Volume 8, Issue 2 — February 20, 2017
|We Have a Plan But It Doesn’t Work!|
By Frederick Ampel
President & Principal, Technology Visions Analytics
Suppose you were one of the United States largest businesses, with your estimated net valuation exceeding 63 billion dollars, with gross revenue over 9 billion. Your 32 divisions average over $300 million in gross profit every year, and your divisional COO’s average salary is over 8 million, without considering anything but cash compensation. Who would you be? Have you figured it out yet?
You are the NFL!
Now, you choose to deploy new technology to each and every COO (head coach), in a 400 million dollar endorsement deal with Microsoft. By mandate every coaching staff WILL use Microsoft Surface tablets for every game. There is no option, and there is no pre-deployment discussion on how this is being implemented. It is simply a fait-accompli by direct orders from NFL headquarters in New York City, period.
There Is No Pre-Deployment Discussion
This plan, or lack of one, depending on your perspective, is not unique to the NFL, or for that matter thousands of companies, enterprises and educational institutions across the country and around the world.
A decision is made to implement, deploy, require, mandate or otherwise force technology and devices into the hands of users with little if any consultation with those users or any evaluation of whether what is being planned actually makes any sense or is even practical. Forget about in-field testing and debugging, just ship the stuff out and make it work, if you can, later — the AV system version of the old recording adage “we’ll fix it in the mix.” Yeah! Right! Sure you will!
Too many of the folks that technology is intended to help end up actually resenting the technology.
In the AV integration industry, this is nothing new. How often have we heard stories about how long it takes to launch a video call or meeting?
The AV industry is battling negative stereotypes. “AV — that’s the stuff that doesn’t work,” is practically a mantra in the corporate world, especially among the IT-based purchasers of today.
But you, dear reader, who are probably one of the folks who work for the integration firms that are actually responsible for providing audio, video, communications and automation solutions for organizations shouldn’t be laughing. You should be afraid, very afraid, and if you’re not already doing so, paying VERY close attention to this seemingly built-in perception of your customer base.
All of these issues have been a problem forever it seems. But recently they achieved front-page, lead story, breaking news status, when one of the COO’s who just happens to be the head coach of the New England Patriots delivered a VERY public rant, which exploded in every media format you can think of.
All of These Issues Have Been a Problem Forever It Seems
You may have caught bits and pieces, but it is worth looking at precisely what was said, and why.
What Coach Belichick actually said in his rant was: “As you probably noticed, I’m done with the tablets. I’ve given them as much time as I can give them. They’re just too undependable for me. I’m going to stick with pictures … because there just isn’t enough consistency in the performance of the tablets, so I just can’t take it anymore. The many other critical in-game (emphasis added) communication systems, including the press box to the coaches on the field, the coach on the field to the signal caller or the coach-to-quarterback, coach-to-signal caller system, all have repeatedly failed for us on a regular basis.” (This was a sentiment supported by about half the league’s coaching staffs, according to multiple ESPN on air and online reports aired after the Belichick comments).
He added, “There are very few games that we play, home or away, day, night, cold, hot, preseason, regular season, postseason — it doesn’t make any difference — where there aren’t issues in some form or fashion with the communications or computer equipment.” (Based on the data reported by ESPN, USA Today, and others, that means that out of the total of 512 in-season games played by the league’s 32 teams ,about 15 percent have no major issues — which means that 85 percent of the games or roughly 430 games per season have some major communications- or Surface tablet-related problems.)
What Belichick was referring to is the seemingly randomly selected mishmash of headsets in the helmets, wireless belt packs, the league proscribed Internet service connections, all of which are controlled by, approved for in-game use by, selected by and provided by the league from multiple manufacturers, including a well known major audio company in New England, whose logo is on coaching headsets. The various systems (from multiple vendors) are of course using an assortment of RF frequencies or wireless mic bands (the belt packs Belichick mentioned), without, it seems, anyone having done what every knowledgeable live sound company would do automatically — check every system for interference and channel availability at each game location of each game day.
Compounding the issue, Belichick and multiple other coaching staffs noted (again based on reports aired by ESPN and others) the fact that ‘this is all league equipment so we don’t have it during the week.’
I don’t know about you but logically speaking, is it remotely sensible given the HUGE dollars at stake in every game, every week, for every team, that they would have no opportunity to work with these systems all the time and be able to find the guaranteed problems and troubleshoot and correct them for each game BEFORE game day?
Is It Remotely Sensible That Users Have No Chance to Work With the Hardware Before It’s Critical?
But no — the teams only get the equipment a few hours before the game. Belichick pointed out “that’s the first chance our staff (and of course the opponents’ staff as well) has to test it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. We hope that by game time it is working but more often it is not.”
That’s bad enough but he also pointed out that “during the game… (it is almost a sure bet that) something will happen and it has to be fixed.” That means every team’s tech coordinator and the venue staffs have to figure out, in real time, on national television, is it a battery, the particular player’s helmet, the battery on the coach’s pack or any one of perhaps 15 or 20 other failure options? Doesn’t that sound like a cardiac event-inducing situation — and add in the league’s equity rule that mandates that if one team’s gear drops dead, then the other team’s system has to be shut down to maintain “a level playing field.” This rule affects some but not all systems.
How that particular concept was created remains a mystery to the teams and their staffs, but it is ‘league policy,’ without any explanation. It just is.
Are you wondering by this point just what incredibly naive rules committee or league executive approved this idea and continues to allow this situation to exist? I sure am! (For the full Belichick rant video, go here.)
Did anyone at the top ask the people who have to use these systems to test them out in advance or work with the multiple vendors to insure compatibility, reliability and user functionality? Doesn’t seem that they did, does it?
Unfortunately, this scenario is all too familiar to buyers and end users in the corporate, commercial and hospitality worlds, and our industry is, in many ways, responsible. We don’t determine if what we are providing will work for the people it is intended to serve. This is why so many of the folks that all our glossy digital technology is intended to help end up resenting it at best and hating it all too often.
So Many of the Folks That All Our Glossy Digital Technology Is Intended to Help End Up Resenting It
Think about for a moment, or perhaps have a sleepless night digesting the ramifications. How often have you heard stories about how long it takes to launch a video call or meeting, or the educator who can’t figure out how to use the slick new lectern AV control touch panel with multiple soft keys, or the sales presenter whose 2016 laptop won’t interface with the 2014 presentation system, because the connectors don’t match up?
We are creating a whole generation of users/buyers/decision makers who come into the process with significant doubts and a huge lack of trust in what we say or do. Why? Because we fail to do something so basic, it should be blatantly obvious. ASK the user/buyer about the design and hardware upfront. Provide them a hands-on demonstration to find out if what you propose will actually work for them in their specific situation. Is that educator or company CEO comfortable with that touch panel controller or confused and uneasy enough to not want to use it?
No one running or managing an organization wants to be or can afford to be apprehensive about their infrastructure.
Belichick represents essentially every customer. He might not be the person you’re selling to or the person you’re training. But he’s the person behind the scenes who’s angry when the system isn’t intuitive enough for him to use — or when it simply doesn’t work.
While that infamous quote about AV, that it’s “the stuff that doesn’t work,” is simply not true, it is the stuff that requires ongoing support. The NFL, based on Belichick’s description, is doing its teams a disservice by not providing embedded service technicians to quickly address potential issues with systems that, for them, are mission critical. Are you making the same mistake with your customers, by not offering ongoing service and support up-front as part of the whole project package?
Too many AV integration firms are doing their customers a disservice when they take “no” for an answer when it comes to service contracts. You know, and the customer will rapidly discover, how mission-critical video communication is for most organizations. The powerful folks behind the scenes that depend on it, like Coach Belichick, will be more than willing to pay for that peace of mind.
And just one more thing… it should be pointed out that Microsoft, which generates on average 85 billion in annual revenue, has committed a tiny fraction of its earnings, a reported $400 million over five years, to have its tablets featured in the NFL. Even so, the company can’t be amused to hear Belichick’s stoic condemnation.
Perhaps, though, Redmond should look on the bright side. At least they haven’t blown up.Leave a Comment
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|A Dirge for the EPA|
By Raymond Kent
Director of the Innovative Technology Design Group, DLR Group/Westlake Reed Leskosky
On February 3rd, 2017 House Representatives Matthew Gaetz (R-FL), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Steven Palazzo (R-MS) and Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) introduced a bill literally titled: To Terminate the Environmental Protection Agency, which has now been introduced to the committees on House Science, Space, and Technology; Energy and Commerce; Agriculture; and Transportation, and Infrastructure. If enacted, the agency founded under the Nixon Administration in 1970, would cease to exist on December 31st, 2018. What is extraordinary is the succinctness of the bill offering no arguments, amendments, qualifications or otherwise prudent language to justify the action. It simply states that the agency shall cease to exist, period (more like exclamation point).
I would normally surmise that this has the likely hood of passing as much as a snowball has a chance of surviving a blast furnace but in today’s anything goes, upside down political climate this very well could be a reality. I believe this even more so since the person who is now interviewing for the position of head of the EPA, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, diametrically opposes the entity and has sued the EPA numerous times in his career on behalf of the oil and gas industries and most likely would offer little resistance to eliminating the agency.
If you are not aware, for whatever reason, what the EPA does here is their mission from their website:
The mission of EPA is to protect human health and the environment.
EPA’s purpose is to ensure that:
- all Americans are protected from significant risks to human health and the environment where they live, learn and work;
- national efforts to reduce environmental risk are based on the best available scientific information;
- federal laws protecting human health and the environment are enforced fairly and effectively;
- environmental protection is an integral consideration in U.S. policies concerning natural resources, human health, economic growth, energy, transportation, agriculture, industry, and international trade, and these factors are similarly considered in establishing environmental policy;
- all parts of society — communities, individuals, businesses, and state, local and tribal governments — have access to accurate information sufficient to effectively participate in managing human health and environmental risks;
- environmental protection contributes to making our communities and ecosystems diverse, sustainable and economically productive; and
- The United States plays a leadership role in working with other nations to protect the global environment.
The Agency has a two pronged approach to accomplishing their mission – regulations/laws and enforcement. The laws are written and passed by Congress then signed by the current president just as any other law. These include The Clean Water Act, The Clean Air Act, Toxic Substance Control, and many others and work to ensure that we live in a safe and habitable place. A very good and relevant example for this is the lead in the water supply in Flint, Mich. exceeding the Toxic Substance Control law’s acceptable parts per million because of the negative effects on the health of the residents of Flint. Regulations provide the technical, operational and legal details to implement the law giving industries, agencies, and citizens the necessary information on what can and cannot be done within the law. When these regulations are not followed enforcement and compliance are necessary for the protection of the ecological and human population. For our industry (ICT) it regulates chemicals, processes, and materials such as lead, PCBs and other dangerous materials found in electronics through the NAICS 334 sector of regulations and laws. You may be familiar with RoHS and WEEE compliance in the European Union, which provides the same type of regulation and enforcement.
The agency is also a key provider of peer reviewed scientific research and funding for university and other for-profit and non-profit organizations surrounding the improvement of our environment. Through this they have provided free non-biased information and education to the community and organizations. The current administration has placed a gag order on the EPA from speaking publically or posting to social media, which in of itself is suspect as the public message of the EPA is based on factual data (not alternate), upcoming or current events, and new laws and regulations with no opinions, political agenda or slant. Additionally the current administration signed an executive order requiring the EPA to eliminate two regulations for each new regulation enacted which has un-clear impacts long term. That may be an opportunity to eliminate out of date laws but those are few and far between the norm.
The detrimental impact of this situation not only on our environment, but our global standing as a leader in environmental stewardship and financial implications are projected to be substantial. From our side of the table in the ICT industry it very well may mean loss of global market share as the EU, the Middle East and even Asia pick up the slack. This is all while we open the door to potential irreversible environmental disaster. I grew up in Cleveland where our river (the Cuyahoga) caught on fire not once, but three times before the Clean Water Act was implemented. The photos of one of those events sparked that movement to clean up our act. There are many who will spout the economic benefits of deregulation especially in the oil and gas industries and some manufacturing yet when we spoil our land, air and water, all in the name of a dollar there will be no where for us to go. If you want to look at how environmental protection and financial success can work hand in hand, just turn to Germany and the Netherlands where they continue to prove that both can co-exist for the benefit of all.Leave a Comment
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|It’s Official: Bose Enters Audioconferencing Market with ControlSpace EXBose Professional just launched themselves into a new market with the new ControlSpace EX audio conferencing system. The system includes the new ControlSpace EX-1280C conferencing signal processor and three new Dante-based ControlSpace under-table endpoints (EX-4ML, EX-8ML and EX-UH). Bose says it was designed with input from integrators and thus, the system features connectivity for various types of audio conferencing, including USB, VoIP, PSTN, analog and phone headset audio.
The ControlSpace EX-1280C processor features:
- Advanced AEC: 12 routable acoustic echo cancellers (AEC) with adaptable noise cancellation, non- linear processing and comfort noise to enhance the clarity and intelligibility of the meeting; multiple AEC references support multiple rooms and zones
- Dante audio networking: 64×64 Dante audio networking for digital audio connectivity with any Dante-based product, including newer conferencing microphones
- All-in-one connectivity: 12 mic/line analog inputs, eight analog outputs, eight Bose AmpLink digital outputs, USB (stereo in/out), VoIP (2 lines) and PSTN.
- Open-architecture signal processing: provides the flexibility needed for any conferencing application.
- SIP 2.0 compliant VoIP: Includes a web-configurable interface, two independent lines with multiple call appearances, and support for popular codecs including G.722 HD, G.726, & G.711.
- Front-Panel Display: Large 256 x 64 element OLED display and rotary knob for metering, viewing/changing IP settings and more.
All three EX Dante under-table endpoints feature PoE, daisy-chainable power and networking, multiple mounting options and a slim, high-density form factor that makes them suitable for mounting under conference tables. The two under-table microphone interfaces, the EX-4ML and EX-8ML (four and eight channels respectively), feature 48V phantom power as well as +12V LED power and three logic IO per channel (one in, two out), to interface with most types of analog conferencing microphones. The EX-UH Dante under-table endpoint extends conferencing use to include BYOD applications such as connecting mobile phones, laptops and telephone headsets using the built-in 3.5 mm TRRS analog jack, stereo-audio USB and RJ-9 connector.
All components are configured and controlled with Bose ControlSpace Designer 5.0 software. ControlSpace Remote 2.1 has been upgraded to support the new EX and includes a dialer for creating a complete tablet-based user interface for conference rooms. Drivers for popular control systems are also available.
The ControlSpace EX system is being introduced at Integrated Systems Europe this week and we had a videocast to talk to Bose about it this month – you can see or listen to that here and see it on their website here.Leave a Comment
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|Cisco Debuts Spark Board and Spark MeetingsCisco just launched two all-in-one, cloud-based products in Cisco Spark Board and Cisco Spark Meeting.
Cisco says it invented Spark Board to clean up the conference-room chaos and connect physical rooms to virtual spaces. The Cisco Spark Board will be available in both 55” and 70” sizes. It’s basically a few products in one, including:
- A wireless presentation device which, as you approach, will recognize and greet you — no Bluetooth or special Wi-Fi or network connection required. You control it all from your PC, Mac, tablet or mobile phone. Cisco says they achieved it through a tight integration with the Cisco Spark platform plus a totally-new “ultrasound” wireless pairing technology.
- An interactive digital whiteboard at its heart, Cisco Spark Board users interact with it locally or via a Cisco Spark app, remotely. Cisco says it all is in real-time and simultaneously. It automatically saves your work to a space that the whole team shares so that you can always pick up where you left off later. Of course, Spark Board integrates video calls and it’s software is integrated with a security platform called crypto.
- The Cisco Spark Board has what Cisco is calling “theater-quality” audio and video. Its integrated with a 4K camera as well as a microphone array and their VoiceTrack technology.
Cisco has also launched Spark Meetings. By adding some of the popular meeting capabilities from Cisco WebEx, it in essence extends the meeting to include the time before and after — and in the process creates a fundamentally new way to meet. Cisco Spark Meetings is basically the Cisco Spark Board in your pocket. You can whiteboard together — even if no one has a Cisco Spark Board. They’ve built the functionality into all of the Cisco Spark apps. You can use it to schedule a meeting — it creates a team space so you can create the agenda, get all the people involved, share content and chat back and forth. Users can also post meeting comments, follow-up action items or notes from the meeting are all in integrated into Spark Meeting.
Cisco also changed the way a user navigates in the Cisco Spark app. An activity-based workflow will be the same on all of your devices: desktop, mobile phone, tablet, Cisco Spark Board.
The 55-inch version of the Cisco Spark Board will ship within a week and will list for $4,990. The subscription will cost $199 per month and include the cloud service, help desk and software upgrades. Cisco will make a 70-inch version of the board available later this year for $9,990.
Here are more details on Spark Board, while here are complete specs for Spark Meeting.Leave a Comment
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|Biamp Systems Expands TesiraFORTÉ Platform with Shure Partnership|
Biamp Systems today announced the TesiraFORTÉ DAN range of audio processors. This is a collaboration between Biamp and Shure where the new DAN line of audio processors directly interface with the Shure MXA beamforming line of microphones. The TesiraFORTÉ DAN will be displayed at the Biamp booth (3-A75) at ISE 2017, Feb. 7-10 at the Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre in Amsterdam.
The TesiraFORTÉ DAN will be offered in four fixed I/O models — the same models as the original TesiraFORTÉ family (AI, CI, TI and VI) — with the addition of 32×32 channels of audio via the Dante Brooklyn II module. All models of TesiraFORTÉ DAN are standard with 12 mic/line inputs, eight line outputs, Ethernet control, RS232, USB audio with up to eight channels of configurable audio, four general purpose I/Os and an OLED display.
The TesiraFORTÉ DAN VI, TI and CI models feature Biamp’s AEC technology to eliminate acoustic echoes and feedback. Users can centrally or remotely control the devices with Tesira’s software program. The system allows direct native connectivity to devices such as the Shure MXA910 ceiling microphone, enabling integrators to better design, install and commission conferencing systems for their customers.
The TesiraFORTÉ DAN processor can be networked with other TesiraFORTÉ DAN units, or with a Tesira SERVER IO containing a DAN-1 card. With this setup, the servers can pass audio throughout the ecosystem, which is configured through the Dante Controller.
You can see all the specs here.Leave a Comment
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|Sony Debuts E-series Projectors|
Sony expanded its line of 3LCD portable projectors with seven new E-series models, 4300 lumens to 3100 lumens with a choice of XGA and WXGA resolutions for the education and corporate markets. The new projectors are designed for applications including mid-sized classrooms and meeting rooms.
The new E-series includes the following seven models: VPL-EW578, VPL-EW575, VPL-EW455, VPL-EW435, VPL-EX575, VPL-EX455 and VPL-EX435.
The new models feature a 20,000:1 contrast ratio spec and Sony’s 3LCD BrightEra technology and all of them have a compact design and an array of functions, such as low fan noise, wireless connectivity and auto power on, to ensure smooth, quiet and reliable ease of use.
The new E-series models are an ideal partner for today’s integrated AV/IT environments. They expand customers’ connectivity options with dual HDMI ports for laptops, Chromecast and Miracast connections and an IP Control function to easily operate multiple projectors in one room at the same time, making them ideal for shared spaces. The Wi-Fi option enables presenters to share content wirelessly directly from laptops and the VPL-EW578 even comes with an HDBaseT connection.
The VPL-EX575, VPL-EX455 and VPL-EX435 are planned to be available in April, while the VPL-EW578, VPL-EW575, VPL-EW455 and VPL-EW435 are planned to be available in May. Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|Extron Introduces New StudioStation One Touch Recording SolutionExtron just launched the simplest, but coolest, ProAv product in a while — it’s called StudioStation. If you can’t sell this, you shouldn’t be in ProAV — this will be EASY to sell!
StudioStation is literally a one-touch recording of HD video and audio presentations. To turn the system on, insert a USB stick and press the record button to begin recording. Systems are customizable to support any installation. StudioStation solutions are ideal for flipped classroom recordings, lecture capture, student assessments, rehearsal spaces, moot courts or any other application where making a recording by pressing only one button is desired.
StudioStation uses Extron’s scaling and flexible signal processing for superior recording of nearly all HDMI source resolutions. The default recording setup is configured for 720p at 5 Mbps, producing an MP4 media file which is compatible with virtually any media player or editing software. Using the embedded web page, it is easy to customize the default configuration to meet the needs of many applications.
Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|Crestron Uses intoPIX JPEG 2000 Technology in New AV-Over-IP DigitalMedia NVX Series|
Crestron announced their entry into the video-over-IP market with the new DigitalMedia NVX Series. The DigitalMedia NVX is basically a series of encoders (VGA, HDMI, etc) to 1-Gig Ethernet network and then decoders (1-Gig Ethernet to HDMI, VGA, etc.) and then you use a standard 1-Gig capable switch or router to send the AV signal (video, audio and control) to multiple destinations and control it via a control system. Crestron is actually using intoPIX’s JPEG 2000 technology in its new DigitalMedia NVX Series architecture, their AV over IP networking system. It’s debuting here at ISE. The intoPIX FPGA based compression algorithm is what is enabling the DigitalMedia NVX Series to deliver a 4K60 4:4:4 HDR video within a standard 1-Gigabit Ethernet network.
And, Crestron is claiming “no latency.”
Here are full specs on the product [PDF].
If you want to know who intoPIX is, go here.Leave a Comment
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|Kramer Debuts Two New Versions of VIA Wireless Collaboration Solution at ISE 2017 — These are CLEARLY Aimed at Barco ClickShare|
Kramer Electronics will take on Barco — head-to-head — at ISE next week with two new offerings from the Kramer VIA family of wireless presentation & collaboration solutions: VIA GO, marketed as a wireless plug-and-present solution and VIAware, a software-only solution for wireless collaboration. The company will display its full range of products and solutions in Booth 1-F20 next to the Europa entrance.
Kramer claims the VIA GO lets meeting participants instantly present from any tablet, phone or laptop. With both built-in Wi-Fi capabilities and connectivity to wired LAN, VIA GO is easy to install and turns any existing projector or display into a BYOD wireless-enabled device.
VIA GO features content streaming and includes mirroring for iOS,Android, Chromebook, and Mac. The solution keeps data secure with 1024-bit encryption.
VIAware is Kramer’s new software-only VIA offering for both collaborative meeting environments and education and training. VIAware turns Windows PCs with Windows 10 into fully-featured VIA devices. The software is available for leasing monthly or as a one-time license fee.
VIAware offers Kramer VIA’s full presentation and collaboration feature set. From any laptop or mobile device, in-room participants can view the main display, edit documents together in real time, share any size file, turn the main display into a digital whiteboard, chat with other users, stream full uninterrupted HD video (up to 1080p60) and more. VIAware also lets facilitators use e-polling and e-exams to easily and instantly measure how much students and trainees are actually learning.
Remote participants can easily join a meeting or class in real time with embedded third-party video conferencing and office apps.
The software works seamlessly with existing VIA clients and VIA Site Management and offers full support for all VIA Quick Connect features such as QR Code, NFC Tag and VIA Pad.
Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|Crestron Unveils Mercury Tabletop All-in-One Meeting Room System at ISE|
Crestron just launched an all-in-one meeting solution called Crestron Mercury for small and huddle collaboration spaces. Mercury enables users to securely present content wirelessly on the room display from a laptop, smartphone, or tablet using built-in Crestron AirMedia. In addition, you can use it to make phone calls from mobile devices or standard SIP phone systems using the built-in speaker and microphones.
Workers can collaborate with colleagues via Crestron Mercury from a laptop or dedicated in-room PC using any soft phone, web conferencing or UC application, such as Skype for Business, Cisco WebEx, GotoMeeting or Slack. A built-in occupancy sensor on Crestron Mercury allows facility managers to collect usage data to drive efficient room utilization.
Available Mercury collaboration spaces can be located quickly due to the built-in PinPoint proximity beacon on each console. Seamless integration with Microsoft Exchange allows users to reserve a room using Mercury’s onscreen calendar.
Here are all the specs.Leave a Comment
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|Polycom Intros RealPresence Immersive Studio FlexThe new Polycom RealPresence Immersive Studio Flex is their latest immersive room videoconferencing system. Everything is 4K (even the low-res sources are upscaled to 4K) and the system uses multiple 65” displays to immerse attendees. Integrated with Polycom 3D Voice, digital ceiling microphones and a system that allows for annotation and whiteboarding from your own laptop or mobile device, the RealPresence Immersive Studio Flex even includes Skype for Business integration plus Polycom RealConnect.
RealPresence Immersive Studio Flex is being promoted as affordable. With RealPresence Immersive Studio Flex you can select just what’s needed to fit with the rooms and furniture you already have in place.
- Video and content up to 1080p60 quality, for up to 50 percent less bandwidth with H.264 High Profile support
- Quality protected by Polycom Lost Packet Recovery QoS technology that helps ensure great quality even amid network issues
- Three 65” (165-cm) 4k UltraHD LCD displays, showing up to six participants in full size (two per display)
- 55” 1080p display for content. Users can move content to one or all of the 65” displays
- Polycom 3D Voice uses advanced three-channel processing to deliver highly accurate positional audio along with unrivaled clarity
- RealPresence Touch delivers a simple and intuitive interface on a 10.1” display
- Skype for Business integration, including presence and status, native video and audio protocols, and content receive
- Telepresence Interoperability Protocol (TIP) interoperability delivers connectivity to other immersive solutions, making it easier to deploy mixed environments and connect with customers and partners
- AES software encryption for the voice, video and data streams of the call, keeping critical meetings confidential and secure
- Your IT staff can manage RealPresence Immersive Studio Flex as easily as any other video device using Polycom RealPresence
Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|Vivitek Launches NovoEnterprise and LauncherPlus Additions to Wireless Collaboration SystemClearly taking aim at Barco’s ClickShare, Vivitek has announced two new additions to its NovoConnect Solution, a wireless collaboration system. Building on the NovoConnect, is the new LauncherPlus and NovoEnterprise, both aimed at more business applications.
The plug-and-play LauncherPlus ensures that meeting participants’ laptop computers wirelessly connect within seconds to the NovoEnterprise main unit. The LauncherPlus is a USB device that plugs directly into the laptop and thanks to its embedded WiFi, it streams laptop content effortlessly to the big screen. The LauncherPlus is especially convenient for visiting guests, or when colleagues from other offices are on site. Furthermore, as it is driver-free, no trace or residue is left on laptops after they disconnect.
Aimed at SME and corporate environments, NovoEnterprise has been designed to provide guests with an ad-hoc wireless connection. Thanks to NovoEnterprise’s standalone operation and external antenna, it provides a robust wireless connection, and prevents guests from accessing the corporate network, thus ensuring that network security is maintained.
High-performance connectivity is assured thanks to NovoEnterprise’s high-bandwidth 2T2R dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi. This delivers optimal standalone Wi-Fi performance, even when demand on the available bandwidth is high. This enhanced connectivity enables guests to mirror their Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Chromebook devices to the big screen smoothly and effortlessly.
In combination, NovoEnterprise and LauncherPlus are ideal for meeting rooms where lots of external guests are expected; they are also very useful for hotels to facilitate their guests hiring a meeting room. Simple and easy to use with no training required for guests, it greatly reduces the burden on facility support.
Pricing and availability: The NovoEnterprise and LauncherPlus will be available from February 2017 at a list price of £1,599 excluding VAT for NovoEnterprise and four LauncherPlus units. The NovoEnterprise and LauncherPlus will be available from February 2017 at a list price of 1,799 EUR excluding VAT for NovoEnterprise and LauncherPlus units. Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|DisplayNote Debuts Mosaic Collaborative Whiteboarding Solution|
DisplayNote Technologies debuted its new collaborative whiteboard solution, Mosaic, at Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) in Amsterdam this month. Mosaic, a software solution, is designed for teams working in different places to draw together on an infinite whiteboard, share images, files, edit documents and make video calls all at the same time. Designed with large format displays in mind, the Mosaic will also support display to device and device to display interaction, which means that user will be able to share what’s on a whiteboard with connecting mobile devices and take what’s on devices, like a laptop or smartphone and cast them wirelessly to the shared whiteboard, bi-directional.
In addition to joining a live collaborative whiteboard, users can communicate with each other via the Mosaic applications on their device for team chat, file sharing, and video chat and to save and interact with whiteboards that have been created. Video and Voice calling is built on the WebRTC framework and and DisplayNote says they will eventually include applications such as Skype for Business, Google Hangouts and other leading video conferencing providers.
- Infinite Canvas for collaborative whiteboarding
- Room to Room/Display to Display connectivity
- Annotation Tools as well as Capture & Save
- Save as Image & PDF
- Save as Editable Format
- Save to Dropbox, Drive & OneDrive
- Import Image, PDF, Office Docs, Web, Video
- Group Video Chat
- 10 Device Connectivity
- Filesharing & LinkSharing
- Screen Sharing/Wireless Presentation
- Skype for Business Integration & Single Sign-On
- Web URL for guests
- Team Chat
- Session Delete/Wipe
All the details will eventually be posted here.Leave a Comment
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|VuWall Debuts CoScape|
VuWall’s new all-in-one presentation system, CoScape, is different from other presentation systems in the market because it allows users to give a presentation in three simple steps, with no need to make choices. Those steps are:
1. Connect your device to the room Wi-Fi
2. Insert the CoScape USB key
3. Content appears on the video wall or projection screen
CoScape supports multi-display output, hybrid source formats and is truly collaborative. It comes with an integrated control panel that can run on mobile devices, that is easy to use and that can be customized.
In addition to the ability of wirelessly sharing the content users have on their laptops or mobile devices, they can also share sources that can’t be brought wirelessly: video conferencing systems, TV tuners or just local applications running on the CoScape controller like high resolution PDF files, web pages, PowerPoint presentations, etc. CoScape is offered in different versions: 2, 6, 9 or 12 outputs, and it supports up to 4K resolution on each output. Participants can also use the mouse and keyboard of the CoScape controller to control each wireless source displayed on the wall.
VuWall is here.Leave a Comment
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|Vivitek Intros Two Short-Throw Laser Projectors|
Vivitek is introducing two new short-throw projectors, the DH765Z-UST and the DW763Z-UST, both laser projectors.
Their ultra-short throw projector design with an embedded reflective mirror allows for a projection size of 80” to 150” diagonal image from a mere 40cm away from the screen, an extremely close distance to the projection surface. With the native 1920×1080 DH765Z-UST and the native 1920×1200 DW763Z-UST both have laser phosphor light engines, are spec’d at 3,500 ANSI lumens and a 12,000:1 contrast ratio. Inputs include two HDMI, VGA and component video.
Both using TI’s DLP and BrilliantColor technologies, the new models have a sealed optical engine and an enhanced ventilation system that’s designed to minimize the impact of dust.The DH765Z-UST and DW763Z-UST will be available in Q2 2017, with a list price respectively of £2,199 MSRP (ex VAT) and £1,899 MSRP (ex VAT). The Ultra Short Throw Laser Phosphor models come with a warranty on projector for three years or 10,000 hours on the Laser Phosphor illumination source (whichever comes first).
Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|Barco Launches New ClickShare in 4K Capable CSE-800|
Barco is about to one-up the ante in the wireless video/collaboration market with a totally new ClickShare model — finally one that’s actually 4K. The new CSE-800 is a is basically a 4K ClickShare with two 4K DCI (4096×2160) outputs (on HDMI) — but, it’s not as if they just took the functionality of the CSE-200 and changed the 1080p outputs and made them 4K. In this case, you can actually have 8-sources on screen at the same time — four 2×2 tiled sources on each wall. Thus, each of the eight images would be 1080p native resolution. Four ClickShare buttons are included with the CSE-800.
In addition, Barco has added both Whiteboarding functionality as well as Annotation capabilities. In the Whiteboard mode, the screen is, exactly that, a digital whiteboard — like many interactive displays have nowadays. And, Barco says you can draw, write and collaborate with anything shown on the screen and it’s simultaneous. Integrated with Apple AirPlay, Google Cast and MirrorOp, the CSE-800 now has configurable three-layer security as well as the same feature allowing you to hide the SSID of the base unit. But, they’ve added dual-network connectivity to be able to accommodate both the connected network as well as guest network connectivity (to allow casual presenters to be able to connect to a system without having to be given access to the corporate or facility-wide network).
Here are all the detailed tech specs.Leave a Comment
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|Panasonic Debuts New Portable Projection Lineup|
Panasonic has announced two new portable projector series, including a new short throw range, offering longer lifespans, higher brightness and wireless capability. The interactive 3LCD, PT-TW351R series is spec’d at 10,000 hours maintenance-free operation in ECO Mode and comprises four short throw models, each capable of producing an 80-inch image from as little as 75 cm away. The series consists of two WXGA models (PT-TW351R and PT-TW350) each with 3,300 lumens of brightness and two XGA models available in 3,800 lm (PT-TX410) and 3,200 lumens (PT-TX320). The projectors feature an increased contrast ratio of 16,000:1 for clear and crisp image and text reproduction.
The series allows presenters to notate a projected image using either the optional interactive pen or Panasonic whiteboard software.
In addition, Panasonic is also launching the light weight PT-LB423 series. Weighing just 2.9 kg, the six-model series delivers an impressive 3,600 lumens of brightness at WXGA resolution (PT-LW373) or up to 4,100 lm at XGA (PT-LB423) for superb image quality. A manual 1.2x zoom lens enables a wide range of projection distances for convenience.
Both new projector series feature a wired LAN terminal and a USB input for the optional wireless module (ET-WML100). They support the playback of images via a built-in USB media player, while a second USB terminal offers plug-and-play audio. Media playout is possible from Presenter Light software for Windows PCs, or from the VueMagic Pro app for iOS and Android.
The PT-TW351R series and PT-LB423 series ship in January 2017. Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|Extron Intros New Four Input HDMI Switcher for 4K Video With Integrated DTP Transmitter|
Extron just introduced the DTP T SW4 HD 4K, a four-input switcher for sending HDMI and control signals over shielded CATx cable up to 330 feet (100 meters) to DTP-enabled products. It supports computer and video resolutions up to 4K. This HDCP-compliant switcher includes many integrator-friendly features, such as auto-input switching, selectable HDCP authorization and HDBaseT compatibility. Convenient control options include front panel control, RS-232, and contact closure with tally output. It also supports simultaneous transmission of bidirectional RS-232 and IR signals for AV device control. Designed for DTP Systems, the DTP T SW4 HD 4K can be integrated with an Extron DTP CrossPoint presentation matrix switcher and other DTP-enabled products to support up to four HDMI sources at a remote location.
The DTP T SW4 HD 4K features EDID Minder to simplify integration of devices and to help ensure optimal system performance by managing EDID communication between the display device and input sources, ensuring that the correct video formats are displayed reliably. User-selectable HDCP authorization allows individual inputs to appear HDCP compliant or non-HDCP compliant to the connected source, which is beneficial if the source automatically encrypts all content when connected to an HDCP-compliant device. Protected material is not passed in non-HDCPmode. The switcher also features an RS-232 port for easy integration with a control system. The advanced features and capabilities built into the DTP T SW4 HD 4K make it ideal for a wide variety of professional environments.
Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|Sony Takes Aim at Barco WeConnect With New Vision Exchange â€“ But Sonyâ€™s Adds Streaming VideoSony is attempting to take marketshare from Barco’s WeConnect. Their new Vision Exchange is marketed using all the same buzzwords that every BYOD, collaborative systems does in coding all the wireless jargon. For example, this: “Vision Exchange brings together students, lecturers and presenters in a dynamic workgroup-based environment that encourages creative discussion and knowledge exchange.” PR-speak.
Basically, it’s a box that you can connect to (wired or wireless) that allows for two displays to be connected and, like EVERY BYOD system, allows for a main display and a second display with multiple screens, simultaneously — up to four. But one unique feature is a streaming output — more on that later.
Of course, Sony attempted to trademark their version last year with this filing, describing it as this: “An interactive multimedia telecommunication devices and apparatus; Interactive multimedia telecommunication devices and apparatus for use in classes, seminars and meetings; Interactive multimedia telecommunication devices and apparatus for transmitting, delivering; receiving and sharing sound, image and video files; tablet computers: computers; smartphones; apparatus for transmission of communication; transmitting and receiving apparatus for long-distance transmission; Transmitting and receiving apparatus for sound, images and video for use in classes, seminars and meetings.”
In Sony’s case, there are no buttons — all connectivity is via wireless LAN OR an HDMI cable. You pick. One unique feature of the Sony solution is that it includes streaming video across the Internet. So, this allows for someone remote (and not collaborating) to connect or watch via a streaming version over a browser.
The only other thing that should be point out out that’s a difference is that they’ve integrated the ability to use it for videoconferencing as well — however, that’s an option.
In any case, it’s their first attempt at competing with Barco’s ClickShare. More details to come after we actually see it in Amsterdam at ISE — it won’t ship until after InfoComm, by the way. Here are the only details Sony has on it.Leave a Comment
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|beyerdynamic Launches New Version of TG 1000 with Dante|
beyerdynamic will be presenting a new version of the TG 1000 digital wireless system at the ISE 2017. This 24-bit system now has a Dante interface and can be integrated seamlessly into digital audio networks based on the popular Audinate solution. The TG 1000 dual receiver is equipped with a Dante network interface in the form of an RJ45 connector flanked by status LEDs on the back of the 19″ device (1 HU). The dual receiver’s analogue audio output also comes with a modern digital option — perfect connectivity guaranteed without inconvenient interfaces.
Dante transfers uncompressed digital audio data via standard IP networks; thus, interference-prone, inconvenient multi core copper cables are replaced with cost-effective Ethernet connections. With the help of clearly designed software, even complex networks can be configured with just a few clicks of a mouse. Dante is supported by numerous pro audio manufacturers and allows for effortless multi-channel signal exchange, with negligible latency, between hundreds of pro audio products available on the market.
The beyerdynamic TG 1000 wireless system has an impressive switching bandwidth of 319 MHz in the UHF range (470 to 789 MHz), guaranteeing long-term investment security and smooth operation across the globe. Operation is extremely intuitive thanks to the high-contrast OLED display, one button navigation and Chameleon software.
The total latency from transmitter to receiver is only 2.1 milliseconds. In optimal environmental conditions, the transition range can reach up to 300 meters. In a business environment, optional proprietary encryption ensures that sensitive information remains confidential.
Lavalier, neckworn and earhook microphones are available for use with the TG 1000 beltpack transmitter, and discerning instrumentalists appreciate the beyerdynamic Touring Gear instrument microphones. Here are all the specs.Leave a Comment
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|Sony Adds More Laser-Phosphor Projector Models, Including Portable Ones|
Sony is expanding its range of laser light source (Z-Phosphor) projectors by introducing two new LaserLite models aimed at making laser technology more cost-effective for the installation market. Aimed at commercial applications, including classrooms and meeting rooms, the new VPL-PHZ10 (WUXGA) and VPL-PWZ10 (WXGA) projectors bring the benefits of laser technology — image quality, color reproduction and virtually zero-maintenance — to customers who previously may have only been able to experience lamp-based projection.
The new fixed wide zoom lens models provide users with a lower-cost, high-quality option for installing laser projections in rooms traditionally geared toward lamp-based technology. The new projectors’ light source have a total constant brightness of 4500 lumens for up to 12,000 hours depending on usage environment, enabling users to experience the projectors’ original level of image quality over five years in standard use, while achieving a maximum 5,000 lumens of brightness when the constant brightness mode is off.
With these two new introductions, Sony’s laser-based professional projector family now grows to a total of 11 models, with lumen levels starting at 2,000 and resolutions ranging from WXGA, WUXGA up to 4K.
The new projectors inherit many features from Sony’s existing laser models such as BrightEra 3LCD panel technology, which reproduces red, green and blue components of an image separately to ensure natural-looking and vivid colors. The new models are designed to deliver enhanced picture quality with features such as “Reality Creation,” a technology already in use by Sony’s home theater projection systems for high-end consumer entertainment. The Reality Creation engine analyzes and processes every input signal to refine detail, clarity and sharpness for naturally up-scaled images. This provides higher-resolution perspective, even in the lower-resolution WXGA series. The Contrast Enhancer feature expands the perceived dynamic range of the signal by refining light and dark areas of the image in real-time.
Sony’s laser light source means there’s no lamp that needs to slowly warm up or cool down, no lamp to limit tilt angle and no trade-off between high brightness and high resolution. The laser projectors are designed for up to 20,000 hours of maintenance-free operation, depending on the usage environment, which contributes to reducing users’ total cost of ownership.
Planned pricing and availability: VPL-PHZ10 (WUXGA), June, $3,000 and the VPL-PWZ10 (WXGA), August, $2,200. Here are all the specs.Leave a Comment
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|Sharp Launches New 90″ LCD for Commercial Applications|
Sharp announces the launch of its new 90” Class (90 1/64” diagonal) PN-LE901 commercial LCD display. The PN-LE901 combines full-HD image quality and a thin profile with a built-in tuner. Businesses can easily manage the functionality of the PN-LE901 commercial LCD display due to its many user-friendly features. This includes a powerful RS232C command set, which permits flexible command and control capabilities from connected devices, three HDMI inputs to connect multiple HD sources including digital signage media player and cable boxes and built-in 20W speakers for superb sound to complement the breathtaking images.
Its USB port allows for displaying images and videos seamlessly and business owners will also benefit from optimal content control with added lockout features including IR Remote, Power, Channel, Volume, Input, OSD disable and LED disable. It also includes a unique, low-power Wallpaper Mode that displays virtually any image on the screen at a reduced light level, mirroring museum conditions so the screen blends beautifully into an installed environment.
The PN-LE901 commercial LCD display will be available for shipping in late February 2017. Here are the specs.Leave a Comment
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|Denon Debuts Six-Channel Mixer and 120-Watt Power Amp in DN-306XADenon Pro says it’s getting serious about fixed install. The new DN-306XA is a six-channel mixer with a built-in, single-channel 120W Class-D amplifier in one rack space. It features combo XLR/TRS input jacks with switchable MIC, LINE, and phantom power. In addition to the amplified output on Euroblock speaker connectors, two XLR line outputs are included. The speaker output options are 4 ohm or 70/100V line. Added features include mic one priority and a three-band equalizer on the output. The DN-306XA is compact, versatile and ready to solve any number of audio installation challenges.
The audio specs are:
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio: > 94dB
- Max Line Output Level: +24dBu
- Phantom Power: 48VDC
- Maximum Voltage Gain: 60dB
- Class-D Amplifier Output: 120W @ 4Ω or 70V/100V
- Inputs: Six combo XLR/TRS
- Max Input Level: -20dBu
- Sensitivity: -40dBu
- Impedance: 1.4kΩ
- Max Input Level: +24dBu
- Impedance: 10kΩ
Here are all the specs.Leave a Comment
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|Crestron Ships Two New 3-Series 4K60 DigitalMedia Presentation Systems|
Crestron said today that it’s shipping two new 3-Series 4K60 DigitalMedia Presentation Systems, the DMPS3-4K-300-C and DMPS3-4K-200-C. These new models both feature 4K60, full support for HDCP 2.2, and Control Subnet. Like all DMPS3 Series, they include a built-in IP-based 3-Series Control System. Setup and touch screen control use a web-based configuration tool, with no programming required.
The DMPS3-4K-300-C and DMPS3-4K-200-C offers DigitalMedia technology along with an IP-based 3-Series Control System, 4K/60 multimedia switcher, mic mixer and audio DSP in a single rack mountable package. Crestron says the DMPS3 Series deliver bit-for-bit, zero latency HD video switching and display, including HDCP 2.2 protected content. They are both 4K@60Hz 4:2:0 at 24 bit color depth, 4K@30Hz 4:2:2 at 36 bit color depth or 4K@30Hz 4:4:4 at 24 bit color depth. See the spec links below for more details.
They offer HDMI with built-in scaling so content can be transmitted to any resolution display. In addition to the LAN port, the DMPS3-4K-300-C and DMPS3-4K-200-C each have a built-in Control Subnet port, which enables deployment of a separate DM network. This requires just one IP address to connect the entire system to the LAN.
The DMPS3-4K-200-C and DMPS3-4K-300-C provide, in addition to the built-in audio DSP and codec mixing, breakaway audio routing, surround sound pass-through, six-channel mic mixing and an integrated amplifier with field selectable outputs for preamp, 4/8ohm and 70/100V.
The primary difference between the two models is the DMPS3-4K-300C offers two HDMI outputs and two DM 8G+ (HDBaseT compatible) outputs, while the DMPS3-4K-200-C offers one of each.
Complete specs on the DMPS3-4K-300-C are here and for the DMPS3-4K-200-C, here.Leave a Comment
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|NEC Intros InfinityBoard for Collaborative Meetings|
NEC Display Solutions Europe has announced the InfinityBoard, an all-in-one display solution, available in 65” and 84” sizes, aimed at BYOD, collaboration in interactive workspaces and huddle rooms. Designed for video conferencing, creative brainstorming, presenting, reviewing and collaborating, the InfinityBoard provides a modular platform.
Based on ultra-high definition (UHD) 65” and 84” large format displays with InGlass touch technology, the InfinityBoard solution provides what NEC is calling a seamless, paper-like touch performance using a passive precision pen. NEC says this allows users to be creative with finger and pen differentiation allowing for intuitive touch, interactive writing and palm erasing.
The large surface allows users to create, annotate and present on an infinite canvas with the ability to import and export content thanks to the supplied whiteboard application. Using a new collaboration software, the InfinityBoard supports wireless presentation, screen to device and screen to screen interaction. These features keep the InfinityBoard vital to new and modern ways of working. Using NEC’s MultiPresenter function, the solution also supports bring your own device (BYOD) initiatives, enabling users to wirelessly stream what’s on their phones, tablets or notebooks.
The InfinityBoard provides maximum comfort for video conferencing thanks to a combination of the integrated software-powered high-res Huddly camera with 120° viewing angle, the loudspeakers by SEAS and an optional audio microphone conferencing solution, called TeamConnect Wireless, from Sennheiser. It’s also adjustable to accomodate users of different heights and includes a modular open pluggable specification (OPS) Slot-in PC with Windows 10 operating system.
More details will be posted here eventually.Leave a Comment
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For all you REGULAR readers of rAVe ProAV 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 percent opinionated. We not only report the news and new product stories of the ProAV 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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