Volume 9, Issue 10 — October 20, 2017
|Digital Advertising Screens – The Profitable Business Anyone Can Start|
By Lee Gannon
When people think of digital advertising screens, they think of giants like JCDecaux. They think of bus stop displays, large motorway billboards or those slideshows you see on escalators in the Underground. They think of household brands and celebrity-centered campaigns.
They don’t think of something more akin to a commercial TV you might have at home. They don’t think of locations like the windows of small independent shops in the high street, car parks, hotel lobbies or veterinary waiting rooms.
Advertising is simply about attention. If you have an audience, or at least access to somewhere with footfall, you have an opportunity. Advertising connects businesses with people. It works most effectively when these people are an organization or brand’s target audience. When this correlation is achieved, the value of communication for all involved increases. The owners of an advertising platform, in this case a screen network, can charge premium for ad space and advertisers will see ROI.
You don’t need to be a household name to attract advertisers and you don’t have to own a nationwide network of screens either. Digital signage for advertising is the profitable business anyone can start with a single screen. How? The key is to think local. If you are an independent shop on the main street, perhaps the only one with a screen in your window, other local businesses are likely to be interested in advertising to people walking past just as much as you are. There’s no need to sell ad space to direct competitors but focus on fostering a local network. Your favorite family-run restaurant or your local barbers might love access to the main street, particularly if they are located more remotely. A hotel might want to sell screen time to local attractions like the zoo. This way they would be delivering content genuinely of interest to their audience.
Most small businesses are yet to invest in their own screens for marketing because they think they are too expensive. But the reality is, in most deployments, a commercial grade display will do the job just fine for a few hundred dollars. When it comes to selling ad space, there’s no rule of thumb for how much to charge so think first of covering your costs and then adjust to align with your ambitions. You might just want to sell enough screen time to cover your costs, and then dedicate the rest of your time to your own marketing. That’s absolutely fine.
Even with a network limited to a single screen, pitching ad space to the smallest of local businesses, something like $50 per month in sponsorship is a highly accessible price. Most restaurants would only need to generate a customer paying for a family meal to profit from the venture. This might not sound like a lot but secure ten plus advertisers and a single advertising screen can provide a significant source of recurring revenue. Depending on the market and location, sponsorship fees can increase dramatically, especially as the size of an advertising network grows. It’s good practice to offer a tiered selection of sponsorship packages to accommodate all advertising budgets.
Digital signage can be a vehicle that brings local businesses together. Many organizations, including councils around the country, are investing in screen networks to create unique communication platforms where they can both distribute localized messaging and sell sponsorship space. As long as a reliable and easy to manage signage platform is chosen, digital advertising screens can be a low maintenance and highly profitable business model that anyone can start today.
This guest post was contributed by TrouDigital. Visit the company’s website for more information about digital signage advertising.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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|Higher Education Uses AV Integration to Curate Leaders|
By Alan Brawn, CTS, DSCE, DSDE, DSNE, DCME, ISF-C
Let me begin with a bit of candor. Over the years, I have observed that when those in the AV integration industry speak about typical projects for the education market… they usually sound mundane, and it is easy to assume what the project will entail. For a while now, most AV designs have embraced a standard cookie cutter approach. Since the turn of the century, there has simply been a projector (with a screen) or a flat panel display in the classroom. For the more advanced designs, perhaps a sound system and remote control of some sort. Until recently, the status quo meant that little creativity was inspired, and certainly few instances of pushing the technological envelope. For those out there who have more advanced systems, save the emails — I do know there are some examples of creativity and pushing the envelope, but most classrooms are just basic AV at the core. Rarely less, but rarely more.
There are a lot of reasons for this. First and foremost, there are budgets to consider. Education has always been budget-conscious with variations in funding region by region, school by school and department by department. The largest portion of funding tends to go to the most visible (read: profitable) departments and the more obscure ones tend to languish money-wise. A second issue is a lagging knowledge and acceptance of more advanced AV technologies in many schools. Again, this varies by department, but university technicians (i.e., the people that make the systems work) tell me that many professors are reluctant to learn how to use the systems, and have concerns that the systems are unreliable and will impede their teaching effectiveness. The fact is that whether we are speaking about budgets, the total cost of ownership or learning curves (and acceptance) by the teaching community, education has not been a bastion of AV technological advancement until recently.
Of course, this begs the question, what has changed? The answer lies within two concepts: the ubiquity of networks and digital signage. These two elements have altered the way things are done on many university campuses, and the combination involves a rapid expansion far beyond the confines of a projector or flat panel display in the student union that might have been a typical example a few short years ago.
Conventional wisdom tells us that educational institutions should be a driving force of innovative ideas and applications, but the hallowed halls of academia have not always lived up to that ideal — at least in the case of AV technologies and advanced communications. The good news is that colleges and universities are now beginning to exceed previous expectations. In fact, the world of education is becoming the incubator of AV technologies and digital signage applications, design and acceptance in the market. Advances in digital signage are permeating other market niches as well, such as corporate and health care, with education rightfully leading the way. Bold claims aside, let’s examine some specifics on how this has become a reality.
As an umbrella to all of this, we need to consider the impact that instant information and connectivity have had on all our lives, and how it has radically changed how we think and act over the last few years. As a population, we have changed the way we send and receive information in every way — from our TV viewing habits at home, all the way to business and yes, education. We are not only acclimated but in many cases addicted to our smartphones, tablets, laptops and even smart watches with emails, text messages and Tweets. We don’t write personal letters anymore; we communicate via Facebook or Twitter and connect professionally via LinkedIn. People are expecting and demanding that information come to them immediately where they are and not vice versa. This is the genesis of the new wave and expanded the view of communication and uses of digital signage.
To understand why the education community, colleges and universities are leading the way, it is necessary to embrace the concept of necessity being the mother of invention, adding the benefits of innovation. First, look at the university in a new light: By its very design, it is a full-fledged encapsulated and controlled community (for the most part), with most services that the outside world utilizes collected in one spot. It is an ecosystem unto itself. It is an ideal lab to be used as a testbed for expanded communication using digital signage. There are classrooms spread about, administration buildings, student unions, cafeterias, dorms, athletic facilities, stadiums, healthcare, maintenance facilities, public areas, roads and signs, and even power plants. The common denominator in all this diversity is the need to connect these disparate areas to one another in some manner and do so with the ability to centrally manage the flow of information with a high degree of security. The perfect solution to this is digital signage.
There are numerous examples of digital signage areas where the educational community has been at the forefront for some time. First, the emergency notification networks that are mandated by nearly every state. There must be a way to get emergency warnings throughout the campus. This must be managed in a central location, but with the ability to access it at other predetermined spots (with proper security and administrative approval levels). Second is wayfinding: Think about how complex many campuses are, with all the facilities we mentioned earlier that need to be included as part of finding a path to a location, room or a service in a building. Third on our list is interactivity. Things like accessibility and ADA compliance need to be considered, as does the security of the interactive display itself against theft and vandalism. Environmental concerns are also part of the equation on most campuses, from outdoor to indoor with temperature extremes both cold and hot, as well as dirt and debris that might affect the operation of the network, and addressing the impact of high ambient light and the ability to read a display.
We can wrap up the hardware side of this by mentioning two recent applications of digital signage. As we all know, the financial well-being of educational institutions is critical, and most depend on donors to make charitable contributions to fund projects of all types. The inclusion of what is known as “honor walls” is a trend at many campuses. This grouping of displays gives credit to those who step up to donate or provide leadership in other significant ways. When one department gets theirs, it is only a matter of time for the next one to demand time in the limelight for their VIPs. The second and most significant wave of technology adoption is the inclusion of portable devices connected wirelessly to the digital signage networks on campus. Whether it is near field communications (NFC) or some other wireless form of connectivity such as beacons, students, administrators, faculty, and visitors can get information on their personal devices instantaneously no matter where they are. On the software side of things, the education community is now leading as well. Once again it is the diversity of applications within higher education institutions that stretches the envelope. From the ability to segment by applications, departments, locations or even functions, all the way to dayparting information in an area, it is the ability to control, distribute and manage information that is making innovation a reality. Add to this central management the ability to set administrative approval levels for the appropriate people to be in control, and you have a network capability that is profound in what it can do.
Most of what we have spoken about involves a combination of hardware, operational software, and networks. This is the raw material of the next phase of technological evolution in education. What’s next you might ask? Our crystal ball tells us that the next phase is using the tools that exist to their best advantage to create what some are calling smart schools. We will see an expansion of the use of personal devices like smartphones and tablets connected to educational networks. Interactivity will become commonplace, with real-time annotations on screens. Online learning will supplement what takes place within the “confines” of a traditional classroom. We are entering the era of big data and increased and expanding access to the collective knowledge of the world, and a keyword is a collaboration.
Colleges and universities are leading the way in digital signage for a basic reason: More than most other institutions they have a wide range of applications under one environmental envelope with the requirement to communicate with people both on and off campus, and do so in real time with the best security that can be brought to bear. The challenge is how to solve the problems of reaching people with such diversity of needs for information and content and manage it all effectively and efficiently. The education communities’ answer to these needs ends up incorporating digital signage in more diverse ways, spanning the classroom to the campus and beyond. Perhaps some of this experimentation and development in digital signage is an unintended consequence, but we can look to colleges and universities to continue to lead the way in communicating the information viewers need as they go about their daily lives. Evolution? Nope, a revolution in education where it should be.
This column was reposted with permission and originally appeared here.Leave a Comment
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|NEC Europe Intros New C Series Commercial-Grade Displays|
NEC Display Solutions Europe today unveiled a new range of large format displays for commercial applications with the introduction of the NEC MultiSync C Series. The latest additions to its range of fully commercial displays consist of three models, ranging in size from 43 to 55 inches — C431, C501 and C551. All three models have a mechanical depth of only 45mm. With a modern and slim design, high-definition image brilliance and multiple inputs, C Series models are ideally suited as digital signage displays for informational and advertising purposes, as well as presentation devices for smaller conference rooms and huddle spaces.
The C Series range features a display brightness of 400 cd/m², allowing good visibility in controlled light surroundings.
Thanks to its integrated media player, the C Series range also supports auto content playback and management of image and video media files. Auto play settings allow content playback to be scheduled according to the user’s individual needs. The standalone solution requires no additional cabling, ensuring a neat and seamless result with the only additional hardware required being a USB drive or MicroSDHC card.
These new models include full external control through both the LAN and RS232 interfaces, which enables easy integration into existing control systems. The C Series displays can be installed in both landscape and portrait orientation, further expanding how users can deploy them.
If coupled with NEC’s all-in-one remote control and management software suite NaViSet Administrator 2, multi-device installations can be centrally controlled. The NEC MultiSync C Series large format displays will be available from early December 2017 and with additional larger sizes expected to be launched in early 2018. Here are all the specs for the MultiSync C431, MultiSync C501 and MultiSync C551.Leave a Comment
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|DVIGear Launches 4K HyperLight DisplayPort CablesDVIGear has introduced its HyperLight Series – Active Optical Cables (AOC) for 4K resolution applications. These cables support the extension of DisplayPort 1.4 signals with aggregate data rates up to 32.4 Gbps. (HBR3) and are HDCP 1.4 / 2.2 compliant. They support resolutions up to 8K / 30Hz (4:4:4) for cable lengths up to 50 meters (164 feet) and 4K / 60Hz (4:4:4) for cables up to 100 meters (328 feet).
Constructed using a hybrid design of four POF (Polyfluorinated Optical Fiber) and six copper wires, plenum-rated HyperLight cables are rugged, lightweight and highly flexible, with a minimum bend radius of just two millimeters. The cables have two removable DisplayPort docking connectors may be detached, revealing a connector cross-section that measures just 10 by 12.4 millimeters. The docking connectors include a locking pin plus an optional pulling sleeve, make the cables easy to install in narrow conduits or in plenum air spaces.
The high speed DisplayPort signals are transmitted over four optical fibers, which DVIGear says make them immune to interference from environmental noise. The optical transmission path provides a very low RFI / EMI profile, which allows the cables to be installed in sensitive applications with strict security requirements. The cables draw power from the connected DisplayPort source, eliminating the need for an external power supply. These cables are available now in a wide range of cable lengths up to 100 meters (328 feet).
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|Key Digital’s HDBaseT Extenders Are Designed for Digital Signage Applications|
Key Digital just introduced the KD-X222 and KD-X222PO HDBaseT extender sets designed for 4K/30 4:4:4 and UHD 4K/60 4:2:0 signals up to 125′ using CAT5e/6 UTP/STP cabling. For non-4K applications 1080p/60 signals can be extended up to 230′, making these extender sets are designed for digital signage applications where monitors are installed significant distances away from the centralized equipment location. KD-X222 and KD-X222PO HDBaseT extender sets complement Key Digital’s full circle video distribution for single and/or multi source display configurations.
KD-X222 and KD-X222PO are sold as a Tx + Rx set. All models feature EDID and Control professional tool suites. Integrators have the choice of EDID handshake delivered to the connected video source. Each Tx unit may extend RS-232 to the connected monitor/projector or be set as a controllable device for collecting connectivity status. For ease of installation KD-X222PO feature Power over HDBaseT extension from Tx to Rx.
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|Delvcam Introduces a 4K Media Player With 10 HDMI Outputs|
Delvcam has introduced the DELV-4KMP110 Media Player with ten 3840×2160@60Hz HDMI outputs and an Android 6.0.1 operating system. Delvcam says that at 2160p, the subsampling rate is 4:4:4 at 30fps and 4:2:0 at 60fps.
The Delvcam DELV-4KMP110 media player allows for video source selection between its built in 500GB SATA hard drive, a USB stick or a HDMI input feed from a camera or recorder. It also has built-in Wi-Fi to bring in video streams from the Internet. USB ports can be utilized to add a keyboard and mouse to simplify browser based searching.
The DELV-4KMP110 Media Player features a 2.2 GHz eight-core GPU with 2GB of RAM and includes IR remote control, Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections as well as ten HDMI outputs with a maximum resolution of 4Kx2K@60Hz. Supporting multiple video and audio formats, the Delvcam Media Player can be used for audio/video playback, gaming, digital signage, classroom instruction and point-of-sale displays.
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|Barco’s A/V Control Solution Gets Upgrade|
Barco announced an update to its A/V control solution Overture. New automation features that allow users to better schedule events and automate behaviors are now available to existing and new customers.
Released in February 2017, Overture created a revolution in A/V control solutions. Because it’s an IP-based software system where any network-connected device can be controlled via a browser.
By introducing new automation features, Overture allows users to get the most out of their A/V Control systems. Overture’s ‘Behaviors’ enable the automatic creation of a task associated to a specific point (device, room, location). For example, an administrator can set a task to automatically switch on or off all the devices on the same floor at the end of the workday — without any programming. Moreover, the detection of the state of a variable can be used as a trigger for automation. For example, the moment a ClickShare button is plugged into a laptop, the projector will automatically power on and switch to the ClickShare source.
The ‘Scheduler’ capability now enables users to set certain actions at pre-defined times, such as turning off all devices at night to save electricity. With the addition of the Behaviors and Scheduler functions, a facility or IT manager can easily configure the system to enable the entire enterprise to be controlled with the click of a button or even execute tasks automatically at specific times.
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|AVIXA Releases Global AV Industry Trends Analysis|
AVIXA has released its 2017 AV Industry Outlook and Trends Analysis (IOTA) Global Summary. The report provides an economic outlook through 2022 for the AV industry worldwide, including the Americas, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East and Africa.
The Global Summary report, conducted by London-based IHS Markit on behalf of AVIXA, is the final report in the IOTA series, which includes regional reports for Europe, Asia-Pacific, and the Americas.
“The IOTA Global Summary provides a 360-degree view of the ProAV market, from product trends to vertical market analyses, on a worldwide scale,” said Sean Wargo, senior director of market intelligence, AVIXA. “With diverse markets around the world, it’s crucial to understand the various elements influencing end users’ buying habits. This report will arm AV firms with the insight needed to build comprehensive business strategies.”
The IOTA Global Summary provides a view of the AV industry from several different levels and perspectives starting with macro trends, from worldwide technology to global events. These trends translate into opportunities within thriving vertical markets, such as healthcare, hospitality, and retail. Furthermore, these opportunities are reinforced by the underlying technology shifts influencing AV solutions, such as cloud services and IT systems.
Among the highlights from the 2017 AV Industry Outlook and Trends Analysis Global Summary:
Regional Outlook: The professional AV industry worldwide generated $178 billion in 2016. While European revenues contracted relative to 2014 industry value, significant value creation in Asia-Pacific sustained global AV growth. Through 2022, it is expected that global AV revenues will increase 4.7 percent annually. The industry will create an additional $52 billion in value during the remainder of the forecast period.
Market Trends and Sizing for Products and Services: In the short term, the industry will move toward a mix of cloud and on-premise solutions. Cloud services will increasingly become common for IoT-based visualization solutions. These benefits will reduce operational cost, increase productivity, and provide futureproofing to users. It will allow users to plan and streamline the execution of their AV ideas more effectively and creatively.
Major Product Trends: From 2014 through 2017, the combined video displays and projection segments are estimated to drop by 13 percent, with the market for projector products losing 12 percent of its value. While the loss of $1 billion in projector sales will be offset by a gain of $3.5 billion in displays sales, the projection and displays segments — taken together — cannot weather contraction in the market for projection screens and accessories. Looking ahead, however, 14 percent projected annual growth in displays sales through 2022 will more than make up for the estimated dip in projection sales.
Market Dynamics by Solution: The global security, surveillance, and life safety solutions market was $14.7 billion in 2016, with about 50 percent of the industry spend on security cameras. By 2022, the market will reach more than $22.9 billion, $15.4 billion of which will be for capture and production equipment. Similarly, sales of digital signage solutions are poised for worldwide growth, rising more than 8 percent per year, on average, through 2022.
Market Dynamics by Vertical: ProAV sales in the hospitality market, including hotel chains, independent hotels, casinos, cruise lines, and resorts, will double from $7 billion in 2014 to $14 billion by 2022. The streaming media storage, and distribution; video displays; and capture and production equipment product segments will make up two-thirds of the pro-AV share in this sector. ProAV sales into the healthcare market will also reach double-digit growth around the world through 2022.
The Global Summary, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Americas reports are currently available for purchase, with discounts for AVIXA members. For more information, and to download the executive summaries, go here.Leave a Comment
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|NanoLumens Adds LED Digital Posters for Less Than $200 |
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NanoLumens today announced the market introduction of NanoLumens
LED Digital Posters. The NanoLumens Digital Posters
are embedded with the cloud-based NanoLumens AWARE
platform, which allows retailers to route new content to any digital poster in their network around the world. NanoLumens AWARE also seamlessly combines diagnostics and support functions with a variety of apps, services and content sources and these Digital Posters can now be purchased for less than $200 per month, making them a reasonable purchase for any brick-and-mortar location.
At 2.55-mm pixel pitch, NanoLumens Digital Posters give content the utmost clarity, creating a deeper level of customer engagement. They are also incredibly simple to install, and ship direct to any warehouse or store location. Purpose built with the retailer in mind, Digital Posters are plug-and-play, making content changes and additions a breeze.
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|NEC Launches New C SeriesNEC Display Solutions of America today announced that it has launched its new, fully commercial C Series displays, offering customers a slim profile and sleek design at an economical price point.
The new C Series includes three models — the 43″ C431, 50″ C501 and 55″ C551 — all of which have a mechanical depth of only 45mm. This slender profile allows for a lighter design as well as unobtrusive mounting and easier accessibility in situations where ADA compliance is of importance.
These models provide many commercial-grade features, including full bidirectional external control through both the LAN and RS232 interfaces, which enables easier integration into control systems. They can also be installed in both landscape and portrait orientation, expanding the ways in which users can deploy them.
The C Series models are ideally suited as digital signage displays for informational and advertising purposes as well as presentation devices for smaller conference rooms or huddle spaces. They contain anti-glare screens that scatter incidental light and allow customers maximum visibility of the content being displayed on the screen, which is of utmost importance for digital signage applications. Each C Series display will also have an optional IR touch overlay that will allow users to easily turn each display into a touchscreen for wayfinding and other interactive uses.
The C Series were all here.Leave a Comment
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|Absen Targets LCD Applications with New Acclaim LED Series|
Absen announced today the U.S. launch of the company’s newest fixed indoor LED series called, Acclaim. The Acclaim Series is designed to be an indoor direct-view LED solution for retail, corporate, transportation hubs and HOW (house of worship).
Available in a wide range of pixel-pitch configurations (1.2-mm, 1.5-mm, 1.9-mm, 2.5-mm and 3.8-mm), the Acclaim Series meets the needs of many indoor installations and pixel pitches. Acclaim’s HD aspect ratio and 27.5” diagonal size allows four panels to create a 55” display like that of a LCD, but without mullions. The four panels can be installed with a standard VESA mount and allows the end user to work in a standard 16:9 aspect ratio, a very common aspect ratio in the HOW market.
Absen says that installation of the series is easy whether it be mounted to a wall, hung or free-standing. Acclaim comes with an Easy Mount Kit that has a thickness of no more than 4 inches allowing for ADA compliant installations. Each front or rear installed panel is interchangeable left to right and are held in place by 4 corner magnets. The series offers creative flexibility and can be customized to provide up to 90-degree convex or concave curves and angles.
Acclaim is built with an LED life of 100,000 operating hours and is designed for easy serviceability and repair with universal magnetic modules that lock into place with guided grooves that prevent potential bending or torqueing of the panels. The Acclaim also features black masks that increase contrast, yet are simple to take off and put on to allow repair of the modules’ LEDs. With Absen Affinity color calibration, the Acclaim will continue to look uniform in color, brightness and consistency throughout the life of the product.
Here are all the tech specs.Leave a Comment
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|AV Over IP Sales Up Over 130 in 2017AV over IP is poised to eventually revolutionize the low-latency Pro AV market, according to a newly-released industry report from Futuresource Consulting. Moving from a position of relative obscurity, AV over IP encoder/decoder ports will enjoy a year-on-year increase of over 130 percent.|
AV over IP describes the distribution of video over an IP network within an enterprise, hospital or campus at low latencies. Traditionally, the distribution of video from multiple sources to multiple endpoints such as displays, projectors and monitors has required a matrix switcher; a large and costly piece of hardware.
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Although we agree with most of what Futuresource is saying here below, we believe it will be a slower transition to acceptance. And, until both Extron
have a complete line of AV-over-IP products, most of the ProAV integration community will go slowly adopting this new way of signal routing. Don’t underestimate this impact. But, once you see both of those companies out with a FAMILY or products — not just one line — then you’ll see rapid adoption.
“This is a game changer for the industry and its impact cannot be overstated,” says Anthony Brennan, research analyst at Futuresource Consulting. “We’re seeing the beginnings of a trend that will shake up the industry, with our forecasts pointing to a volume CAGR of nearly 50 percent during the next five years. Make no mistake, AV over IP will transform the way the Pro AV market interacts with and controls AV systems.”
Until recently, AV over IP solutions were considered unrealistic in low-latency Pro AV applications, but they are now competing directly with established technologies and forcing the global matrix switcher market into a period of decline.
“The matrix switcher market is well established,” says Brennan, “and with high barriers to entry it has been monopolized by a handful of large companies. The low barriers associated with AV over IP are allowing smaller companies to compete directly with these large enterprises, merging the worlds of IT and AV, placing software solutions at the heart of the AV industry and fostering innovation and competition. For savvy vendors equipped with the right market information, the scale of the opportunity is enormous.”
From signal distribution brands to IT software and infrastructure players and the wider Pro AV community, the effects of this transition are far-reaching. Furthermore, the threat to established vendors is being amplified by their investments in AV over IP.
“The major signal distribution and control players have tough decisions to make,” adds Brennan. “They must risk cannibalizing their own core businesses by wholesale investment in AV over IP or fall by the wayside as the new Pro AV land grab takes hold.”
Futuresource expects AV over IP solutions to see rapid adoption across most industry verticals, including corporate, education, government, and leisure and hospitality with varying adoption levels in healthcare and residential markets. Short-term, entertainment and higher education applications are forecast to see the highest levels of penetration.
“We’re hearing from vendors that their conversations with users have shifted to the benefits of individual products and competitive advantage,” comments Brennan. “They no longer need to convince users that IP technology is a viable option for low latency signal distribution. This represents a significant shift in mindset for the wider AV world.
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|Christie Experiential Network Taps Times Square Strategies and MVP Interactive for Largest Interactive DOOH Network in North America|
The Christie Experiential Network (CEN), the immersive experiential Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) group there, has announced a partnership with Times Square Strategies and MVP Interactive.
CEN, the world’s first experiential media network in movie theaters, has tapped Times Square Strategies and MVP Interactive to fuel its game-changing and highly engaging mix of branded, interactive content and mobile-based interactions. The network connects theater owners, brands, agencies, advertisers and consumers with its unique digital in-lobby environments. In achieving this, the network provides 100 percent coverage of the movie-going audience; delivering multiple exposures and higher dwell times during their visit to the theater.
CEN is in alignment with the DPAA principles as its president and CEO, Barry Frey, identifies, “This is such an exciting time as the full throttle capabilities of digital advertising are now available outside the home. We see here another important example of innovative companies delivering increased value to today’s consumers and brands.”
MVP Interactive’s technology platform significantly enhances CEN’s network with award-winning augmented reality and gesture recognition technology. In addition, MVP’s highly robust audience measurement platform, DART (Data Analytics Reporting Tool), compiles all of the emails captured, audience measurement data, and social shares tracked during an engagement and puts this information into a proprietary dashboard that allows for extensive reporting. Anthony DiPrizio, CTO of MVP Interactive says, “Our applications are developed to seamlessly manage and distribute large amounts of interactive content in real-time utilizing the MVP API and virtual private cloud (VPC). This gives Christie the flexibility to change content, provide engaging user touch points and seamlessly capture valuable data and consumer insight.”
“We’re very excited to be partnering with Christie. With our technology partner, MVP Interactive, we’ve created what we believe is the broadest reaching and most scalable interactive network in North America. Our platform will live on over 200 displays, with audience measurement that rolls up to a singular dashboard, allowing Christie to compile crucial audience data,” said Michael Steinberg, Principal at Times Square Strategies.
In addition, “The Christie Experiential Network allows us to showcase our content and software capabilities, which further validates the growing demand for brands and marketers to leverage technology to connect with their consumers,” says James Giglio, CEO of MVP Interactive.
Here are details.Leave a Comment
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For all you REGULAR readers of rAVe DS [Digital Signage] 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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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.
Everything we publish is Opt-in — we spam NO ONE! rAVe ProAV Edition is our flagship ePublication with what we believe is a reach of virtually everyone in the ProAV market. rAVe HomeAV Edition, co-published with CEDIA and launched in February 2004, is, by far, the largest ePub in the HomeAV market. We added rAVe Rental [and Staging] in November 2007, rAVe ED [Education] in May 2008 and then rAVe DS [Digital Signage] in January 2009. We added rAVe GHGav [Green, Healthcare & Government AV] in August 2010 and rAVe HOW [House of Worship] in July 2012. You can subscribe to any of those publication or see ALL our archives by going to: http://www.ravepubs.com
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