Before I go any further, I wanted to make clear that there are still a lot of unknowns. I don’t intend this article to point fingers or place blame. I do think there is an appropriate time and place for that, but I don’t have enough information. Rather, I hope we take a moment to reflect on this incident and recognize that sometimes what we do can be the difference between life and death.
On several of the mail lists that I participate, we get the occasional ridiculous picture of a horrible AV install. We all make jokes about it, which in many cases is appropriate. Have you seen the picture of a satellite dish attached to a shopping cart? That deserves a good laugh. Then, every now and again the picture will come across that will make you shiver. These are the images of projectors secured with duct tape or sitting in a milk crate hanging from rachet straps. Or this picture, of a LCD panel hanging on by, I don’t know what, clear tape?
Hopefully, a tragedy like this can remind us that not only should we not laugh at these dangerous installs, but we should also condemn them. For the readership of this particular newsletter, think about who is sitting under that projector, screen or speaker -- probably a child, ranging in age from 6 to 21. That’s someone who implicitly trusts that that 10-pound projector will not fall from 15 feet onto them. We need to respect that trust.
We did a project a few years ago where we installed nine classrooms, each one with a suspended ceiling. We used a product we love, the Extron PCM 240. The mounts were handed off to the general contractor, who had a carpenter install them. Every system comes with turnbuckles and 60 feet of safety wire. The intention of this, of course, is to take the main weight off the suspended grid, and place it on firm support structures above. Obviously, it also ensures the system will not fall if some part of the ceiling fails. In walking through the rooms after, we found all the turnbuckles and wire in boxes on the floor. They had not used the safety equipment. Obviously, we made them go back and put in these safety features.
Today, I question what would have happened if the equipment had been thrown away, rather than left in the room? Would we have thought to look above the tile and ensure the wires were connected to solid structure? I don’t know the answer to that question, but I hope that going forward the memory of what happened here forces us to check on such things. Even if it is “someone else’s job,” when it comes to safety why not take a moment to do that double check?
Incidents like this give a clear logic for standards and accreditations. I spoke with a fellow technology manager, Greg Brown, who holds both the CTS-I and the CTS-D certifications. Greg told me that the CTS-I exam covers some of the safety issues an installer needs to know, like safe weight loads. Greg also pointed out that “we’ve lost an appreciation for the due diligence our work requires living in a world of 10-pound projectors. Back when we regularly hung 200-pound, three-gun CRT projectors above audiences, it was pretty obvious a careless install could kill someone.” Greg makes a terrific point, and I would go further to say that this does not just cover integrators and installers, but it also includes (maybe even more so) those of us in education who do our own installs.
Another example from my personal experience is with installing a projector lift in our field house. I knew that I did not have the engineering knowledge to properly spec out how the lift should be installed and secured. I turned to the engineers in our Facility Services group. They also felt unsure of their expertise in this matter. They turned to a local engineering firm, and a local sheet fabricator to come up with a system to secure the lift to the steel beams in the field house. The experience was slower and more expensive, but we know that the lift is secure and will not fall onto people. It also highlights Greg’s point: We knew that we needed to be sure with a 400-pound contraption that it was safe, so we took the extra steps. A small speaker or projector may not seem as dangerous, but I am not volunteering to stand under a falling one.
So, do you have any lingering safety concerns about installed equipment? Is there that one screen hanging from just sheetrock? Is there a projector secured only to a suspended ceiling? If so, take a moment now and make plans to fix it. You may save a life without even knowing.
Scott Tiner, CTS, has worked in the AV/IT field in public K-12, private K-12 and higher education institutions. With a BS in Secondary Education from the Boston University School of Education, he has a deep interest in the use of various types of technology in the classroom. Currently, as the assistant director of user services: digital media, classroom technology & event support at Bates College, Scott designs learning spaces, oversees event support and staging and manges all video streaming on campus. Scott also oversees the Digital Media Center. The Digital Media Center provides support and instruction on all video and audio editing on campus.??
|Entries for Visix's Expression Awards for digital signage content are due April 30, 2013. The company is giving out one People's Choice and three Judges' Awards for the best digital signage designs created using a Visix software application. Winning entries can be from small or large organizations, and can be created by professional designers and communicators, or by students, administrators and HR assistants.|
A winning entry:
Entries could be entered in the following categories:
- Digital Signage
- Self-Service/Interactive Kiosk
- Corporate Communication
- Digital Out-of-Home Campaign
- Financial Services
- Restaurant/Food Service
- Other (industry not listed above)
The winners will be announced at the DSA Symposium on May 9 in Dallas, Tex.
See last year's winners here: http://www.digitalscreenmedia.org/2012-dsa-industry-excellence-award-winners Add a comment
The ProjectoWrite5 also features PC-less presentations through the addition of a USB input, allowing for 1.5GB of internal storage of items such as Office docs, video, audio and image files.
The initial release includes three versions:
- ProjectoWrite5 WX30N | WXGA, 3,000-lumen, standard throw
- ProjectoWrite5 WX31NST | WXGA, 3,100-lumen, short throw
- ProjectoWrite5 X32N | XGA, 3,200-lumen, standard throw
The EZ Display APP for mobile devices will allow you to send images, web pages or view live from your mobile device, and includes annotation features to allow for real-time interaction. With an optional Wi-Fi USB display adapter (dongle), connectivity increases to include projection of up to four devices at one time.
List on the ProjectoWrite5 ranges from $1,887 to $2,443 and here are the details: http://www.boxlight.com
One singer found a different route: Oklahoma country music superstar Carrie Underwood, who recently celebrated her 17th No. 1 song.
Underwood came on the Grammy Awards stage in a big, flowing gown and stood the whole time fixed in the same spot. It immediately seemed slightly awkward to fans who had expected an animated performance with Underwood wandering the stage.
Before the fans had time to react, something spectacular happened to her dress: the white gown lit up with a series of striking changes, changing into a brilliant blue, a fire-engine red, and even patterns of roses and more.
Awestruck fans described the designs as “holographic” and said it "looks like Avatar."
In consumer electronics, the hot trend is “wearable electronics,” but Underwood’s trick was actually projector mapping. Two projectors (no, we don’t know which brand... yet) hung more than 20 meters high (70 feet) above the stage created the patterns. Underwood performed while standing on an apple crate to help along the effect.
Underwood’s Creative Director came up with the idea for projector-mapping the dress. The actual gown-maker had only two weeks to design and make the gown-as-projection screen. The gown-maker said he was inspired by shape and look of the new World Trade Center in New York and he probably used as much fabric as WTC used concrete to get the amount of billowing dress needed to act as a projection screen.
This, of course, was not the first time someone has thought of this. There are several instances of creative dance troupes using this trick (mapping not an individual dress but the whole troupe), but this is the first time mainstream TV has seen the magic of projector mapping on the clothing of a superstar in Prime Time.
Click here to see the making of Underwood’s projector-mapping dress: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/grammys-2013-carrie-underwood-dress-designer-don-oneill-18475201 Add a comment
"This project provided an opportunity for the audiovisual and architectural associations to work together and demonstrated the types of professional collaborations that our members are capable of," said David Labuskes, executive director and CEO, InfoComm International. "Technology solutions that are coordinated closely among AV professionals, architects, and clients consistently outperform systems that are not and result in exceptional experiences."
The AIA required significant upgrades to the audiovisual systems in its boardroom and adjacent areas. Not only does the AIA hold its own meetings and events in the spacious, irregularly-shaped room, it also rents the space to nearby organizations.
"Our board members, most of whom are architects, are visual people," said Richard James, chief operating officer of the AIA. "Our interest was in updating the quality of the technology in our boardroom, which can be an expensive task. InfoComm and its partners worked with our technical staff to determine exactly what we needed and then found a group of willing donors of the necessary equipment. We appreciate their very generous contributions."
The process began in November 2010, when InfoComm issued a request for proposals to it members. K2 Audio, of Boulder, Colo., was chosen to perform the pro-bono design.
"Some of our biggest clients are architects, so it seemed like a nice way to give something back and at the same time showcase to them the capabilities we have as an AV design firm," said Deb Britton, K2 Audio's CEO and principal consultant. "As consultants, we frequently team with architects on design projects. We work with them on everything from churches, to schools, to performing arts centers, to corporate headquarters. In fact, it's more common than not that we work for an architect, as part of the design team, than the building owner. In those situations, we basically take the project from programming and schematic design to construction and administration."
K2 Audio grew out of Peak Audio in 2005. Peak Audio developed groundbreaking audiovisual technologies such as CobraNet, which became a popular standard for transmitting uncompressed, multichannel, digital audio over standard Ethernet networks. K2 Audio's long-time customers include the United States Senate and House of Representatives.
"It's not your typical boardroom, with a rectangular table and 20 people sitting around it," said K2 Audio Senior Consultant Rodrigo Ordóñez, CTS-D. "This is a large, round room with about 50 positions for AIA board members."
Among the upgrades was an overhaul of the boardroom's legacy conferencing system, which previously was not tied into its public address system. Program audio was routed to ceiling speakers throughout the space, but conference audio was limited to the room's speaking positions. "This meant that for people sitting in overflow areas and not at the speaking positions, there was no sound reinforcement," Ordóñez explained.
K2 Audio also included in its design a new videoconferencing system, which presented a significant opportunity to the AIA. "Introducing that capability increases the likelihood that we can rent the boardroom to outside parties," said James.
The project wrapped up in time for the AIA's December 2012 Board Meeting. Applied Visual Communications (AVC) of Herndon, Va., handled the installation and provided on-site support during the important meeting.
"The AIA was a great customer. They understood the technology, had a good handle on what they needed, and could vocalize it," said Dante Ross, CTS, project manager for AVC.
In addition to K2 Audio's design, the follow audio/video manufacturers donated equipment to the AIA project:
- Biamp Systems donated audio processing systems
- Chief Manufacturing donated display mounts
- Cisco Systems donated the videoconferencing system and network switch
- Da-Lite Screen Co. donated the boardroom's 16:9 projection screen
- Extron Electronics donated the control system, control panels, signal processing equipment
- Listen Technologies donated the assistive listening system
- Middle Atlantic Products donated equipment racks, cable management, and power strips
- projectiondesign donated a F82 Series, 10,000-lumen projector and lens
The AIA's new audiovisual system also now includes a modest digital signage network for announcements and room scheduling, which the AIA is considering expanding in order to route video sources from the boardroom to screens in other areas of the building.
"They were great to work with," said K2 Audio's Ordóñez. "Everyone was responsive. Once some of the high level design decisions were made, the technical designs went very smoothly."
Photos of the AIA boardroom and AV systems can be found on InfoComm's Flickr feed at bit.ly/InfoCommAIA. Add a comment
In addition to the features mentioned above, MediaLink for iPad version 1.1 also features Auto-reconnect, which recalls the previous session even after the app is closed, and Auto-lock override that keeps the iPad screen on and allows the app to stay active at all times. As in the previous version, each button press is tracked in real time between the app and the controller, so that both stay in sync. MediaLink for iPad supports Extron MLC 104 IP Plus and MLC 226 IP MediaLink Controllers that are configured using Global Configurator.
Here are all the details: http://www.extron.com/product/software.aspx?id=vml&s=5 Add a comment
Here are all the stats: http://www.rgb.com/news/announcements/item.php?file=Omni Add a comment
The development of laser for projectors has been a topic we have followed for years, but most have figured their roll out was years away. This is the first time a laser projector will show a first run movie to general audiences, so it may be here sooner than you thought.
We have also just learned that one of key developers of lasers for cinema projectors, Laser Light Engines (Salem, NH), has just penned a manufacturing agreement with Elbit Systems of America (Ft. Worth, Tex.). Elbit will now manufacture the LLE DSG-265, a high-powered, solid state de-speckled GREEN laser module.
Obviously a red and blue laser are also needed for a projection solution, but LLE says the green laser will be incorporated into a complete red/green/blue (RGB) laser illumination system that replaces traditional high pressure gas discharge lamps. This laser module is part of LLE ‘s “universal” architecture that enables plug and play with new projection systems or can be used to retrofit and upgrade tens of thousands of existing installations.
Laser projectors, high frame rate, wide dynamic range, wide color gamut, new 3D sound solutions and distributed production are among the topics that will be highlighted at the 2013 NAB Show’s Technology Summit on Cinema. This event, which runs April 6-7 in Las Vegas, is produced by SMPTE. Keynoting the event will be Jon Landau who will have an interview style discussion with Variety columnist David Cohen.
Landau and the executive staff of SMPTE hosted a pre-show webinar yesterday to profile the event. That’s when Landau told us about the laser projector screening in response to a question about the timing of such events.
We will be attending and will be very interested in a number of sessions. These include one detailing the status of digital projector and 3D roll outs on a worldwide basis as well as updates on the new 3D sound formats, like Dolby Atmos and Barco Auro 11.1.
We also learned that there will be a new tutorial from Jim Cameron providing more footage on high frame rate and 3D. I am also interested in learning the state of what SMPTE is calling distributed workflow. This means that film production and post production files can be shared, rendered and previewed using very high bandwidth networks almost anywhere in the world. This could offer some nice cost savings in travel.
There will be sessions that also discuss the impact of wide dynamic range and wide color gamut capture and processing. As Dolby’s Pat Griffiths put it, he sees the goal of cinema capture and display being to exceed what the human eye can see. “We are there now with sound, but not with visual images,” he said. He noted that many of today’s cameras are getting close to capturing and exceeding what the eye can see. Projection still lags a bit, but lasers will help a lot.
The conference will also feature talks on high frame rate capture and display and ask the question: What is the verdict? As Landau noted, and others are likely to agree, it is too early for a verdict as HFR. “HFR, 3D, new sound technologies, wider dynamic range and color gamut are all brand new tools in the hands of creators. You just don’t master these tools overnight,” noted Landau.
Adding any of these attributes to movie production requires more bandwidth, storage and processing power, however, which means more cost. Wendy Aylsworth from Warner Bros Entertainment, speculated that it might be five years before smaller budget films could start to adopt technologies like HFR. But Landau was not so sure. “We are now looking at capturing in HFR 3D, but editing at 24 fps. We would then be able to create masters at 24 and HFR.” He acknowledged that special effects at HFR will definitely be more expensive, however.
As for the take up of 3D in theaters, Landau and Aylsworth confirmed that 3D is clearly stronger outside of the U.S. for theatrical. But Landau made an interesting point. He said that digital theaters are now coming to parts of the world that never had them before so their first experience is a 3D experience, so there is a lot of novelty in many regions still.
What is particularly good about this event is the technology focus. Theaters are the cutting edge for AV entertainment and this event is put on by and for technologists. While there is much work to do, we are seeing advancements in this space by leaps and bounds, which is why we will also have a strong focus on these topics at the upcoming Projection Summit. Add a comment
Why do we care?
Well, at rAVe we spend a lot of time and money carefully tracking the industry trends, product impact, technological movements and the communication between people in AV. And, we've noticed a shift. And, a good one.
But, as timing has it, the shift of a giant wave of growth and expansion in AV happens to be timed (based on all our research and our knowledge-base) to happen this Fall. So?
Well, right now -- and heading into InfoComm -- that means that your boss, your manager and the owners of the big AV integration firms, design consulting firm partners, digital signage dealers and AV manufacturers are all moving very timidly. But, they don't see what we see. We are focused on ALL aspects of AV - not just the segment of the market they are in; you are in. We are seeing a shift -- and it's a good one. And, it's coming. But, the great majority of the shift will occur this fall -- well past InfoComm.
But, unfortunately those same leaders (your bosses) may not see it by the time they have to approve YOU attending InfoComm -- a show that ALL of you reading this NEED to attend.
So, we're going to try and HELP you convince them. Over the next few months through our writing, we'll point to specific trends that bode well for the health of the VA market and, especially, the positive shift we see this fall. And, you can watch for these articles and point them out to your manager, your boss, your owner -- your decision maker.
In the meantime, one BIG thing (and very simple step you can take) is to click here: http://bit.ly/13wYHNv and register for InfoComm using the code: MCTRA
Prepare to be there. Register for InfoComm NOW! Add a comment
Much has been said of the benefits digital signage offers marketers, but don’t forget the personal context in which digital signage viewers will likely see your message.
Successful marketers know their ads exist in a context that enhances the value of their message to consumers. For instance, a billboard lets Interstate drivers know a gas station is at the next exit. Or, a print ad for the latest smartphone runs in a magazine with a focus on high-tech gadgets. Even the nightly news has commercials relevant to its audience. Who doesn’t need an antacid or hemorrhoid relief after plugging into the latest news?
The same is true for successful digital signage ads. To succeed for the marketer, digital signage ads and messages must deliver value to the consumer. A freely available white paper from DigitalSignageToday.com entitled, “Key Ingredients For a Successful Digital Signage Campaign,” sheds light on putting together a digital signage network that delivers a value proposition for consumers.
According to the white paper, a successful digital signage network combines five key elements to convey clear messages to consumers and keep them entertained. To this end, digital signage captures the attention of consumers and focuses it on product features, specials, or some sort of infotainment that adds to the brand experience. So, by delivering an appealing message at the point of purchase to customizing a marketing message for a specific place and time, digital signage offers significant benefits to marketers and retailers. But a solid digital communication strategy only starts here.
For the growing medium to flourish, marketers would do well to deliver on the value proposition of digital signage for consumers: make their shopping experience better than it would have been without the presence of the digital signs.
One way to make the shopping experience better is to allow consumers to change the content of the digital sign. How so? Simply by giving customers choices in what kind of content they want to see on the screen, which is what interactive digital signage is all about. This enables the context of advertising, product information or infotainment to be personalized according to one’s whims.
In a recent article, "A Lesson From the Agencies: Creating Successful DOOH Content," published by OutputMagazine.com, author Geny Caloisi highlights several examples of how important engaging content is to a more meaningful consumer experience.
The article quotes Sophie Burke of Zoom Media, who says, “...the majority of truly successful and innovative media campaigns involve an element of spontaneity - whether it's copy which can be adapted dynamically based on real-time data, or an interactive component which allows the consumer to get involved."
Additionally, the article quotes Nick Mawditt, global director of insight and marketing at Kinetic, a UK-based digital-out-of-home media company, who suggests that physical interactions are more useful than the more hyped gesture interaction. Mawditt relates, "If you touch a screen, you are engaging in a more personal and private level, even if it's in a public space. With gesture, the engagement is brief and people can feel self-conscious."
So there you have it in a nut shell; in the same way that mobile and Internet media benefits from relevant interactive media, digital signage campaigns can benefit by adding interactions of many kinds, which lead to a better, more helpful, or at least a more personalized experience. This is why engaging content matters to a digital communication strategy and why you should consider trying it on your next digital signage campaign. Add a comment
The VideoForge’s features full 3D support -- every pattern can be displayed in a 3D video format. The standard patterns will show the same image in both left and right eye frames. True stereo patterns are available from JPG and PNG files on the SD card. The VideoForge allows on/off gating for left and right eye images independently -- allowing for testing and measurement of stereo separation or left/right crosstalk.
Here are all the specs: http://www.avproalliance.com/pages/product-catalog-detail/AVFoundry_VideoForge Add a comment
First, find one or two resources and stick with them. Whether you subscribe to a journal such as Sustainable Industries or watch monthly webinars from the U.S. Green Building Council, try to find a medium that is comfortable with you and stick with it. Otherwise, there are so many fantastic and interesting resources out there that you can easily find yourself swimming (perhaps drowning) in a sea of them!
Next, I encourage you to go outside of the industry to discover emerging trends. You will learn about everything from B Corporations to Biomimicry. The idea is to take these innovations and apply the inspiration or concepts to our industry. Finally, engage in conversations! Get out there and start talking to sustainability experts. The best way to do that is to attend a conference that focuses on sustainability. Here are a handful you might consider:
- ISSP, International Society of Sustainability Professionals (May, Chicago): I like this one because it has a blend of our industry topics (green architecture) with some that may have relevance (sustainability in the industrial sector).
- AASHE, Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (November, Nashville): You will find a fantastic variety of topics that are relevant, not to mention an amazing opportunity to do targeted networking! This conference is where I first learned about the Living Building Challenge (I’m a fan).
- CISBAT International Conference (September, Lausanne, Switzerland): This is a good international option, focusing on topics around the built environment. It’s primarily solar and renewable energies, but I’ve learned quite a bit from this industry on power – or, more specifically – power management.
- ISSST – International Symposium on Sustainable Systems & Technologies (May, Cincinnati): This conference was formerly the IEEE International Symposium on Electronics and the Environment. It seems to have a great mix of sessions, including quite a few on technology, which sets it apart from some of the other conferences.
- SB13 Graz – Sustainable Building Conference 2013 (September, Graz, Austria): Another international conference, this one presents the interesting topic of “Blue Buildings and Green Products.” Also touches on Smart Cities (something we AV folks should be highly tuned into).
This is just a handful of some of the more unique and interesting conferences out there. Of course, you will always benefit from visiting the granddaddy of all green events, GreenBuild, or networking and learning at local events too. If attending a large conference like this just isn’t feasible, you should at least commit yourself to attending one or two sessions focused on sustainability at the industry events you do attend.
Whichever events or resources you choose, the key is to continue the conversation with peers and others both within and without the industry. It’s a great way to learn more while also staying encouraged and motivated. Do your best to take the information you gather, glean what might be useful to our industry and then apply to your work. That will be the key to innovation and help you sustain your Green AV initiatives.
The first generation energy saving index assigns subsidies to different screen size groups as follows:
China Energy Saving Subsidy (Unit: RMB)
The industry is buzzing about the new EEI criteria, which seems to favor larger sizes like 46” and above. The information shows that the EEI criteria for the new program could be as follows:
Our industry checks show that the 6 billion CNY budget of the current energy saving subsidy program was increased to 10 billion CNY by the end of 2012, after the Chinese government decided to raise the budget allocated to FPD TVs. This indicates that there is flexibility under the total budget of 26.5 billion CNY for all 5 home appliance categories. The increased budget allocation for FPD TVs helps TV sales, especially for local brands and panel makers. In the first round, 32” and 42” benefitted most from the structure of the program, and gained the most share of the three size groupings (19"-31", 32"-41" and 42” and larger).
It will be very interesting to see the higher EEI requirement against higher cost new products like UHD and D-LED, and whether the new subsidy program will encourage LCD TV makers to move towards larger sizes, especially for 46” and 36.5/37”, while 32” and 42” will have less support.
There is still a risk that the Chinese government will not allocate increased budget towards FPD TV due to excessive expense in the 1st program, but the EEI request will be a mandatory policy applied to all FPD TVs.
It is understandable that the government is looking to help out the TV industry, which has undergone a slowdown in recent quarters. There have been concerns about the impact on the market from the expiration of the current program without a replacement program in place. In the case of Japan, once the subsidies ended, demand fell dramatically, though it is not likely that the impact would have been as severe in the case of China. The impact from the most recent rounds of the latest subsidy program have seemed to be having less effect on demand stimulation and resulted primarily in more push from the supply side.
This column is reprinted with permission from DisplaySearch and originally appeared here. Add a comment
The new website features product information, technical specs and pricing with direct links for online buying. Each of three products can be downloaded directly from the website for a free 60-day trial period, and can be purchased and licensed for use through the site’s online portal:
APPOINT: This software is used to create, manage and schedule digital signage messages. The user-friendly interface lets users select a theme and layout, import and create content, and then schedule it for playback in either playlists or programs.
APPOINT Player: The player software runs on a small PC connected to a screen(s) and tells it what to play when.
APPOINTwmv: This application allows users to publish their PowerPoint presentations as videos and schedule them to playback in any digital signage software. This product offers everything in APPOINT with the exception of scheduling and player controls.
A digital signage blog also provides articles to educate and help basic users get started with their digital signage system.
The site is organized to allow quick, easy access to all of these resources. If a visitor is not sure where to look for specific information, a site-wide search engine and site map are provided.
You can see the site here: http://www.appointsignage.com Add a comment
To do this, the group has included ancient data collected on glass plates from more than one hundred years ago and incorporate this into the new age display technology that pushes the boundaries of presentation forms into the realm of 3D. The immersive experience 3D provides is unique, offering a teaching tool that can be acquired nowhere else, going beyond traditional lectures and PowerPoint slide presentations. ”We thought it would be a great way to try to bring the students in and expose them to Giza at a scale and in a way that they just they just can’t experience in a regular classroom,” Der Manuelian said.
The Harvard Earth and Planetary Sciences’ Visualization Facility includes:
- 23'x8' 3D cylindrical display (curved screen)
- Three edge-blended, high-resolution active stereo digital (Christie Mirage 2000) projectors
- 3D-Perceptions scaling unit (for edge-blending, geometry correction)
- Content source — Linux based O/S, 4 dual-core Opteron CPUs plus 128GB RAM, Nvidia Quadroplex D2
- Alternative content source — ScalableGraphics Windows DTC cluster, three Dell Precison PC (workstation), dual CPU, 48GB RAM, Nvidia FX Pro 5800, Mellanox Infiniband tertiary Linux image sources
- Stereo Graphics/RealD CrystalEyes Stereo Viewing eyewear
The interim step came over the past 10 years, with help from the Mellon Foundation, to convert the vast body of Reisner’s work to digital. But the point is not to just converting this mountain of research into digital data, it’s applying the knowledge, converting data into understanding and new academic insights generated from a collaborative experience. This is perhaps where 3D in education can play a significant role and make a lasting contribution.
“Relationships are what come to the forefront when you’re able to view Giza in this kind of 3D environment,” Der Manuelian said. ”...just how big the pyramids are, where the streets and alleyways have been built, the large and small ones. More importantly, the matrix relationships are so key to studying these archeological sites,” he said. This comprehensive view gives researchers ”...a feel for those relationships. You can get a sense of what’s above ground... we can dive underground and do things that no mortal can do,” he said of his use of 3D in education.
We think the future of 3D in education is wide open as it has already begun to attract a new generation of students, familiar and comfortable with cutting-edge technology now presenting “ancient” data in brand new ways. Researchers like Peter der Manuelian see the use of 3D technology as “...the next logical extension” in education, a technology that can “...link all this material together,” as evidenced by his new millennium course work at Harvard breathing new excitement and lifeblood into the field. And perhaps more importantly, new discoveries from 3D’s new perspective on data resurrected from a lifetime of dedication in Reisner’s great body of work; not to mention the untold treasures of research still waiting in dusty academic halls for its time of resurrection in the new 3D immersive experience sunlight. Add a comment
|This week Planar Systems announced that 3D Building Information Modeling (BIM) models of select Planar large format LCD displays and video walls are now available free through the Autodesk Seek web service.|
Autodesk Seek allows architects, engineers and designers to easily find, preview and download 3D models of Planar displays. They can then incorporate these models into their building plans without having to create the models themselves.
3D BIM models of three Planar product families are now available from the Autodesk Seek online content library, a web service that supplies free BIM models from a wide range of building product manufacturers. The models include Planar Mosaic architectural video walls, Clarity Matrix LCD video walls and Planar UltraLux Series large flat panel monitors. Each of these BIM models provides data-rich drawings and product specifications that accurately depict the displays and their options within Autodesk Revit, a market-leading 3D design platform.
Here are the details: http://www.planar.com
The ONE incorporates the same A3-S full-range, crossover-less driver as every Audience ClairAudient loudspeaker, along with a passive radiator. The A3-S is a full-range, high power, 12 millimeter excursion, "ultra-low distortion" transducer. Audience says it eliminates the need for a separate woofer, midrange driver, tweeter and crossover network -- and their inherent sonic compromises of sonically dissimilar drivers, phase distortions, loss of resolution and transient response degradation.
Available in a choice of high-gloss finishes including black, red, white and blue with black grilles, The ONE is a point source loudspeaker but without crossover. The ONE is direct-coupled to the amplifier it's connected to, enabling the full damping factor of the amplifier to be directly applied to the A3-S driver's voice coil. By allowing the amplifier, speaker cable and driver to act as a single coherent system, Audience says a level of control over the driver is achieved that is not possible with any speaker with a crossover.
The ONE presents a benign load to an amplifier, resulting in compatibility with a wide range of tube and solid-state amplifiers. The ONE is flat from 50 Hz to 20 kHz in-room response when placed on a desk or near a wall; a subwoofer is required for full-frequency response when The ONE is situated away from a wall.
Here are all the specs: http://www.audience-av.com/ Add a comment
Automated window coverings have been a growth category for AV pros for years now. In addition to growing demand from clients who desire both the convenience and energy savings that motorized shading offers, in the last year I’ve noticed a clear indication of its continued growth: Custom window covering companies are diving into automation, both manufacturers of shades and blinds and the otherwise décor-centric sales and design companies who’ve decided to get the motorization business in addition to the drapery business.
In some ways this mirrors the thinking behind the expansion of theater and entertainment seating in years past: Your customer is going to buy it anyway, so instead of letting them buy it from a furniture store get them to buy it from you!
If your company’s primarily been an AV focused firm in the past, don’t worry: Motorized window coverings are easy, and I’m about to make it easier.
First, swallow your AV nerd pride, and partner up with your client’s interior designer.
I know full well that, under normal circumstances AV pros and interior designers (DON’T call them decorators!) get along as well as Pirates and Ninjas. However, having professional interior designer on your side in your local marketplace is a huge asset, not just in terms of smoothing out disagreements on the jobsite, but also for lining up future business referrals.
Motorized window coverings is one category where both you and the designer can find common ground. Designers often show a great deal of interest in motorized shading, and since much of their ability to make their client’s dreams a reality comes from “knowing a guy,” you want to be their automation guy.
Beyond getting along, partnering with the designer is crucial because you need to know the intimate details of the designer’s choice of both the type of window coverings and the materials used.
So you’re going to have to learn to speak their language: horizontal, vertical, venetian, drapes, muslin, silk, plastic, bamboo and so on. Why? Because knowing exactly what kind of covering is going on each window, and their dimensions and mass is central to getting the job done.
There’s no such thing as a universal one-size-fits-all window shade motor, so the dealer is going to need to order an exact match from your shading vendor for each window. Think this through -- in a big house there, will be 20 or more unique motors on a single job.
Obviously, you need to take exact measurements. Since motorized window coverings are almost always made custom order, you need to measure each window area three times at least for each measurement: height, width, sill depth and casement offset. YOUR team needs to take these measurements too; don’t rely on getting them third hand from the general contractor, and don’t take the measurements on the architectural drawings at face value either.
Never mind “measure twice, cut once;” measure THREE TIMES, ORDER AND INSTALL ONCE.
That’s a lot of design work, especially for big homes, and it may seem like a hassle, but it’s nothing like the hassle that will come from having motor fixtures that won’t properly fit the client’s windows. That may sound daunting, but don’t worry: your team are trained professionals with great attention to detail. You’ll be fine.
Finally, develop a partnership with your motorized shading vendor.
Let me tell you a secret: Even if they haven’t met you yet, shading vendors love you and want your business.
The level of support you can expect from a shading vendor is well beyond anything you’re used to from AV manufacturers. The sales reps for these vendors typically have significant design and install experience, and will happily schedule time to meet the install team on a jobsite and do on-the-job training, from taking proper measurements to assisting in the final install.
That just makes sense. It’s in their best interests for dealers to be crack installers, and the investment in supporting dealers pays off in long term shading business. If only more manufacturers in the AV business felt that way…
First and foremost, we need to truly define the word “sustainability” without all the green wash. Webster’s defines sustainable as “capable of being sustained; of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted permanently or damaged beyond repair.” It is the capacity to endure. However since the 1980s, sustainability has transformed the meaning of human sustainability on the planet into the concept of sustainable development. In 1987, the Brundtland Commission of the United Nations defined sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
To achieve this, the 2005 World Summit of Social Development created what is now known as the “three pillars of sustainability” -- Environmental, Social Equality and Economic. The three circles diagram below shows how these three pillars are not mutually exclusive but interdependent on each other and are quite often referred to as the triple bottom line.
Sustainable development is seen as an oxymoron by many since development in and of itself prescribes destruction and some degree of environmental degradation to be successful. From this vantage point, the economy is a subsystem of human society. Human society is a subsystem of the biosphere. So a gain in one sector is a loss in another. A true universal definition has had difficulty in coalescing because of the political nature of it needing to be scientific and factual. Who gets to decide what is scientific and factual is at the center of the debate. Just mention global warming to a politician and you will see what I am referring to. The simple lay definition then is improving the human experience while living within the limits of the ecological systems in which we call Earth. This explanation sets up limits and conjures up political calls to action set around common goals and values. In particular, this not only can refer to human sustainability, but also incorporates situations and contexts over vast scales of space and time from the local to the global balance of consumption and production. It implies structured and agreed upon decision making, innovation and resolution that minimizes impact and maintains balance among the three pillars to ensure the desired results for all environments now and in the future. This is evident in the below famous Venn diagram showing the confluence and interdependence of the three pillars.
This is why many see sustainability as a purely “feel-good” mantra while to others it is a life or death concept. To add to the mix many have described sustainability as requiring that culture also be added to the model. Arts are significantly about culture and therefore have had some difficulty in fitting the three circle model efficiently. The emerging alternative known as the Circles of Sustainability looks at the economic side of the equation and asks why it is either central to the three-circle diagram or is located outside of the social as shown in the Venn diagram. The UN Global Impact Cities Programme uses this model (shown below) to further integrate real world challenges. What I find most interesting is that from a standpoint of the technology systems employed into the arts environments we design, this model represents a clear picture on the impact we can make with the systems we design and implement. I feel it also provides a clearer roadmap to the arts operators as to how to resolve sustainability from an operations standpoint.
So to head back to sustainability in the arts and how this all fits in, we have to look at how arts organizations function within the construct of the models. It is quite often apparent that from the social side of the equation, the arts ranks pretty high and has a clear track record of providing longevity to be sustainable. Let’s face it -- the arts have been around for thousands of years and don’t appear to be going anywhere soon although it has been economically more challenging in the last few decades here in the U.S.
Arts, throughout history, have provided thought and direction, cultural enlightenment, education, entertainment and most importantly, a way to communicate with our contemporaries. The essence of art is a three-legged stool -- one artist, one spectator, and one idea to communicate. At its simplest it is sustainable with no perceivable impact on the constructs of the model other than location. The arts can simply just be without fancy structures, lighting, sound, costumes or other amenities we have become accustomed to. This would easily be understood thousands of years ago to the first storytellers conveying their ideas to their peers under the sun or around the campfire. We, however, do not live in that world. We expect our arts to be in technologically rich environments with all the bells and whistles to capture our attention and imagination as it competes with other forms of entertainment. This does not make for a very sustainable practice from an economical sense or and environmental one as arts are inherently energy inefficient but from a social and cultural has proved vital. This is not to say the other areas are not impacted.
Modern arts organizations do have a significant outward impact on the economy in which they reside. They provide jobs within their venues and help to maintain the economic engine of surrounding businesses such as restaurants and retail. If they are successful, they may generate a profit or other financial endowments that allow them to maintain their contribution for generations to come. This is a huge boost to local economies and has been well documented by the Theater Communications Group, which provides many studies on the economic impact of arts facilities on communities. Where most fall short is in the impact and inefficiencies of their operations. Much of this is a result of tradition in the way art is produced but is often out of financial hardship as not-for-profits often struggle for operating capital. As a consultant, we often work with our clients to investigate their operations and see how efficiencies can be gained to better the financial burden of operating what generally is a substantially intensive and expensive venture. Generally easy targets can be in building systems such as HVAC and lighting (two usually large bills). It often extends into the environmental side of operations in that resources are used more efficiently then they save money. What has to be the driver is that a measurable benefit must be seen and felt by the company otherwise there will be a perceived failure on their part making it less likely that they continue with the strategy.
In the first part of this article, I want to examine the built environment. If an arts company has decided to make improvements or renovate a facility, we have the opportunity to work directly with them to better their operations as well as provide them with a better building. Most arts building owners are by now well aware of the U.S. Green Building Council and the LEED rating system or maybe even other rating systems that can help guide them towards a better facility with lower operating costs from a building operations perspective. The key is for us to help educate the clients on how their operations will be impacted by the decisions made during the design and construction of their project. This truly means that operations and the design and construction of a facility are not separate issues. They have to be dealt with together to achieve the maximum benefit. This includes not only building operations, but also production operations as well.
It surely would also benefit organizations from engaging with consultants to evaluate their operations -- both from a facilities side and a production side -- to see if there are changes that can be made to improve their operating costs. This may lead to a construction project or a technology refresh that was not necessarily planned but can have an overall impact on the triple bottom line. Here is where a good understanding of what the client can expect as a return on their investment is a benefit to you and the client. This is not exclusive to the arts but there are usually much larger technology systems in these venues that are driven by larger than normal energy demands and operating costs.
What you may be unaware of is just how informed an arts organization is on strategies to improve their process. There are now several organizations for the arts dedicated exclusively to sustainability, including the Broadway Green Alliance, The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts and Julie’s Bicycle to name a few. Other trade organizations such as InfoComm, USITT, ESTA and PLASA also have had many sustainability initiatives. Many festival and arts organizers are having competitions and are sharing ideas or producing demonstrations of sustainable arts practices. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, for example, held a competition in 2012 for the most sustainable production that included the facility as well as the performance. Also, for instance, I took part in the first Sustainable Practice in the Arts summit this past summer in Minneapolis with many colleagues who are practitioners in a two-day summit discussing ways of being more sustainable within their arts organizations beyond just what the building can provide. They are informed and eager to work with you on the sharing of ideas and strategies. We need to embrace that, nurture it and find ways to lead the conversation.
When looking at the built environment, many of these are in facilities made during the great experimental architecture period of the ‘60s and ‘70s, many of which fail miserably when it comes to efficient building systems. Energy was cheap (at least until the Oil Embargo of the mid-1970s). Others are in older buildings usually made in the 1920-30s that are on historic registries. These buildings are expensive to renovate and even more expensive to maintain. Their mechanical and electrical systems are in dire need of upgrade and usually are not up to capacity of a modern production. The technology itself can be old and out of date and require extensive overhaul to bring to safe, current, working condition. Modern new facility construction is the best opportunity to create a demonstrable efficient environment that truly is sustainable for the arts organization. Our work as technology designers who should understand the ins and outs of operations within these facilities can be a key driver in how the final outcome shapes up.
For these projects to be successful, sustainability must be an identified and agreed upon goal as the single most important thing you can do for the arts organization. It simply must be understood that the majority of these projects are funded through donations from foundations, corporations and private citizens who are favorable to an arts institution. They must for that very reason be excellent stewards of the generosity of their patrons. This can differ very much from the corporate or other for-profit markets where the costs are born entirely by that entity. Many times the donating party will require a measure of a sustainability goal and we have seen more operations pro formas being tied to this as well. They simply do not want to donate money to an organization for a building that will not be sustainable in every sense of the word.
So having that defined and mutual goal will actually make it relatively easy to achieve. Understanding the trade-offs of providing sustainable solutions and the ROIs will go a long way to the success of the project. As an example, you could prove to a client that a digital audio retrofit can be ultimately more sustainable as it may require fewer conduits, wire and installation time, which may save them money on the labor and infrastructure during construction. This is even though the cost of the components may cost more than an analog system. Proving out efficiencies in the operation of a digital audio solution regarding set up time and strike from a production standpoint as well as inherent ease of use is also critical to acceptance by the owner/operator of the facility. They also may achieve a benefit of being able to reduce power consumption and heat load, as more often than not the digital systems have incorporated many levels of functionality that would typically take many pieces of equipment to achieve with an analog system. Doing this as an afterthought will ultimately result in a less efficient design and more costs to the owner.
As designers, it is our responsibility to understand lifecycle costs analysis by working with manufacturers to know where the product comes from and if there are end-of-life programs that they may offer. If they don’t have this information readily available, then a great alternative is to have an answer for the client as to what to do with gear when it does reach the end of its useful life. Also, make sure you understand the power demands, monitoring and control options and that the client is clear about these systems and how they benefit them from a usability standpoint and an operations/economic benefit. Without conveying this they may not have that perceived value and think it to be ineffective and a waste of resources and money.
As designers we also have to look, as I mentioned previously, in the operations side and work with the client to better their production operations. You may be surprised what they are already doing and that you may have opportunity to offer other ideas. For instance, in an arts organization’s facility, there has to be a way to separate materials for recycling especially in a producing house where shop space exists. Productions often have dual carbon footprints -- once when they are built, and once when they are struck and the end of the production. Reuse of materials can be critical and has the potential to save time, money and the environment. This means that working with the rest of the design team and the owner to identify storage requirements for stored materials has got to be part of the plan for sustainability.
There is inherent value in stock costumes, platforms, flats, cables, loudspeakers, projectors, hardware, etc. but these do need to be stored within a reasonable distance to the stage. Simply moving these items to an offsite location may seem the best economical solution within a project’s budget, but you may just be moving costs to operations and ultimately creating an unsustainable model as there will be time necessary for travel to the site possibly with multiple trips -- most likely using an inefficient vehicle such as a van or stake bed truck for delivery. Every effort should be made by the design team to incorporate adequate storage onsite to minimize impact on operations, which will beget a more sustainable activity.
We can offer now more efficient technology solutions now that are using less electricity, generate less heat, have more controllability, better standby power and take less physical space during the production or when in storage. We now have a multitude of power distribution systems that have true intelligence to them by manufacturers such as Furman, Middle Atlantic and Lyntec. Ultimately this will work to reduce the total power demand to the building and result in the need for less cooling capacity. Communicating this to the building design team and to the owner is critical to staying on the path of sustainability.
Daylighting (a fancy word for having widows) within the facility, particularly within the performance venue itself is a great way to help with the overall building sustainability goals but can wreak havoc on a production without excellent blackout capability, which requires shades of some sort and a control system. Who better to be part of that strategy that those of us who provide control for so many other things? But we need to have that conversation with the team.
And what about heating and cooling needs? Making sure the mechanical engineer on the project understands the true demands of a well-designed system can significantly reduce HVAC systems. Fan wall technology and variable fan drives (VFDs) provide a smarter solution that runs on demand rather than all the time. These strategies also reduce low frequency noise requiring smaller silencers, duct-work and a reduced footprint which means possible more storage space.
Alternative power generation (wind and solar) may now be economically feasible with a reduced power demand by smart performance systems tied into a well-integrated building management system. In older facilities that may have a steam generation system with waste heat, you may look for opportunities to co-op the system during non-peak hours to adjacent tenants. This could potentially create cash flow for other operations costs such as purchasing gear for productions.
End of life opportunities should also truly be vetted out with the design team and owner/operator. Having a plan as to what happens to the production systems after the show is over is critical to discuss with the owner as part of a comprehensive operations plan. Minimizing waste on the tail end and designing the production around what will happen after the show closes can be a great benefit to the organization reducing costs and potential landfill material. Having that storage is a great way to start. Possibly reselling or donating no longer needed equipment (in good working order of course), or finding e-cycling opportunities for no longer functioning electronics should also be part of the plan. Regularly scheduled equipment maintenance and actually having a plan to keep the place clean and organized will help to extend the life and service of technology for future productions.
This just scratches the surface on opportunities to work with facility owners and design teams for renovation projects or new construction. The second part of this will look at the traveling and temporary arts and what can be done to be more sustainable when you don’t have a home.
In addition to its clean-cut form, this design is appealing thanks to its concealed dual motorized incline relax system. This system allows the user to control the movement of the seating part, position of the footrest and adjust the height of the headrest independently. All are controlled from a push-button in the armrest.
The D-BOX ready option is also available on single and double seats.
Here are the details: http://www.cineak.com/seating/media-living-room/stratoplus/ Add a comment
This is a tragedy and should be and will be investigated. And, in addition to monitoring the condition of the mother, we also need to be watching this story for who will get the blame. Is it the airport's responsibility to make sure the digital signage is safe, is it the integrator's responsibility to make sure it meets code for the structure (whether or not they designed the system) or is it the state's responsibility to monitor these types of installs -- much like they monitor the safety of elevators?
I am not sure where this will end up, but we all better be watching this and take note as safety of giant electrical/digital signs will soon be monitored and the responsibility of one of these three groups. And, as I am sure you are all going to call operations to make sure you are insured properly, I'd think learning the codes and safety regulations to keep everyone safe once these things have been installed is the most important issue at hand.
The thoughts and prayers of the entire rAVe Team go out to the Bresette family. You can monitor their progress via the eldest daughter's twitter feed here: https://twitter.com/anna_bresette
Photo via ABC News Add a comment
The TeamWork system is designed for simple, intuitive operation with a minimum of training. Users simply connect their laptop or tablet to a TeamWork "Show Me" cable to start the system, then press the "Share" button to display their content on the presentation display. When done, users simply disconnect and walk away, and the TeamWork system automatically turns itself off and is ready for the next collaboration session. The TeamWork collaboration system is HDCP-compliant and supports full resolution, full frame rate digital video up to 1080p/60 and analog computer-video up to 1920x1200. Each TeamWork system package is complete and ready for installation, and includes HDMI "Show Me" cables, a switcher, a system controller, a Cable Cubby enclosure with four US AC outlets, and other necessary system cables. TeamWork supports legacy analog computer sources with the optional TeamWork VGA Kit. Mounting hardware is also optionally available to facilitate different collaboration table or work surface designs.
Here are all the specs for the TeamWork 400: http://www.extron.com/product/product.aspx?id=tw400&s=5
Here are all the specs for the TeamWork 600: http://www.extron.com/product/product.aspx?id=tw600&s=5 Add a comment
Kramer says the VP−690 automatically detects and selects the audio source for the HDMI input. If HDMI is not detected, then the it uses the audio from the analog input.
The VP−690 has 20 output resolutions, a looping 3G HD−SDI input and a non−volatile memory that saves the unit settings. Control is via front panel push buttons, by RS−232 or via Ethernet.
Here are all the specs: http://www.kramerus.com Add a comment
The JR is a lightweight basic projector mount that features two points of adjustment for both pitch and roll, which simplifies the alignment of projectors weighing less than 50 pounds. A pre-assembled, two-piece design with integrated cord management and 1.5” NPT compatibility enables pre-wiring for a quick and easy installation. A universal design facilitates hole patterns up to 380 millimeters in diameter. It offers an intuitive quick release mechanism and lists for $99.
The JR2 is a mid-level, two-piece projector mount that features heavy-duty all steel construction in a low profile, pre-assembled package. Twelve adjustment points are included -- six for pitch and six for roll to ensure that even heavier projectors or those mounted off-center of gravity stay in place without slipping after installation. A universal design fits hole patterns up to 460 millimeters in diameter and a click-in-place quick release allows easy removal for projector bulb replacement without losing preset picture adjustments. It can handle projectors up to 70 pounds and lists for $117.
Crimson’s JR3 allows for precise adjustments without the use of tools. A unique lead screw mechanism ensures precise adjustments; simply rotate the large, easy to grip knobs to make all necessary adjustments during installation. Heavy-duty construction makes JR3 SyncPro ideal for larger projectors and/or those with an off-center lens, and a universal design fits hole patterns up to 380 millimeters in diameter. Additional legs expand the range to cover any large or irregular mounting hole patterns, and an intuitive quick release mechanism enables easy removal for projector bulb replacement without losing preset picture adjustments. It lists for $169 and can handle up to 70 pounds.
Here are all the specs: http://www.crimsonav.com Add a comment
Here are all the specs: http://www.screeninnovations.com Add a comment
The B207MP3 is compact and light enough to be mounted on a mic stand, while the 6.5” full-range driver provides heavy-duty sonic performance. A Class-D amplifier and internal switch-mode power supply pumps out 150 watts, and additional active loudspeakers can be linked via a convenient THRU socket, making the B207MP3 ideal for use as a main system in more intimate venues.
The EUROLIVE B207MP3 will arrive at U.S. retailers in Q2 and list for $249.99.
To see all the specs, click here: http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/B207MP3.aspx Add a comment
The results are in and Almo Professional A/V has been named the “Most Used and Favorite Distributor” following the results of a survey conducted by rAVe - with more than 3,800 responses. Parent company, Almo Corporation, has also been selected as one of the Philly.com 2013 Top Workplaces in Philadelphia.
The rAVe survey was sent to readers of rAVe ProAV Edition, with more than 4,200 responses received. Results showed that of the 93 percent of AV dealers and integrators who buy from distributors regularly, Almo Pro A/V not only was voted the “most used” distribution company, but also ranked as the favorite.
“To see that the nation’s AV resellers, integrators and consultants are choosing Almo Pro A/V first confirms that our formula for taking care of our partners’ distribution requirements works — we truly care about their success,” explained Warren Chaiken, president and COO for Almo Corporation. “We have assembled a high caliber team of sales, business development and marketing talent while aligning with a carefully selected group of manufacturers. We augment this with the most in-depth training and education programs available to continually help our partners boost their businesses and stay profitable.”
According to Gary Kayye, founder of rAVe Publications, “The results of the survey speak for themselves. Integrators notice when distributors are focused on them verses making AV just part of a giant product offering or as an ‘oh, by the way, we do AV too’ approach to distribution.”
The Philly.com Top Workplaces are determined based solely on employee feedback. The employee survey is conducted by WorkplaceDynamics, LLP, a leading research firm on organizational health and employee engagement. Almo Corporation is one of 100 companies in the Philadelphia region selected for the 2013 Top Workplaces award.
“It is a great honor for Almo Corporation to win this award, but to me it is not a surprise,” said Sam Taylor, executive vice president and COO for Almo Professional A/V. “Gene and Warren Chaiken treat their employees like an extended family. They have a created a workplace where people enjoy coming to work and love the company they are working for. People come to work for Almo and they stay because of the positive business environment.”Add a comment
Annual global LCD TV shipments declined for the first time ever in 2012, down 1 percent to 203 million, according to the latest findings published in the NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Advanced Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report. Q4 was the only quarter to see any growth, rising 0.6 percent, but it was not enough to offset declines from the first three quarters. The preliminary outlook for LCD TV growth in 2013 is cautious, despite significant reductions in demand for plasma and CRT TV and global economic conditions that continue to be challenging.
“Global demand for LCD TVs declined 18 percent Y/Y in developed regions in 2012, and the growth in emerging markets was not nearly enough to offset this decline in some of the world’s highest volume regions,” observed Paul Gagnon, director of global TV research for NPD DisplaySearch. “Economic conditions certainly had an impact on demand, but a very mild price erosion also played a role, as global average selling prices for flat panel TVs fell a mere 2 percent Y/Y in 2012 compared to a 5 percent decline in 2011 and double digit declines in 2010.”
Total global TV shipments fell over 6 percent Y/Y in 2012, from 249 million to 233 million. On a regional basis, North America shipments were essentially flat in comparison to 2011, with the US accounting for 89.7 percent of North American volume according to new data available from NPD DisplaySearch. However, shipments to both Japan and Western Europe fell sharply, declining 68 percent and 15 percent Y/Y, respectively. China was once again the world’s largest market for TV shipments, with demand rising 6 percent to nearly 52 million, signaling the first time any region has reached an annual volume of more than 50 million. Growth slowed in the other emerging regions, including Asia Pacific, MEA, and Latin America, all of which declined in volume. Eastern Europe was the only region with strong growth in 2012, rising 17 percent Y/Y in volume as analog to digital transitions drove purchasing.
Source: NPD DisplaySearch Quarterly Advanced Global TV Shipment and Forecast Report
Samsung Reaches New Flat Panel TV Revenue Share Record in 2012
Samsung’s global flat panel TV revenue share reached a new record high of 27.7 percent in 2012, up from 25 percent in 2011, with total flat panel TV revenues increasing 6 percent Y/Y. LGE ranked second in 2012, with the company’s shipments accounting for 15 percent of global flat panel TV revenues and also enjoying revenue growth during the year.
Japanese brands Sony, Panasonic and Sharp rounded out the top 5 global flat panel TV brands on a revenue basis, but their collective share declined 6 percent in 2012. The revenue share for all Japanese brands fell by over 8 percent as their focus shifted from volume to profits. Japanese TV brands have also been hit hard by the massive decline in the Japanese TV market. Chinese TV brands experienced strong growth in 2012, because domestic growth was strong, but they also gained share outside of China. Collectively, Chinese TV brands accounted for more than 20 percent of global flat panel TV revenues and are aggressively targeting expansion overseas.
In a perfect world, you would run your business with a 100 percent just-in-time inventory system,
where you order only what customers have purchased and only when you need it. But unfortunately, that's not realistic. Through project change orders, swap-outs and exchanges, repairs, manufacturer purchase incentives and other unforeseen circumstances, you end up with unwanted inventory sitting on shelves doing nothing but collecting dust and tying up your cash.
Invenshare.com, developed by systems integrators for systems integrators, is a new private, online marketplace that connects dealers’ inventory in the cloud. You can easily and quickly add your excess and unwanted inventory. When you need something, instantly search by manufacturer or model number. When you find what you need, you can purchase, make an offer, or even offer to TRADE for the product you need. It’s all built into the InvenShare.com. system.
Integrators can get more information and view videos on how it works at www.Invenshare.com.Add a comment
The KNX Gateway maps specific data points of each KNX device to a unit or thermostat number on the HAI by Leviton controller. The interface between the KNX Gateway and the HAI by Leviton controller utilizes a RS-485 serial connection. Compatible controllers include the OmniPro II, Omni IIe, Omni LTe, Lumina Pro and Lumina. The KNX Gateway is powered either via a PoE Ethernet connection or 12-24V AC/DC.
Learn more here: http://www.homeauto.com/main.asp Add a comment
The Chesapeake Energy Arena is home to the NBA team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, but also hosts concerts and other first-class events throughout the year. Content is set on a two-minute loop with 8-, 10- or 12-second animations that rotate throughout the event. The objective of these boards is a combination of informing our customer base, promoting our brand and upcoming events, as well as sponsor advertising.
Three main challenges were faced in the beginning phase of the project. Due to the size of a few of our boards, creating animation-heavy content proved to be too laborious for the machines. Constantly looking for solutions hindered the workflow and the overall efficiency of the creative process.
Preparing content for play-out became the next challenge. The system Oklahoma City Thunder uses requires individual movies for each monitor in the display wall. For example, one display wall is composed of 22 monitors meaning 22 movies for each message.
Due to storage constraints coupled with the file size of the animations, finding the best codec for the system became another challenge.
Two solutions for creating content for the larger boards were found. The first solution consisted of breaking the animation into three main regions. Then those regions were synchronized to make the full animation. The second solution, which was found to have more upside, was to build the animations half-size. This created a more efficient design process for many reasons.
To prepare the content for play-out, templates were created in After Effects to streamline the process.
Finding the best codec for the system involved trial and error. Based on the contraints faced, WMV worked the best.
The new digital signage program provided a lift of over $1 million of incremental sponsorship sales. The dynamic nature of the platform, allowing for customized and fluid messaging, enhanced the advertiser value and is driving opportunities to add more boards throughout our venue. Additionally, it provides a canvas for institutional messaging that is consistent with our brand attributes — bold, colorful, dynamic and real-time content that is tailored to the event. Finally, the opportunity to drive event attendees to specific points of interest, concession stands, merchandise kiosks, etc. has improved the guest experience as well.
This case study was reprinted with permission from the Digital Signage Connection and originally appeared here. Add a comment
Important tasks? Absolutely.
But if project managers are busy doing these important tasks, what are they not doing? Proactively coordinating the interdependencies among a project’s subcontractors; ensuring that the deliverables preceding their teams’ tasks are on-schedule to be completed; identifying, assessing, preventing and/or responding to risk events; keeping all of the key stakeholder’s expectations aligned; managing the integrity of the performance management baselines; and requesting and implementing change requests when necessary.
Too many small and mid-sized (and some large) companies eliminate their project administrative support staff because they see it as a cost savings — a way to cut their overhead. They then add all those administrative tasks to the project manager’s role and assume they will magically get done. Now the project manager has two jobs, and in my experience, administrative tasks are not high on a project manager’s wish list or skill set. Especially for project managers who come from a technical background.
So what’s the myth of this overhead? I would much rather have a project coordinator or administrator, billing a project at $20 to $25 an hour, working on that first list of tasks, than have a project manager, billing out at $80 to $100 an hour, fulfilling those same tasks. Not to mention most good project coordinators can support more than one project manager.
Companies that utilize their project administrative staff well, and bill them to the project, usually see a cost savings to the project because it frees up the project manager to go and proactively solve problems and/or dramas, which typically increase the ultimate cost of a project.
So I’d like companies to consider: What’s really the role of a mature project manager? And what’s the true value of a project coordinator?
This column was reprinted with permission from InfoComm and originally appeared here. Add a comment
InfoComm University Tracks
InfoComm University offers a comprehensive range of programs to address the diverse skills and interests of attendees. It includes:
- Pre-Show Education — three-day “total immersion” technical courses
- Super Tuesday — full day sessions prior to the show floor opening, including the popular Future Trends
- Daybreak Sessions — designed to tackle training subjects before the show floor opens
- Seminars and Workshops — one-and-a-half to two-hour seminars focus on AV systems and technology, and special four-hour workshops on everything from networking for AV professionals to incorporating video streaming and managing an AV department
- AV Tech Tours — tours of top AV installations in Orlando
- AV Systems Technology
- Networked AV Systems
- Business & Management
- Technology Manager
- Staging and Live Events
- Digital Signage
- First Timers
- Women in Technology Symposium
- Unified Communications and Collaboration
- Wireless Trends
- Technology Managers Symposium
- Digital Image Content in Live Event Production
- CTS-D & CTS-I Symposium, focusing on the AV Systems Verification Checklist
- Future Trends
- Business Leadership Workshop
InfoComm 2013, the largest commercial audiovisual show, expects 35,000 attendees including commercial service providers and end-user technology managers from wide-ranging market sectors, including business, government, military, education, worship, healthcare, hospitality, retail and entertainment.
Register for InfoComm today using code MCTRA at http://www.infocommshow.org Add a comment
Despite its size, the EPS500MP3 is integrated with an 8-channel powered mixer that can be left attached to the back of the speaker or detached for easy positioning and access. Channels 1 - 4, which feature BEHRINGER's XENYX mic preamps, accept balanced XLR mics, as well as balanced and unbalanced ¼” line-level sources. Phantom power is provided for studio-grade condenser mics and each channel has its own 2-band EQ. Stereo channels accommodate both RCA and ¼” inputs.
Here are the specs: http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/EPS500MP3.aspx Add a comment
To safeguard close-range installations, the W1080ST also features an "Auto Blank" mode that blocks light output when objects are detected in front of the lens. Especially useful for coffee-table setups and other short-throw scenarios in small spaces, the mode avoids flashing light directly in users' eyes when crossing the projection.
Here are all the specs: http://www.benq.us/product/projector/w1080st Add a comment
ATS 2.5 is an enterprise software system for automated audio processing in file–based workflows. The system conforms to the CALM Act, ATSC A/85, EBU R 128, ITU-R BS.1770, ARIB TR-B32 and OP-59, providing specialized workflows that apply loudness control optimized for different targets and platforms. Unlike existing digital or media asset management (DAM or MAM) systems, ATS 2.5 thoroughly addresses loudness control problems and automatically handles the audio essence without compromise. The result is easier administration, reduced manual loudness management, and greater peace of mind for engineers and executives during postproduction.
Here are the details: http://www.minnetonkaaudio.com/index.php Add a comment
Sam, who is the current COO and executive vice president of Almo Pro A/V, is one of those people that you just can’t help but like and respect.
Sam started in AV in 1987 as a regional sales manager for Electrograph Systems. He worked his way up through the ranks and was president of the company from 1995-2009. Sadly, in 2009, Electrograph suffered at the hands of the recession and went out of business.
But Sam didn’t let that stop him.
“I was so fortunate at the time. I was able to take 22 of my best people from Electrograph and bring them with me to start the Almo Pro A/V division,” Sam said. “And in just four years, we’ve built the Almo Pro A/V division from $0 to over $160 million a year. But it’s all been because of the people. They’re great, knowledgable people and we started with a strong and solid team.”
What you may not know about Sam is that he’s not only been successful professionally, but also outside of the “9 to 5” - as a swimmer.
As a little kid, Sam took up swimming and playing baseball, but quickly, Sam learned that he was much better at swimming than baseball and began to focus all of his energy in the pool.
He went on to swim in high school and then in college at Johns Hopkins University. His first THREE years at Johns Hopkins he, along with his teammates, were able to bring home THREE Division III NCAA national championships.
It was while he was at Johns Hopkins that he met his wife, Blair. They were the same year in school and both swam on the team, but they didn’t begin dating until after college.
Sam took a break from swimming shortly after college and focused on his career, his new wife and raising three wonderful children, Lauren, Nick and Leah.
But, it wouldn’t be long before Sam knew he needed to jump back in the pool.
Sam continued to swim throughout his adulthood and swam competitively until five years ago.
It was in 2008 when Sam took FOURTH at Masters Nationals (that means he was fourth in the COUNTRY), but he unfortunately experienced a semi-career-ending injury.
“It was 2008. I was swimming the 100 fly in Masters Nationals and I knew that I had done something to my shoulder during the swim,” recalled Sam. “My daughter Lauren had come down to Austin to see me swim. Afterwards, we went out to dinner to celebrate and I had ordered a margarita. When I went to squeeze the lime with my thumb and forefinger, I almost passed out from the pain. I knew I had done something bad.”
It turns out Sam had torn his shoulder in four places, thus ending his competitive swimming career.
Now, Sam continues to swim to stay in shape... and eat more.
But it hasn’t stopped there.
A few years ago, Sam had developed a relationship with the head coach of the Johns Hopkins swim team. They’d get together for lunch a couple times a year and Sam would check to see how the team was doing.
One day coach asked Sam if he wanted to help out. And since then, Sam has coached the Johns Hopkins team on a volunteer basis about two days a week.
When he stated coaching, the teams were finishing about 10th in the country.
Today, the men’s team is ranked 3rd and the women’s team is ranked 5th. In fact, as I was interviewing Sam, he was in Houston, Tex. for the NCAA Division III championships. The team was almost in first place at the time of press. Woo hoo!
But it’s not just the swimming success that makes Sam proud.
“I am so proud of our women’s team,” he said. “Last year our women's team finished with the second highest GPA of any women's Division III swim team in the country. We have one girl on our team who is a Rhode's Scholar and one who has the HIGHEST GPA of any Division III swimmer in the nation. She has a 3.97 GPA and she is a molecular biology major. But what that all tells me is these kids work so hard in the classroom and so hard in the pool, and it’s really a fulfilling hobby to have.”
It’s not just the enjoyment that Sam has received from swimming and coaching all these years, it’s the lessons he’s learned and the experience he’s gained.
“There are a lot of similarities between managing people and coaching a team,” said Sam. “You try to get people to believe in themselves and their abilities - stretch for their goals - in a good way. And honestly, my philosophy in life is you learn more from the failures than the successes. One of the most important things sports teaches you is how to lose. In life, you’re going to fail. You’re going to lose. Bad things are going to happen. While winning is nice, it’s not about that - it’s about how you react when those bad things happen that defines you. It teaches you to carry on and do the right things.
“It’s all about making lemonade out of lemons.”
I couldn’t agree more. I think many of us could learn a lot of somethings from Sam.
Both projectors have an HDMI and VGA input and include a 1.2x optical zoom lens. They also have LAN control content sending capabilities.
You can get all the specs here: http://www.sharp-pdd.com/Home/Passthroughs/SharpStartLoginPage/tabid/56/Default.aspx?returnurl=%2fdefault.aspx Add a comment
AmpliVox’s Acrylic Lecterns are more contemporary in style, with each lectern manufactured from thick plexiglass sheets in either clear or smoked finishes, in a wide range of styles. They ship fully assembled and ready to use. Customized front panels are available in most models of lecterns, which also feature a range of wood and metal accent choices. The logo complements the lectern’s materials while still allowing a clear view of the speaker.
Here are the details: http://www.ampli.com/lecterns-and-podiums/3525-Contemporary-Acrylic-and-Aluminum-Lectern.aspx Add a comment
But all of this data can be both a blessing and a curse: While a plethora of more detailed information can enrich the quality of decision-making, it can also overwhelm operators if not properly managed. Successful incident handling lies in effectively utilizing this data to make smarter, faster decisions. The key to smoother operations and improved outcomes? Collaboration.
Information Shared is Power Squared
Today’s control room discussions are no longer centered around display wall management. Gone are the days when maximizing pixels, optimizing image layouts, and managing a giant, common operational picture, were the only issues of concern to supervisors. The current trend calls for enhancing collaboration to improve situational awareness, both within and outside the control room.
There is a monumental shift in focus from the display wall to the communications infrastructure which drives it, with the goal of enabling fast, easy distribution of data and video among all stakeholders, from operators to field engineers, from managers to customer service reps. The most robust solutions empower users to not only create and share dynamic perspectives of events and situations, but to facilitate widespread collaboration, which ultimately leads to better decision-making in mission-critical environments.
Real-Time Image Distribution
The distributed architecture of networked visualization, by its very nature, enables users to capture and share video content with an unlimited number of display stations via a standard Ethernet network. Any user on the network can mirror content from the main display on their own workstation, manipulate image windows to create different perspectives, and “push” the customized content to the main video wall – or any other networked display – for further analysis and action. This fluid, continuous process enables all users to simultaneously share information, a key advantage in highly volatile environments like emergency response, traffic management and power generation.
The IP network platform enables true shared situational awareness, providing insights far beyond what any single person can see in a situation. Networked collaboration extends knowledge from the individual to the team in real-time, enriching the opportunities for analysis and problem resolution.
Playback Essential for Knowledge-Building
The most robust net-centric visualization platforms provide screen recording, archiving and playback capabilities, enabling managers to review past events for in-depth analysis in debriefing sessions. The ability to show in detail how an incident unfolded and was resolved offers a valuable learning opportunity for control room personnel and other stakeholders.
This functionality is also useful for training control room operators and other staff responsible for monitoring, assessing and responding to situations. Again, by visually re-enacting past events, control room supervisors can educate current and incoming staff on how to handle critical situations, enabling them to better anticipate and respond to incidents as a team.
Anything In, Anything Out Foundation
Any networked visualization platform should be designed using an open Application Programming Interface (API) with conformation to communications standards to facilitate easy integration with other operational systems, commercial video camera systems and ancillary products used in the configuration of a comprehensive networked visualization solution. For example, in a security and surveillance center, all of an organization’s disparate physical devices can be seamlessly integrated to form a global intelligent security system which enables users to monitor, manage, and collaborate on situations. The result: one large common operating view of all situations and their current status distributed to any display on the network.
The “anything in, anything out” capability found in industry-leading software and controllers enables operators to quickly view any content from any source, on any part of the display wall, as well as any networked display. This vastly improves efficiency, expands and enhances views and facilitates collaboration to reduce response times to incidents.
Scalable, Cost-Effective Growth
Scalability of a networked visualization platform is also a big bonus when it comes to exploiting the latest cloud-based architectures. By foregoing the typical chassis-based architecture for today’s IP-centric platforms, companies can expand their network by simply adding an unlimited number of I/Os by linking to additional, external components. In fact, with the proliferation of high-speed Ethernet networks and anticipated wider-scale application of the AVB standard, opportunities for growth are virtually unlimited.
By using the existing IP network infrastructure, a universal visualization platform can transcend the control room to make information omnipresent throughout the organization – reducing installation and maintenance costs. An IP platform also enables remote asset management, allowing proactive control room maintenance and support for additional cost savings.
The result: increased system flexibility, wider area information sharing and collaboration and a clear, cost-effective technology migration path. In other words, just what every control room manager needs for performance and peace of mind.
Peter Bussens currently guides the company’s worldwide market development and long-term business strategies in the control rooms and virtual reality markets. He has been with Barco for more than 13 years, holding various positions in market development and product management. During this time, he has been deeply involved in bringing to market Barco’s visualization products and control room software for the broadcast, telecommunications, public utilities, process control, traffic control, surveillance and command & control applications industries, developing a profound understanding of the visualization needs in 24/7 mission critical environments. Bussens holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering – Electronics from IHR Gent, Belgium. He has also served as a Director in the Members’ Board of the International Association of Broadcasting Manufacturers (IABM) since August 2011.
Barco released a video this week about smart cities, which you can see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5UTz4uIuaw&list=UU2zgx2gJoSzTCx9PW186Wtw&index=2
For more information about Barco, click here: http://www.barco.com
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Here are the complete specs: http://www.crestron.com/resources/product_and_programming_resources/catalogs_and_brochures/online_catalog/default.asp?cat=1041 Add a comment
The UTAH-100/UDS 4K routers bring 4K signal management solution to the growing world of UHD television. Routers in this new series are available in 32x32, 64x64, and 144x144 matrix sizes, and they offer the same control options as the successful UTAH-100/UDS routers introduced in 2012. Complementing the new 4K routers will be a 4K signal-processing module that provides multiplexing and demultiplexing of 1.5 Gbps and 3 Gbps streams to and from the 6 Gbps format.
This modular system is based on I/O modules with 16 ports, interconnected by a crosspoint fabric that allows any input signal to feed any number of output ports. For mixed-signal applications, the new 4K routers can also be fitted with 3G cards from the UTAH-100/UDS family, providing a full range of connectivity options including coax, fiber, IP-video and DVI/HDMI interfaces.
The UTAH-100/UDS 4K routers are controlled and monitored through a built-in Web interface that allows users to operate the system from a Web browser for local or remote control. Hardware control panels and an iPad® app are also available to control the routers.
Here are the specs: http://www.utahscientific.com/ Add a comment
Yet industry insiders are not the target audience. Tens of thousands of attendees flock to see, hear and learn about how new technologies, systems and processes can help them in their context. Almost hidden amongst this mass of humanity are attendee name badges hung limply on sponsored lanyards with names like “Church of God,” “First Baptist,” “New Life,” “Fellowship” and “Community Church.” Dressed more or less the same as their corporate, government and education counterparts, these church delegates are standing in the same lines, watching the same demos, listening to the latest pitch and occasionally piping up to ask the same kind of questions that one would hear from a touring group’s seasoned experience.
Instead of reading every name badge looking for a needle in a stack of needles, these church representatives should be invited to the same conference after-parties, private demo suites and early morning breakfast meetings that the industry regulars attend. They’re people, too. They’re also influencers, decision-makers and buyers attending these shows with the same end-goal as their secular counterparts.
I can’t tell you the number of times I’d bring a small group of church friends along for a private demo suite viewing of products not quite ready for the expo floor. You’d think they thought I had some sort of magic wand to gain them access to these behind-closed-door meetings and demos. No one else had thought to invite them!
On more than one occasion, I’d introduce a church leader to one of my manufacturer rep friends and help make the connection that these guys get the church’s needs and not only have great products, but they’ll help your church make the most of it, too. A quick chat with a regional rep, a product owner or the CEO of a company, and suddenly these churches were being allowed, for the first time, into the world that industry veterans attended without a second thought.
What’s mundane to a manufacturer employee is a privilege to these church envoys. A few manufacturers have figured this out, as I’ve begun to see excited church attendees use the free registration mailed them by one a manufacturer or rep firm to pick up their lanyard and badge. You and I know those free registrations are no big deal (to us), but to the church market, they’re like the Golden Tickets to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.
Invite Churches to Be Your Guest
For next-level experiences, invite churches that have expressed serious interest and have engaged with a rep to attend invitation-only events, including after-parties. Yeah, even the ones with open bars. Look, some of these guys and gals won’t drink the alcohol at all, while the remainder will only drink in moderation. But don’t feel that they’d be offended, because they won’t.
If you really want to woo some church prospects, create a VIP lanyard that you can mail to them ahead of time or have them pick up at your booth. The experience here is what matters. Dudes like free swag and being added to the behind-the-scenes stuff, church staff or corporate employee. People, as they say, are people.
I’ll never forget an InfoComm event I attended as a young church staffer where I was invited to be the “guest” of the product manager for a large display company. They sent a limo to pick me up from the airport to drop my bags off at the hotel and then whisked me to the convention center. It was just a Town Car cab, really, but to a church staff guy, it was like being in the President’s motorcade. I’d bought before and they knew I had more projects in the works, so it was worth the small investment to make a big impression.
People Buy From People, Not Just Brands
Later, when I worked for large systems integrators as a regional sales manager, I observed a trend: Our sales reps sold more product from the reps that serviced them frequently. What they were selling was the rep, not the brand. My sales team knew that they’d get a demo unit if their client needed it and that they’d have a fast-track into a customer service issue should a product problem come up. I can attest to the fact that most of my reps sold more product -- regardless of spiffs -- when they had a personal relationship with the rep (manufacturer or rep firm).
There should be a lesson in this for our readers: People buy from people, not just brands. Since this is true from the manufacturer to the systems integrator, it’s also true from the integrator to the church client.
Qualify Church Clients
The “Sales Funnel” is true across the board; the more qualified leads at the top of the funnel, the more deals you’ll have come through the bottom of the funnel. Simple, right? When it comes to church leads, this principle still applies.
Qualifying church prospects includes understanding their felt needs. The terminology is slightly different than from most secular clients, but the result is the same: The right technology solutions solve today’s problems and help prevent future issues. As I’ve written about extensively here at rAVe, understanding the buying terms, timelines and personnel at churches isn’t all that complex. Solution-oriented, value-proposition based selling is, was, and will be the way to land more church clients. Period. Feature/benefit selling is something that happens much later in the sales process, once the value of the solution and the unique value benefit of the brand for the church has been established.
While I do actually recommend sending free passes for attendance at multiple conferences and expos to your entire church prospect/client database, I would recommend creating a simple gated content (one-step) process for having those who plan on attending to give you more information via an online registration form to help qualify their needs and budgets. This group can then be targeted for follow-up communication (targeted email list, social media contact list, sales rep lead assignment, etc.) that includes those high-value invitations to after-parties, special events and private suite demonstrations. The hot leads can then be given the VIP treatment, which I promise will pay dividends. Pay for a hotel. Send a limo to pick them up from the airport. Treat them to a private breakfast or dinner. In short, treat a great church prospect like you’d treat any great prospect. They’ll value it, Tweet and Facebook about it and share their positive experience with your brand to their network. You can’t buy advertising that targeted or that good!
Send Them Back With Something, Too
Everyone loves swag, so why not have special swag reserved specifically for churches that meet with your people or visit your booth? Of course, this idea extends to any vertical market, but I know that because churches attend less conferences than most other vertical markets, this small extra effort is a big deal to many church attendees.
For those high-value prospects, make sure you’re loading them up with t-shirts, hoodies and gadgets for them to take back in their bags. I can’t begin to describe how often I see a church tech director sporting a logo’d t-shirt or hoodie for years after an event. In fact, I’d actually recommend adding the name and date of the conference on the t-shirts, as these are worn like prized concert t-shirts until they’re worn out.
Are there costs in this? Yes, of course. What I’m submitting to our readers is that when church market prospects are valued like they are in other markets, the revenue will follow. People - even church people - are still people. Go ahead. Give them a Golden Ticket to experience something magical - a regular trade show.
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- Panasonic may exit the TV business
- Sharp missed Qualcomm’s targets for investment
- CPT is repurchasing the assets it sold to Giantplus
- Samsung advances mobile AMOLED technology to FHD
Looking at financial results from AU Optronics (AUO) and LG Display (LGD) from 2004 through 2012 shows why Panasonic may be smart to buy rather than make TV panels. The chart converts consolidated financial results for both producers into US dollars at year-end and adds those together. Over nine years, their combined free cash flow was minus $871 million. The leading merchant LCD suppliers put more money into the ground than they dredged up with all that hard work. Standing outside the money pit, it makes sense to buy the panels at a discount to full cost rather than dig your own hole.
Over the nine years, the sales price per square inch of LCD decreased 15 percent a year for the two suppliers combined while their EBITDA (profit without depreciation or tax charges) per square inch decreased 23 percent a year. Given the pace of price reduction, even with the improving market for mobile panels, their area cost remains about 7 percent too high for sustaining a profit margin.
Given the commodity pressures on TV prices worldwide, it is unclear how a traditional electronics company makes money in TV, even if it stays close to its distribution channels. We have already seen old-line firms such as Philips divest its TV assets and it seems likely that Panasonic will follow that lead. The market belongs to younger companies in lower-cost regions with less need for financial returns to satisfy Wall Street or The City.
The problem for Sharp is similar but it has less control over product plans and technology objectives beyond its branded TV market. In the past, when Sharp had stronger positions in the gadget market, the company was able to coordinate technology and end-product plans between its panel and gadget businesses. With the rise of Apple and Samsung, Sharp has less control. The panel business is farther from its end users.
Stories about Qualcomm pulling back from its second round of investment in Sharp this week highlight this problem. Apparently, Sharp missed some milestones regarding the metal-oxide TFT work for Pixtronics’ MEM display project. As we saw with delays for metal-oxide LCD last year, perfecting new semiconductor technology is not easy and its harder if the supplier faces external deadlines. This is a difficult period for Sharp as it becomes more dependent on outside investment while its end-user markets are a step beyond Sharp’s customers (e.g., Samsung).
Getting closer to end-users seems to be a good explanation for recent machinations by Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT). Back in 2007, CPT announced the sale of its Gen-3 LCD line to Giantplus for cash and stock. That made sense if CPT was able to establish a strong position in large panels while Giantplus supplied small touch screens.
CPT has done better in the small panel business, however. As a result, it is better off in high-touch market segments; so selling its TV module line in Shenzhen to CSOT (a TCL affiliate) and buying its Gen-3 line back makes sense.
Samsung’s introduction of full-HD in the Galaxy S4 illustrates the value of coordination to me. The display business (SDC) was able to use PenTile technology for a mosaic-like pixel pattern that achieves something like 400 ppi resolution. The Samsung group had to change several things in the AMOLED process as well as the overall display-product design to map this new space. That would have been much more difficult and could have been riskier if the display and product businesses had not been affiliates. Add a comment
|Behringer's new iP40PRO is an all-in-one portable PA system with full Bluetooth connectivity. The iP40PRO can handle gatherings of up to 250 people and features a 40-watt, Class-D amplifier; a powerful 8” woofer and high-resolution tweeter housed in a rugged self-contained package, integrated wheels and a convenient retractable luggage-style handle for ease of transport. To further enhance portability, a rechargeable internal battery provides up to 12 hours of operation.|
A so-called “Planet Earth” switching power supply (100 - 240 V) makes it worldwide capable. It also offers noise-free audio with superior transient response and lower power consumption, according to Behringer. Two microphone inputs with mic preamps and individual volume controls are provided, as well as an auxiliary input for connecting external audio players.
Here are all the specs: http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/iP40PRO.aspx
NSCA members are encouraged to invite their local Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) or other government officials engaged in building code management to apply for scholarships for the MNEC Symposium. The integration community, in addition to government officials, will gain knowledge on the changing codes and better understand the need to require public and private venues to install or update a MNEC system in order to encourage public safety.
“Both NSCA and the Foundation are advocates for building better integrators,” said Andy Musci, president of the NSCA Education Foundation. “By offering these scholarships, we are encouraging the two main audiences who need to be engaged in this important initiative to become better educated on the positive outcomes and opportunities that exist within this emerging marketplace.”
Attendees of the MNEC Industry Symposium will take away information on how to:
- Build knowledge of MNEC including terminology, modified codes and regulations, constituent groups impacted, and inherent risks and rewards
- Build strategic partnerships between A/V, fire, life-safety, and security industries
- Communicate with customers/facility managers on the value of emergency systems
- Assist clients with a risk assessment to determine vulnerabilities to build the right MNEC system
- Provide opportunities to see the technologies and applications through table-top displays and representatives from leading manufacturers and consultants
AHJs may also apply on their own without an integrator referral if they choose. Applications are available at http://www.nsca.org or http://www.mnec.org and must be submitted by April 15.
Registration is $249 to attend the one-day event. You may also choose to attend half of the day for $99. For more information on the MNEC Symposium and PSA-TEC, or to register, visit http://www.psatec.com
With dual HDMI ports, the XL2720T is engineered to provide full HD connectivity with other devices (including a cable/satellite set-top box for watching TV in your room, in the dark, alone). Gamers will love this 27" (16:9) monitor -- it offers 12 million:1 dynamic contrast ratio and LED back-lighting, plus it's certified for NVIDIA 3D Vision 2 and supports full HD 3D gaming.
It lists for $549 and all the specs are here: http://gaming.benq.com/ Add a comment
To learn more details about E4 Chicago, view this recent interview with Melody Craigmyle, vice president of marketing for Almo Professional A/V: http://www.ravepubs.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10133:almo-e4-av-tour-is-open-for-registration&catid=87:proav-edition&Itemid=180
The newest exhibiting manufacturers and their product highlights include:
- Elo Touch Systems, supplier of touch-enabled products is unveiling the 4201 42-inch touch display with an integrated PC and bringing its new 70-inch Multi-Touch Interactive Digital Signage Display.
- Hiperwall, producer of high-performance, low-cost videowall software that can display a wide variety of content with unmatched speed, flexibility and functionality in extremely high resolution, is exhibiting in partnership with NEC Solutions and Premier Mounts to show a complete videowall solution.
- Peerless AV, is hosting a virtual Slam Dunk contest with its fully integrated kiosk solution that includes a 90-inch Sharp Professional display, integrated audio, Xbox Kinect and software program that simulates a slam dunk contest. Peerless will also demo its HD Flow wireless transmission solutions.
- TouchSystems, provider of touch-enabled monitors, kiosks and displays, is bringing a 55-inch Multi-Touch Monitor with multi-user capability, which encourages collaboration and interactivity. It is being shown on a Peerless stand/mount and is powered by Sherlock Systems Media Players.
- Rane Corporation, an established provider of problem-solving pro audio tools, affordably priced with unequalled reliability and customer service, is showcasing its newest audio technology, the HAL System, an open-architecture DSP product for expert room combining, paging and distributed audio systems for meeting and classrooms, hotels, retail, conference centers and restaurants.
- Samsung Hospitality, provider of the 26-inch to 55-inch, all-LED line of televisions for the hospitality industry, is showing televisions withPro:Idiom, an encryption technology which securely delivers HD and video-on-demand signals without the need for a set top box in each room to protect content from piracy.
- Sharp’s 32-inch 4K LCD Ultra High Definition Display with 3,840 x 2,160-pixel resolution.
- Planar’s UltraLux 80-inch display with a zero bezel, infinity edge-to-edge glass design configured for multiple solutions within digital signage applications.
- Samsung’s UE55C with the System on Chip (SoC), which eliminates the need for a PC to play back content by running on an embedded chip within the display.
A two−line LCD display shows separate routing information of video, audio or RS232 signals. The unit is controlled via its front panel buttons, RS232, RS485 and Ethernet. It also includes rack ears.
All the specs are here: http://www.kramerus.com/ Add a comment
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