationships, and look more closely at the supply-chains of the people you’re doing business with, but if you do, and do so thoughtfully, you may well find a better value equation at the end of the process.
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|Hisense Debuts 100″ DLP Projection Package with 110 Watt Harman Kardon SpeakersThe Hisense Laser TV is a pre-packaged system that includes a 3000 lumen 1-chip 4K resolution DLP projector, a built-in 110 2.1 surround Watt Harman Kardon speakers and wireless subwoofer, a 100″ Screen Innovations anti-glare screen and a scaler/processor. The entire system is short-throw so the projector sits 10” from the wall.
The actual projector in the Laser TV uses the Texas Instruments DLP 4K UHD (3840×2160) DMD chip that includes their Smooth Motion Plus technology — and it’s spec’d to last 20,000 hours. Hisense partnered with HARMAN to have a custom-designed 2.1 audio system (five speakers, two each in the left and right channels and a 6.5″ wireless subwoofer) that’s spec’d at 110 watts. Since it’s aimed at the home, it includes a built-in TV tuner that offers immediate access to over-the-air content but it’s integrated with Hisense’s Smart TV interface with built-in apps like Netflix, Amazon Video, Pandora, TikiLIVE, YouTube and others.
The $10,000 Hisense Laser TV comes with a 100″ Screen Innovations Anti-Glare Screen. Here are all the tech specs.Leave a Comment
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|New Klipsch Powered Speakers Are Aimed at Premium Home Audio|
Klipsch today announces the debut of its expanded Reference Powered speaker series. The plug-and-play lineup now includes two-channel towers and additional monitor speakers with groundbreaking technology.
Klipsch Reference R-28PF powered floorstanding speakers and R-14PM powered monitors come turntable-, computer- and TV-ready, featuring a 24-bit/192kHz digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and RIAA-equalized phono pre-amplifier. They also include Bluetooth wireless technology to play music directly from any device. A subwoofer output perfectly blends the speakers with any powered subwoofer.
The Klipsch Reference R-28PF floorstanding speakers are in a two-channel audio configuration. Dual 8″ copper spun magnetically shielded IMG woofers, 1″ linear travel suspension (LTS) in Tractrix horns, and bi-amplified ultra low-noise 260W amplifier are custom-designed to maximize system performance. A digital crossover, equalizer, and limiters are integrated. They feature one 4″ copper spun magnetically shielded IMG woofer and ¾” LTS tweeters in Tractrix horns. They also incorporate an individual ultra low-noise 80W amplifier custom-designed to maximize system performance.
The Klipsch Reference R-28PF ( $1,199 pr.) and R-14PM ($399 pr.) are available in a black brushed polymer finish. All the specs are here.Leave a Comment
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|James Loudspeaker Intros 63SA-7HO.8 High-Output Small Aperture Architectural Speaker for Narrow ConstructionJames Loudspeaker has added to its lineup of Small Aperture (SA) architectural speakers with the introduction of the 63SA-7HO.8 high-output in-ceiling loudspeaker. The 63SA-7HO.8 is a refined, premium quality full range three-way speaker system engineered to accommodate narrow ceiling beam widths found in modern construction. The 63SA-7HO.8 is a problem solver for professional integrators.
The James Loudspeaker 63SA-7HO.8 utilizes proprietary drivers including a 6.5-inch aluminum PowerPipe subwoofer, a 2-inch midrange and a ¾-inch tweeter that combine to deliver superb room-filling full-range musical playback including clearly defined bass response all through a diminutive 3-inch opening. Custom integrators will appreciate the power limiting circuitry, ensuring the highest degree of reliability and performance for any application.
The James Loudspeaker 63SA-7HO.8 features aircraft-grade aluminum construction and a built-in limiter. The SA series is available with an array of 3-inch round and square standard and décor-matched customized grilles and has also been designed to accept industry standard 3-inch and 4-inch lighting trim kits to allow seamless integration with similarly styled lighting products. James Loudspeaker also offers customized loudspeaker solutions for unconventional applications to ensure that the integrator can deliver premium entertainment to each and every client.
The James Loudspeaker Small Aperture 63SA-7HO.8 is available now and has been ETL/UL approved. It lists for $1,400 and her are the specs.Leave a Comment
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|New Klipsch Reference Theater Is All-in-One Package|
Klipsch today announces the debut of its Reference Theater Pack. Bridging the gap between sound bars and complex home theaters, the Klipsch Reference Theater Pack is a seven-piece 5.1 surround sound system that delivers a full cinematic experience. Each system is comprised of four satellite speakers for full cinematic surround sound, a dedicated center channel that provides clear dialogue, a wireless subwoofer for room-filling bass, and a wireless transmitter that allows for versatile subwoofer placement in any room.
The Klipsch Reference Theater Pack delivers superior acoustic performance by leveraging premium materials and advanced technology. The satellite speakers and center channel feature 3.5” copper Injection Molded Graphite woofers and ¾” aluminum Linear Travel Suspension tweeters for minimal distortion and enhanced, detailed performance. Exclusive Tractrix horn technology delivers impressive high-end response and powerful dynamics. The all-digital subwoofer features a down-firing 8” woofer and port, plus a 150W high-efficiency digital amplifier for deep, clean bass.
Not only is the wireless subwoofer easy to place in any room, each satellite speaker has a keyhole mount and a ¼” x 20 threaded insert for additional mounting options. The Klipsch Reference Theater Pack ($999) is available in a black brushed polymer finish.
Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|ControlWorks Launches Crestron DoorBird Module|
ControlWorks has released a module allowing Crestron control systems to control DoorBird IP Door Stations. The module enables two-way SIP voice communication, camera viewing, control of the door release relay and much more. In addition, status reporting for doorbell button presses and motion allow for extensive custom programming capabilities.
Available as a free download for temporary testing, permanent activation of the module requires an activation fee per DoorBird. The ControlWorks DoorBird Module supports DoorBird models D101, D101S, D201, D201B, D202BB, D202, D202B, D203 and D204 and Holovision models 831, 731 and 430.
Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|Gefen Shipping 4K Ultra HD 600 MHz 8×8 Matrix|
Gefen from Core Brands today announced that it is now shipping the new 4K Ultra HD 600 MHz 8×8 Matrix for HDMI, which supports 18.2 Gbps of bandwidth and 600 MHz TMDS Clock frequency.
Capable of handling the HDMI 2.0 standard, the 4K Ultra HD 600 MHz 8×8 Matrix routes eight 4K sources to eight 4K displays, and supports resolutions up to 4K Cinema-DCI (4096×2160 up to 60 Hz, 4:4:4), 4K Ultra HD (3860×2160 up to 60 Hz, 4:4:4) with HDR, 1080p Full HD, and WUXGA (1920×1200). It also supports HDCP 2.2 and 1.4, 3DTV pass-through and Lip Sync pass-through.
In addition, the Matrix features analog and digital audio outputs that break out the audio stream (two channel analog, two channel PCM, and up to 5.1 channel Bitstream) from each HDMI source, allowing the de-embedded audio content to be sent to external amplifiers and music distribution systems for added impact in bars, restaurants, clubs, etc.
Digital audio is passed through, including 7.1 channels of LPCM and HBR (High Bit Rate) digital audio formats, such as Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, DTS:X and DTSHD Master Audio.
Gefen EXT-UHD-600A-88 matrix is housed in a 2U tall, rack mountable enclosure that can also be placed on a shelf. Here are all the tech specs.Leave a Comment
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|Control4 Ships New Pakedge S3 Series Switches for Layer 2 and Layer 3 Routing in Professional AV Applications|
Control4 Corporation announces the Pakedge S3L-24P Layer 3 Lite Switch and the updated S3-24P Layer 3 Switch, both with Avnu-certification and support for quick setup for DanteTM and Q-LAN technology.Leave a Comment
Support of time-synchronization technologies such as Audio Video Bridging (AVB)/Time Sensitive Networking, Dante, and Q-LAN provides professional AV integrators with an interoperable platform providing seamless management for performance-sensitive audio and video applications. The Pakedge S3 Series switches feature 24 Gigabit PoE+ capable ports, and four dedicated 10Gb SFP+ ports for increased throughput and faster reliable transmission of audio and video streams. Both switches support high-density network traffic with Layer 2 and Layer 3 switching functionalities, as well as static routing, IGMP v1/2/3, Audio over IP and Quality of Service (QoS). The switches support advanced IGMP Snooping for superior Video over IP streaming across complex AV networks.
The S3L-24P supports a quick setup configuration for the industry-leading audio video networking technologies including AVB, Dante and Q-LAN, enabling a straight-forward setup process for even the most complex AV networks. Pro AV networks are known for being complex. The S3L-24P minimizes complexity with simplified, quick setup configurations, via the two-step processes that AVB, Dante and Q-LAN enable, reducing installation time and implementation costs.
If a network requires the use of more than one pro AV protocol, such as the combination of AVB with Dante, the pro AV quick setup on the S3L-24P smartly adjusts to allow coexistence on the same switch without interference between the protocols.
The S3L-24P delivers lite Layer 3 functionality and features needed for pro AV and smaller commercial AV installations like recording studios and conference rooms. The updated S3-24P suits larger AV installations, such as corporate campuses, retail centers, or concert venues. The S3-24P delivers complete Layer 3 functionality with additional dynamic routing for greater isolation and control, as well as a greater capacity for IP routing entries, IPv4 multicast groups, multicast entries, and AVB streams.
The S3L-24P Layer 3 Lite Switch is now available at $2,200 list, and firmware version 2.0.0 is now available for the S3-24P Full Layer 3 Switch, which has a $4,800 list.
Here is Control4 and here is Pakedge.
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|Luxul Announces New XAP-1440 Dual-Band AC1200 Outdoor Access PointFor the extension of Wi-Fi coverage to outdoor areas, Luxul today announced a new dual-band AC1200 outdoor wireless access point. Compatible with the company’s XWC-1000 wireless controller, the IP-65-rated XAP-1440 employs multi-stream 802.11ac technology to deliver high data rates up to 1200 Mbps. For smaller networks where budgets are a concern, Luxul has also introduced the XAP-810, something they are pitching as a “cost-effective” access point for excellent coverage indoors.
Both the XAP-1440 and XAP-810 can be easily set up on a network with Luxul’s XWC-1000 wireless controller, taking advantage of the controller’s Roam Assist feature to provide a continued, seamless roaming experience for users.
The new Luxul XAP-1440 and XAP-810 access points ship mid-November. Here are the more detailed specs.Leave a Comment
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For all you REGULAR readers of rAVe HomeAV Edition out there, hopefully you enjoyed another opinion-packed issue!
For those of you NEW to rAVe, you just read how we are — we are 100% opinionated. We not only report the news and new product stories of the high-end HomeAV industry, but we stuff the articles full of our opinions. That may include (but is not limited to) whether or not the product is even worth looking at, challenging the manufacturers on their specifications, calling a marketing-spec bluff and suggesting ways integrators market their products better. But, one thing is for sure, we are NOT a trade publication that gets paid for running editorial or product stories. Traditional trade publications get paid to run product stories — that’s why you see what you see in most of the pubs out there. We are different: we run what we want to run and NO ONE is going to pay us to write anything good (or bad).
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A little about me: I graduated from Journalism School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (where I am adjunct faculty). I’ve been in the AV-industry since 1987 where I started with Extron and eventually moved to AMX. So, I guess I am an industry veteran (although I don’t think I am that old). I have been an opinionated columnist for a number of industry publications and in the late 1990s I started the widely read KNews eNewsletter (the first in the AV market) and also created the model for and was co-founder of AV Avenue – which is now known as InfoComm IQ. rAVe Publications has been around since 2003, when we launched our original newsletter, rAVe ProAV Edition.
rAVe HomeAV Edition, co-published with CEDIA, launched in February, 2004.
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