Geostellar is a sustainable energy network that uses a social platform you can see here: http://geostellar.com/ Add a comment
“When recording lectures with detailed classroom and presentation content, HD video is essential and the higher video resolutions work great,” said COO of Vaddio, Mark Steen. “But when you’re network only provides limited bandwidth, sometimes lower resolutions are the only way to go. Streaming an HD video call, only to have it scaled down on the soft client end, doesn’t make much sense and eats up a lot of bandwidth.”
For more information on the ClearVIEW HD-USB Camera and AV Bridge software upgrade please visit the Vaddio website at http://www.vaddio.com in the Tech Center. Add a comment
VNS 104 multi-stream decoding software operates on Windows PCs and is managed as a part of a system by a VN-Matrix Enterprise Controller. It offers aspect ratio management for VN-Matrix streams, including FILL, FOLLOW and a 1:1 mode, which can be applied independently to each decoded source. VNS 104 provides an effective method for monitoring multiple streaming sources in a variety of environments including command and control, after action review, training and simulation, and medical or geological visualization.
Here are all the specs: http://www.extron.com/product/product.aspx?id=vns104&s=5 Add a comment
Under the agreement announced today, customers will be able to purchase Promethean’s teaching and learning software, ActivInspire, from Epson when buying Epson’s industry-leading BrightLink interactive projectors. Each company will provide world-class customer support for their respective products, giving educators full confidence and support as they convert classrooms and learning spaces to interactive work areas.
“School districts want to select the best interactive hardware and the best interactive software tools independently that suit their needs and budgets,” said Keith Kratzberg, senior vice president of Epson America, Inc. “This partnership squarely delivers on that request from the education community and seamlessly brings together the highly acclaimed software of Promethean with Epson BrightLink, the top selling line of interactive projectors in the world1, to transform classrooms across the United States and Canada.”
Under the agreement, Epson will have licensing rights to sell Promethean ActivInspire to new and existing customers using BrightLink interactive projectors throughout the United States and Canada, providing educators more options as they transition to collaborative, interactive classrooms.
“We want to give educators the flexibility to create environments where students can experience a 21stcentury lesson with the tools and resources that make sense to them. By pairing our award-winning interactive teaching and learning software with Epson interactive projectors we provide them with options. And with over a million teachers worldwide using our software, they can have the confidence that using our software with an interactive device will motivate, engage and inspire students,” said Promethean CEO Jim Marshall. Add a comment
Here are the details: http://www.crestron.com/resources/product_and_programming_resources/catalogs_and_brochures/online_catalog/default.asp?jump=1&model=TSW-550 Add a comment
- Samsung and Sharp have long been rivals, but Sharp has apparently determined that forming an alliance with its rival in flat-screen TVs and mobile phone handsets is required to improve its performance and financial standing. Sharp has been struggling with its financial position and has been seeking investment, including Foxconn (which invested in 50 percent of its Sakai Gen 10 fab) and Qualcomm (which invested in $120M and has more than a 5 percent stake). Sharp is also in talks with Intel and Dell. The near-term financial need for Sharp is a loan payment of 200 billion yen in Q3’13.
- Samsung’s purpose is mainly to secure TV panels, especially 32”, 40” and 60”. According to the Quarterly LCD TV Value Chain Report, Sharp has been a key supplier of 40” to Samsung, with more than 400K per quarter, and 60” with more than 200K per quarter in Q3’12. Due to the reduced orders for displays for Apple’s iPad, Sharp has been shifting Gen 8 capacity, which was originally making 9.7” tablet PC panels, to produce 32” LCD TV panels for Samsung. With the Taiwanese retreating from supplying 32” panels, Samsung is eager to secure a new source. Sharp started to ship 32” to Samsung at the beginning of 2013. In total, Samsung will be buying more than one million panels from Sharp, so it may make sense for Samsung to invest to secure the source.
- Given that Sharp is a leader in oxide TFT technology, especially at Gen 8, it’s possible that Samsung can utilize the oxide TFT backplanes from Sharp for its AMOLED TV.
- This may indicate that Samsung wants to continue to source a certain percentage of panels externally. There are indications that Samsung Display is reducing the scale of its own TFT LCD fab investment in China. It’s possible that the Samsung group intends to curb new TFT LCD capacity expansion and focus more on AMOLED TV.
- Foxconn has been intending to make additional investments in Sharp to access more high resolution displays for mobile devices. But Sharp has been reluctant to give Foxconn additional control. The investments from Qualcomm, possibly Intel, and now Samsung indicate that Sharp’s strategy is to balance multiple investors rather than rely on one. Foxconn might not be happy with this because of its poor business relationship with Samsung. However, as Foxconn is seeking to grow its OEM/ODM business and Apple’s growth is limited, it’s also possible that Foxconn will start to talk with Samsung about an OEM/ODM relationship on LCD TV and other mobile devices.
This column was reprinted with permission from DisplaySearch and originally appeared here. Add a comment
The sessions offer a “taste” of a particular topic each week in a format that is lively and engaging, with a five-question quiz that attendees can take to earn specific prizes.
Here are the upcoming webinars:
3/8 -- Canon Projectors: “Image Quality as the Main Ingredient”
Putting together a projection system is all about the picture, both in size and quality. There are several different variables, the least of which is the projector itself. With the focus on cheap lumens in many of today's projector lines, has image quality been taken off the table? Canon's focus on lens construction, light path engineering, and superior LCoS technology provides the best image you can get on screen. Join us to learn how Canon projectors make a difference in education environments.
Prize: iTunes Gift Card
3/15 -- C2G: “Video Walls: Transition from Analog to Digital Video”
Learn how digital video is eating up the higher education space. Utilizing C2G's AOC technology, you'll provide optimum performance every time. With many options to choose from, AOC technology has enticing features that will make you come back for seconds!
Prize: Starbucks Gift Card
3/22 -- Hitachi: “A Wireless Four Course Meal”
Have you heard of educators struggling to integrate books, video, internet all into one lecture? With Hitachi, effortlessly switch between your devices from one system that can be controlled from a single source (i.e. iPad). Better yet, with a contacted wireless document camera, you can also incorporate in-person supplements to the lecture. From beginning to end, Hitachi makes it easy to serve you a four course meal!
Prize: Gift Card
3/29 -- Mitsubishi: “Serving Brilliant Color & Seamless Excellence”
Provide quality and service with Mitsubishi's 7000 and 8000 series projector models. Perfect for lecture centers and large rooms, the image quality is as sharp as a knife. Even simple text from a PC to a Blu-Ray DVD, the clarity is unmatched. See how we've transformed spaces that will be sure to leave your mouth watering for more!
Prize: Almo Drawstring Backpack
All of the AV Snacks sessions are recorded and archived for access after they run: http://www.almoproav.com/events/avsnacks.aspx Add a comment
Digital signage can serve a lot of needs and be a lot of things, but unfortunately cheap is not one of them. The cost of setting up a single sign can be anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000, depending on your design and vendor. Once you network that equipment, the cost goes up even higher. Education has struggled on this front, as it has been hard for us to find the Return on Investment (ROI) for a system that costs in the tens of thousands of dollars. We don’t have the same monetary incentive that retailers have to use this technology to generate income.
We have been working with digital signs for about six years ago. It began with a request from our Dean of Faculty’s office for a way to post information about upcoming events, or celebrate academic achievements of our faculty and students. The first sign was a success and every year they would ask us to put up another sign in a new location. From the start we used Tightrope Media System because we knew it could grow with us, and we did not need a massive investment up front.
Slowly, one sign became four, then five and now we have a total of 14 digital signs on our campus. This includes one in every academic building, our two athletic buildings, our dining hall, our student center, our admissions office and our theater.
We have learned some things over the years which have made the digital signage system add value to our community. This first step in this project, like any successful project is to define who does what. As the IT/AV people, we spec, design, install and support the digital signs, but we do not create content. To that end, we are at a point where we do not even provide training for our users. Our communications office has taken on the role of creating all the templates, and training all the users. Each sign has its own local admin who can create content, edit content and approve content. This gives us the ability to keep the signs fresh and updated. No one person is responsible for the content, and most importantly, we (my group) are not responsible for the content. This should be a familiar concept between the IT/AV and Communications groups at institutions. We went through this years ago when IT got out of the business of updating content on web pages. In fact, the model we use for our digital signs is almost an exact duplicate of what we do with our web pages.
In addition to the standard task of advertising events, we have found several additional uses for our digital signs. One task is to stream live video to the signs. We have used this for major campus events such as commencement and convocation. We also use it for remote monitoring. For example, a digital sign outside our concert hall serves as a audio and video monitor of the event happening inside the hall. As people show up late they can see what is going on inside without walking in and interrupting the performance. When they see a break, they can sneak in. During our athletics contests we stream video to the monitors outside of the gymnasium, so people who go to grab a snack or a bit of fresh air can still see what is happening. This proved very useful during a swim meet for our local high school teams. All of the families could not fit in the pool area, so they watched the monitor outside and would rotate in and out as their own child’s event came and went. The beauty of all this is that it is automatically programmed to switch the content. So, right before an event starts, the video feed turns on. Once the event ends, the content goes back to the regularly scheduled content.
A wonderful feature of a networked digital signage system is the ability to make a global announcement. With a networked system a user can log into a web page and set an alert to all the monitors on your campus, or to subsets of the signs. This may pass important information to customers, like closings due to weather. Obviously, we all hope that we never need to use this system in a time of violence or danger on campus, but we also need to be aware of the possibility. I recommend you put a policy in place on how you would handle this situation. In our case, our security office does not directly use the Tightrope System. It is such a rare event that they need to use it, when the time comes they will have forgotten how. Instead, we have identified a couple of everyday users who they would contact in an emergency and those people would set the alert message.
One thing that I will caution against is trying to develop your own custom built digital signage system. I know of a couple cases where this was attempted and neither of them ended very well. In both cases the technology manager got into a position where he was the only person who could support these systems. So, while it looked like a lot of money was being saved up front, one has to question how much money was spent in support of these devices and how much time was lost waiting for this single point of support. When the first request for a digital sign came to our department, there was some discussion of putting a Mac Mini behind a monitor and running a slide show. While this would have been less expensive up front, it was not scalable and would have required a great deal of training and support. If we have taken this approach we would be a real pinch right now trying to support 14 signs.
Integrators and designers can help technology managers on this front, by showing them all the various options for digital signage and more importantly, the various things it allows you to do. Show us these features and tell us how other educational institutions are using them. Budgets are tight, and we may have pressure from above to use an inexpensive “Mac Mini” type solution. You can arm us with the right information to educate our customers. Also, give us some options as to how we can grow. Many schools can not afford a $100,000 investment up front.
In a recent blog on rAVe I wrote about convergence -- this is another example of where convergence is simply a part of life. You will eventually, if not immediately, need a server that links all your digital sign boxes. Each device will need to be on the network, and it is desirable to have the system connected into your authentication system so the accounts link to accounts your users already have (LDAP, active directory, etc.). All of this will require strong partnership with your networking folks. Many systems now branch in other systems. For example, they can read and display RSS feeds and they can tie into your campus scheduling system and show events from it based on criteria you define. The Tightrope system, for example, gives you Web pages that display your digital signage content. Maybe it is time to take your network administrator out to lunch.
Have you started using digital signage in your institution? Was it a success? How did you setup your team and what equipment did you use? I’m looking forward to hearing from you!
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Digital signage is one of the most rapidly expanding fields in the audiovisual industry, with applications in retail, corporate, hospitality, institutional markets and more. “Digital signage has changed the public landscape, and its presence is growing,” said InfoComm Executive Director and CEO David Labuskes, CTS, RCDD. “InfoComm 2013 exhibitors, systems integrators, software engineers and design consultants will share best practices, along with the latest content creation techniques and hardware delivery solutions, to engage audiences and communicate effectively. InfoComm 2013 is the largest digital signage marketplace for institutional buyers and technology managers in retail, government, corporate and hospitality spaces.”
Digital Signage Pavilion
The Digital Signage Pavilion located on the show floor, will bring attendees together to see innovative products from the leading manufacturers, best practices presentations and training. The Digital Signage Presentation Stage, located within pavilion, will feature case studies and strategic advice throughout the show. The Digital Signage Content Creation Zone will provide attendees the opportunity to get up close and personal with top content providers through demonstrations, as well as training.
Featured digital signage products and services include:
- Display system technologies and media players
- Digital signage software
- Content management systems
- Network infrastructure products
The Digital Signage Training Sampler, offered by InfoComm University, will offer four new courses to address the opportunities and challenges of visual messaging and digital signage, including Digital Signage in Universities and Technology Trends in Digital Signage.
Before the show floor opens, DisplaySearch will be hosting the Flat Panel Display Conference at InfoComm. Held on Tuesday, June 11, this day-long conference will focus on display-based solutions for vertical professional markets. The agenda will include supply chain trends, case studies, and the effect of mobile products.
InfoComm 2013, the largest commercial audiovisual show, expects 35,000 attendees from wide-ranging market sectors, including business, government, military, education, worship, healthcare, hospitality, retail and entertainment. Along with a trade show floor that exhibits the latest from all of the industry leaders in audiovisual, staging, signage and more, the educational programming provides attendees with opportunities to develop skills and update certifications during the conference.
For more news on InfoComm 2013, click here: http://www.infocommshow.org Add a comment
In addition, these super-slim displays include the Open Pluggable Specification (OPS) slot, a standardization designed to simplify installations, use and maintenance of digital signage. Users receive full connectivity, including DisplayPort, HDMI and DVI-D, as well as remote management through the Network Control and Communication tools.
The X462S and X552S displays include the following features:
- LED backlighting technology, which reduces power consumption and contributes to a lightweight design with minimal 1.8-inch depth
- Commercial-grade LCD panel and components, which enable extended run times
- 1920x1080 native resolution, which provides stunning image clarity
- 500/700 cd/m² brightness (typical/maximum) and 3,000:1 contrast ratio delivering brilliant imagery
- DisplayPort, HDMI and DVI-D (in/out), which enable connectivity to a wide range of peripherals
- RS-232C, LAN and DDC/CI for external control
- TileMatrix, which facilitates video walls up to 100 displays in 10x10 configurations
- Optional color-calibration solution, which enables color uniformity and fidelity across individual and multiple screens
- Real-time clock, which has the ability to set schedules for on/off times 24/7 and can be set to warm up 30 minutes before use for optimum color representation
- Built-in ATSC digital tuner
The X462S and X552S are available at minimum advertised prices of $1,999 and $3,099, respectively and are here: http://www.necdisplay.com/category/large-screen-displaysAdd a comment
One interesting feature is that the BenQ M6 Series features wireless display options for cable-free connection to content sources. When paired with BenQ's Qpresenter app for the iPhone and iPad, users can transfer files from their handheld iOS devices directly to the projection screen. What makes them green is that BenQ's SmartEco technology allows users the same brightness, features and performance at a lower total cost of ownership (TCO). For instance, in "Smart Eco" mode, projectors automatically adjust lamp power by up to 70 percent in order to use just the right amount of brightness needed. The result is an 6,500 hours of lamp life without any compromise to picture quality, according to BenQ. To further reduce power consumption, an "Eco Blank" mode allows teachers or presenters to blank out the screen whenever projection isn't needed while a "No Source Detected" mode automatically lowers brightness to 30 percent when no display has been detected for more than three minutes. An audio pass through function also preserves lamp life by enabling only sound when projectors are on standby.
Available now, the BenQ MS616ST, MX618ST, MX662 and MW663 retail at $699, $899, $799, and $799 respectively. Here they are: http://www.benq.us/products/product_line.cfm?plid=8 Add a comment
Benefits of the SoundStation Connect include:
- Clear conversations: Polycom Voice technology reduces background noise, echo, and feedback, while microphone pickup covers more than 7 feet in diameter
- Easy to deploy with broad interoperability: Plug-and-play with no software driver needed, the device runs on USB power and works with any UC soft-phone app running on computers that support USB audio
- Easy to use and transport: The ultra-simple UI with volume up, down and mute makes it easy for anyone to use
Polycom SoundStation Connect will be available in Q2 2013 and will list for $299. Here are the specs: http://www.polycom.com/products-services/voice/conferencing-solutions/conferencing-phones/soundstation-connect.htmlAdd a comment
That study has now been released, including a report to Congress entitled “Further Consideration of Options to Improve Receiver Performance Needed.” The report identifies three challenges to improving receiver performance: lack of coordination across industries when developing voluntary standards, lack of incentives for manufacturers or spectrum users to incur costs associated with using more robust receivers, and the difficulty of accommodating a changing spectrum environment.
The broadcast and consumer electronics industries are generally on opposite sides of the fence concerning mandated receiver performance, and several examples illustrate the scenario. When color TV was first introduced in the 1950s, there was one company that stood to benefit from development of both ends of the content food chain: RCA. Controlling a growing broadcast network (NBC) as well as commercial broadcast equipment and television receivers meant that the umbrella corporation had a good chance to profit – which it did, subsidizing new product development and then reaping the rewards all around. But it wasn’t until the mid '60s that a concerted effort to promote color programming really made the difference, by which time substantial investments had been made in the consumer electronics industry.
Along the way, with broadcasters now crowding the VHF channels 2 through 13, the FCC opened up the UHF spectrum for television use, hoping to bring on more stations and competition. But receiver manufacturers saw no need to support spectrum that would require new product development and specifications. So, Congress passed the All-Channel Receiver Act of 1962, allowing the FCC to require that all television set manufacturers must include UHF tuners, so that new UHF TV stations on channels 14 to 83 could be received by the public.
An unintended consequence of this Act was that new receivers would be susceptible to interference from combinations of channels known as “taboos,” ultimately decreasing the actual number of available channels in any particular broadcast market. These problems have been corrected in modern digital television receivers, due to advances in receiver technology as well as the different interfering qualities of digital modulation.
When DTV receivers emerged, there were complaints that reception was marginal, at best, raising the specter of a legal mandate. But CE manufacturers – including those with patent income – had much to lose from poor receiver performance, and new DTV chips from various manufacturers quickly emerged as market forces drove a competitive environment where better receivers would incur fewer product returns.
But with the growing stature of the Consumer Electronics Association, the CE industry’s primary mechanism for capital beltway lobbying, new initiatives aimed at requiring receiver standards now face powerful – and political – opposition. And razor-thin profit margins make any added costs extremely hard to justify, especially if the improvements would yield a benefit that is lost on the customer when they power up their TV. Further clouding the issue is the fact that tighter receiver standards are blindly aimed at more dense use of the spectrum, which would in some cases benefit non-incumbent spectrum entrants, whose presence does not directly benefit the purchaser of the improved receiver.
The FCC has issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making on various aspects of conducting incentive auctions of broadcast spectrum; comments were due in January, and reply comments are due on March 12. Add a comment
Then there are products that transform the landscape almost as soon as they arrive, creating an entire new device ecosystem and clobbering its predecessors. The best example of that would the iPad and its impact on non-tablet touchpanel automation interfaces and, well, pretty much everything else.
Then there are products are categories that are widely recognized as being “a good idea” but never really seeing the traction in the marketplace that their supporters might have hoped for. While this will probably garner me some hate mail from certain PR flacks, energy management for automation systems seems to fit into this bracket.
Lastly, you have emergent categories where it remains to be seen whether they’ll see something resembling success or turn out to be all Sturm und Drang, with little real adoption.
I’m sorry to say, it’s starting to look like Home Health Care is the latter.
Let’s back up for a minute, and start with some definitions. For those of you who’ve been solely focused on AV and more standard control system fodder like shades and lighting, the pitch for Home Health Care is that there are 100 million people is the U.S. who are reaching retirement age. At the same time, there’s reported to be a shortage of health care professionals. Enter the prospect of remote monitoring of health care.
It’s important to further clarify what that means. As far as most people are concerned, Home Health Care is synonymous with PERS, the Personal Injury Service. Most people of a certain age recall the tagline “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!” That’s reactive technology: You push a button and something happens. The solutions that are encompassed by HHC are proactive, preventative solutions.
HHC’s boosters put it in the context of ongoing wellness: using the feedback and data from the system for preventative care.
That includes medication management, and GPS-enabled reporting as well as solutions that monitor blood pressure, bodyweight, movement around the house, including frequency of bathroom breaks and sleep patterns, which provide care givers with a more complete picture of a subject’s well-being.
The selling points that have been used to build interest in the category is that there is a large potential client base, which points to the potential for recurring revenue, as well the nature of the category’s technology. With the variables involved in personalizing HHC to end users, it’s challenging to be a turnkey technology, which would apparently make it ideal for integrators: It’s just more black boxes to program and monitory.
The biggest problem I foresee as it relates to HHC gaining traction amongst AV integrators is that the integration channel is not HHC’s first kick at the cat at finding a channel, and not its last either.
If you ask them, HHC’s promoters will tell you that early on in the category’s development, circa 2005 or so, the first attempts of the main HHC startups was through the healthcare industry. A lot of work went into educating that market, but the hurdle they have yet to get over, especially with long term health care facilities like senior’s residences is the perception that HHC is a replacement for trained and qualified personnel, rather than a new set of tools to improve standards of care.
While HHC vendors are still working on that channel, in the meantime they’ve spent the last couple of years promoting the category to the AV integrator channel, most notably in their partnership with CEDIA, and CEDIA’s formation of a committee to promote the benefits of HHC to its members.
That’s where I came in, having spent a few years in the trade media for AV, and having interviewed HHC executives and PR people, and written a few articles here and there along lines of “Home Health Care Is Coming, Hurray!”
The net result so far in AV integration seems to mirror HHC’s inroads in the healthcare industry: not much.
Which is why I find myself unsurprised to see Home Health Care companies working hard to promote their category to an entirely different channel: the Mobile industry (where I work now, having moved over from AV almost two years ago).
The Mobile/Wireless sector of CES, as well as dedicated Mobile shows in the past year have seen delegations of HHC vendors marketing their technology’s “potential” to suppliers and resellers of smartphones and related products. Interestingly, and perhaps again unsurprisingly, the sales pitch their using on Mobile companies is almost exactly what they were pitching to AV integrators: gadgets and recurring revenue.
As Yogi Berra said, “it’s like déjà vu all over again.”
So far, talking with my peers in Mobile, the reception that HHC is receiving is lukewarm, at best.
Is Home Health Care ever going to gain traction any channel? I’m averse to being the guy who says “Never!” about anything, but so far at least HHC hasn’t caught fire in two channels and it’s starting to look like the third time won’t be the charm either.
What will it take? I’d be keen to hear from someone who thinks they know.
NEC says the V423 offers a 46 percent decrease in power consumption while maintaining its brightness (450 cd/m² maximum brightness). The edge-lit LED backlight enables a slimmer cabinet depth and lightweight design. With a full HD panel, integrated temperature sensors and fans, the V423 large-screen display is ideal for applications that require extended use, such as retail stores, restaurants, indoor venues, training facilities and corporate boardrooms.
The V423 also features built-in, 10-watt speakers and an Open Pluggable Specification (OPS) compliant expansion slot. Video, RS-232 control and power are passed internally from the display to the computer, eliminating additional cabling.
The V423 includes the following features:
- LED backlighting technology for reduced power consumption
- Commercial-grade LCD panel and components, which enable extended run times
- 1920x1080 native resolution
- 320/450 cd/m² brightness (typical/maximum) and 1300:1 contrast ratio
- DisplayPort, HDMI, DVI-D (in/out), VGA 15 pin D-sub (Composite, Component, S-Video)
- RS-232C, Ethernet (RJ45), IR Remote, DDC/CI for external control
- Built-in, 10-watt speakers enhance the experience with superior sound
- TileMatrix, which facilitates video walls up to 10x10
- Built-in ATSC digital tuner, which allows for high-definition broadcast capabilities (V423-AVT model only)
- Bundled solution, which includes a V423 display and single board computer (OPS-PCAF-WS) for simple digital signage (V423-PC model only)
- Optional accessories, including speakers, stand, a variety of internal and external computers, digital tuner, calibration kit and wall mount
For more information, click here: http://www.necdisplay.com/p/large--screen-displays/v423 Add a comment
To enhance and simplify integration, the IN1606 features SpeedSwitch Technology, which Extron says provides exceptional switching speed for HDCP-encrypted content. EDID Minder and Key Minder automatically manage EDID communication and HDCP key negotiation between input and output devices to ensure reliable operation. The IN1606 also provides immediate visual confirmation and real-time HDCP status verification.
With HDMI audio embedding and de-embedding, the IN1606 can insert analog input audio signals onto the HDMI output or extract embedded HDMI audio signals. Audio breakaway allows the analog audio channels to be separated from corresponding video signals so that the audio channels can operate as an independent switcher. The IN1606 also provides control of advanced audio configuration settings, such as audio gain, attenuation, mixing and ducking.
For more information, click here: http://www.extron.com/in1606pr. Add a comment
The new Planar UltraRes 4K displays provide native ultra–high definition resolution (3840x2160), outstanding image quality and a range of configurations. Planar UltraRes displays are ideal for professionals in a wide variety of commercial industries who require a large viewing area, very high pixel density and enterprise-level features that allow teams to collaborate around more immersive and detailed visual information.
Making the Most of High-Resolution Information
Planar UltraRes 84-inch displays are designed for applications including energy, geospatial, engineering and design, architecture, aerospace, control room, collaborative conference room, medical imaging, science and digital signage, among others.
- LED-lit LCD technology, selectable dynamic contrast and local dimming for enhanced contrast
- 60Hz refresh rate and 10-bit color
- A slim metal bezel
- Failover power supply for 24x7 environments
- Planar Profile Mounting System, which allows for an extremely slim profile when wall-mounted (about three inches) and provides a front service access mode
- Advanced energy-efficient design that utilizes edge-lit LED technology and passive cooling
- Ability to switch to standby mode when no source is detected
- Consumption of less than 0.5 watt of standby power
- Modular for easy repair
- UR8450-LX: 2D landscape display ideal for conference and control rooms
- UR8450-MX: 2D landscape and portrait, higher brightness model designed for digital
- signage and other higher ambient light environments
- UR8450-3D: 2D and 3D landscape support, ideal for decision rooms where both 2D
- and 3D images and video are viewed
DIGITAL LINK is an original function added to technology based on the transmission standards used in Crestron’s DigitalMedia 8G+ and Extron’s XTP Systems, as well as others. Signals from the ET-YFB100G Digital Interface Box can also be relayed to a non-DIGITAL LINK-ready projector by using another manufacturer’s equipment based on the same technology.
The PT-RZ470/RZ370 Series projectors offer installation flexibility, with a 2x zoom, wide lens shift capability, HDMI/DVI digital inputs and Crestron RoomView compatibility. The PT-RZ470 Series offers additional flexibility with portrait mode projection capability, as well as edge blending, color matching and 3D.
The PT-RZ370 Series, which includes the PT-RZ370U (1920x1080) and PT-RW330U (1280x800), are available immediately and list for $5,899 and $4,599, respectively. The PT-RZ470 Series, which includes the PT-RZ470UK/UW (1920x1080) and PT-RW430UK/UW (1280x800) will be available in March and will list for $6,799 and $5,499, respectively.
Here are all the specs: http://panasonic.com/business/projectors/ Add a comment
For IT managers maintaining facility-wide installations, features such as scheduling, monitoring, email alerts and control of multiple A/V gear are all provided through an intuitive user interface to make maintenance easier. With a LAN control feature, the SH940 also provides support for Crestron, SNMP, PJLink, and AMX systems, enabling remote management and control in addition to projector maintenance from workstations.
To reduce energy costs, power-saving features such as an "Eco Blank Mode" allow presenters to blank out the projection screen whenever the projector is not in use, while a standby mode will lower power consumption to less than 0.5W while the SH940 is inactive. Lamp replacement has also been made extra easy with access from the side or top of the projector while a filter-free optical system and BenQ's no color decay further reduces the TCO of the device.
The SH940 is shipping now and lists for $3,999. You can see all the specs at: http://www.BenQ.us Add a comment
The DSC 301 HD offers several features that enhance and simplify AV system setup and operation. For HDMI signals with protected content, Key Minder authenticates and maintains continuous HDCP encryption between input sources and displays to ensure quick and reliable switching. EDID Minder ensures that the display's capabilities are communicated to connected video sources to obtain an optimal image. Front panel controls, intuitive on-screen menus, plus USB and RS-232 connections provide flexible control and monitoring capability.
To view a product video and for more information, please visit http://www.extron.com/dsc301hdpr Add a comment
Sherak’s message to the industry is that they want to demystify the 3D conversion process, implying that his competitors have made it mysterious and hard to fathom. And, by the end of the meeting, he has done just that.
One of the most effective tools he has is a demo reel that shows how the conversion process is accomplished using the following sequence.
1) Receive assets such as original 2D plates, or 2D or 3D elements (from the VFX house) and perform an ingest into their proprietary asset and pipeline management system called CTAC.
2) After an extensive shot-by-shot review, the rotoscope team begins “Roto Annotations.” These are representative frames from each shot that have defined colors and guides that tell the roto team how to break down each object for depth.
3) The roto team performs their work, and produces a simplified version of the completed roto.
4) Once the roto is complete, it is handed off to the depth team that use proprietary software, VDX, and other tools to define the scene’s depth.
5) Then, if the shot needs it, an in-house VFX team will add 3D augmentation for things like smoke, sparks, rain, confetti or any type of particles.
6) Finally the paint team adds the final polish to the shot to ensure a beautiful end result.
The quality of the conversion process is also evident in the films they have worked on like Titanic, The Avengers, Thor, Captain America, Red Bull Stratos, Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters, Katy Perry Part of Me and others. Plus, they have some big titles in the works like Star Trek and others we were told about, but can’t name. As you can see, StereoD has a close relationship with Marvel with the fifth conversion project now underway using a well-established pipeline.
The level of conversion that StereoD offers is not cheap ranging from $50K to $100K per minute. The costs vary based on the complexity of the scenes and visual effects, and if they get a “flat” movie or if they can get the get the separate visual effects to render as part of their conversion process. As a result, StereoD, which is a subsidiary of Delux, now has 1000 employees with 40 percent in the U.S. and the rest mostly in India.
The most time consuming part is the “painting”, which is the generation of missing pixels that must be created on a frame-by-frame basis by qualified graphic artists – with knowledge of stereoscopy.
One of Sherak’s favorite expressions is that they can “bend space.” What he means by this is that they have the ability to create a different 3D rendering of various parts of the frame. That means they can have a different camera separation for example, for the foreground, midground and background to achieve a visual look that one cannot get with native 3D camera capture. This technique can even be used on native stereo content to change the 3D experience.
Sherak says part of the bad reputation of 3D conversion was forged in the early days where projects were rushed through the process. Today, he says most projects now have a minimum of about 12 weeks, but that varies from project to project, of course. Titanic, with its 180K frames, took nearly a year to complete.
Another factor that is helping StereoD to win over major Hollywood directors is their approach to working with them. “We want to be style agnostic when working with the directors,” says Sherak. For example, he says that Marvel likes to “make their characters to have big 3D volume, whereas in Titanic, the style was to make the 3D space seem as big as possible. You wanted that boat to go onto infinity,” says Sherak.
Each director approaches the 3D conversion process differently, but all soon become quite engaged in the decision making pretty quickly, explains Sherak. The first part of the process is making the depth decisions for each scene and frame. Here, StereoD says the director can have unlimited revisions until it feels right. Once this is decided, the time consuming tasks of rotoscoping, doing 3D special effects and painting can begin.
This process is done with teams that work on various parts of the film. A lead stereographer guides each team, reviewing content on a 47” or so sized passive 3DTV. Fine tuning can take the form of expanding the depth of the nose or rounding out the face.
All team members attend dailies twice a day, where scenes are “approved”. This helps the team to see how the whole movie is coming together and to develop a consistent style. StereoD has two screening rooms – one a passive polarized set up and the other with active stereo glasses.
And the company does not just work on legacy conversions, but day and date releases too. To support this, they have a fiberoptic private network that can stream extremely high resolution content to several screening rooms around the world to facilitate the decision making process. “We have to deliver the highest quality to be sure these decision makers see exactly the same thing they would see in our facility in Burbank,” explained Sherak.
So there you have it. High quality 3D conversion can be quite masterful, but it comes at a hefty price. But that’s okay. Given time, I would expect many of these tools and skills to begin to migrate to enable lower cost conversions. The really tricky part – painting pixels by trained artists, will be very difficult to replace in the long term – certainly for theatrical screenings where every error can be visible. –Chris Chinnock Add a comment
Now, LG says it has taken 100 pre-orders in Korea for its 55-inchers at a unit price of roughly $10,000, and said at CES the sets will be available in the U.S. market starting in March for about $12,000. The company announced earlier this week that it would invest KRW 706 billion (about US $648 million) in a Gen 8 OLED fab, to be installed in its P9 plant in Paju. LG Display (LGD) will start spending money on the line in Q1’13, and expects volume production to start in H1’14, with a monthly input capacity of 26,000 sheets. LGD will use the RGBW color-by-white process it obtained from Kodak when it bought Kodak’s OLED business.
LG should be able to put 6 55-inch panels on each sheet, which might sound like the line will produce a lot of OLED-TVs. And someday it will. But there are persistent, if highly unofficial, reports, that LGD’s manufacturing yield is running at about 10 percent, with plans to increase it to 30 percent by repairing some of the defective units. That is still a dismal yield, and it will keep prices high until yields improve and manufacturing costs decline. And they will, eventually.
In fact, we have lived through this story before. When Samsung began making cell-phone-sized OLED displays, it took more time than anyone – including Samsung – expected before yields rose to acceptable levels and prices came down to acceptable levels, and OLED market projections from the leading market intelligence companies were revised downward multiple times.
Late last year DisplaySearch projected that 500 OLED-TVs would be shipped worldwide in 2012, 5000 in 2013, 1.7 million in 2014, and 4.8 million in 2015. Now, Displaybank is putting those numbers at 1600 for 2013 and 1.7 million in 2015. And I wouldn’t take bets that those numbers won’t be revised downward before all this is done.
When it comes to OLED-TVs, we have all spent so much time looking at LG and Samsung, that Panasonic and Sony caught many of us by surprise when each of them showed a 56-inch 4K OLED-TV at CES this January. That diagonal and pixel count are unusual enough in the OLED world that you might expect the panels are coming from the same place, and that is partly true. The backplanes are coming from the Gen 6 fab of Taiwan’s AUO. One report said the backplane was LTPS; another that it was IGZO. It is worth noting that AUO has done a great deal of R&D on oxide TFTs over the years. On the other hand, while LTPS is certainly not impossible on a Gen 6 substrate (Samsung has been doing it on its Gen 5.5), it is not easy and it does not scale readily to Gen 8 (although Samsung has been planning to do exactly that for its first Gen 8 OLED plant). I will speculate that IGZO is the more likely approach from AUO, and it is the approach that will ultimately drive OLED prices down faster.
The front planes are different. Panasonic used a printing process for at least some of the OLED front-plane layers, while Sony used vacuum thermal evaporation. Printing of some sort is likely to be a significantly lower-cost approach, but development has been going on for many years.
So where are our OLED-TVs? They’re coming, which is what I said last year. Add a comment
Alas, like most jargon, people say things like that and while being well meaning, fail to really apply those expressions to what they do every day.
What is a best practice, really?
At its most simple, it’s doing something in a way that helps, rather than hinders your goals.
Make no mistake, there’s more than one way to do something, but inevitably there’s always a best way.
Or, as my old boss and mentor, they guy who more than anyone drilled the importance of processes into my brain, used to say, “There’s the wrong way, and there’s OUR way!”
With that in mind, I felt that it was time to codify and compile a summary of best practices of what it takes to make it as an AV Pro, based on both my personal experience, and my observations from networking with AV Pros all over North America.
Successful AV companies all share similarities and, perhaps unsurprisingly, unsuccessful AV companies share similarities too; often by doing the exact opposite of what successful companies do.
So with that in mind, let’s begin.
First, start small, and build your way up from there. Regardless of whether you’re new to the business, or you’ve struck out on your own from an established firm to start your own company, begin by selling and installing projects that are well within your ability to complete on time, and profitably.
While it will stand you in good stead for your entire career, learn the power of knowing when to say “No” to a prospective client.
While this may seem like a forehead slapper to the veteran AV guys reading this, I assure you that this nugget of wisdom isn’t obvious enough.
Virtually every nightmare job I’ve ever seen, been told about or been paid to pick up the pieces on has had one thing in common: a company that bit off more than they could chew, who then compounded the disaster by, when they were already in a hole, continuing to dig.
If all you can reasonably deliver on is “hang and bang” flat panel installs, or setting up a one-room AV system, then do it -- there’s no shame in that.
In fact, my old friend George Berlinguette, owner of Classic HiFi in Sherwood Park, Alberta said it to me best. After barely keeping afloat after a series of huge and nearly disastrous whole-home integration projects he turned his back on large projects and focused his company on the meat-and-potatoes category that delivered not only the most profit, but the most pleasure to do: single room theatre projects between fifty to one hundred thousand dollars. As he put it, “Why risk losing my ass on a big house, when my crew can do a theater room a week, every week?”
Building on the first point, keep your designs and your processes simple. Both your design documents and the way that you install in site need to avoid complexity.
Don’t over-specify, and don’t over-wire your design. Remind yourself that every single box and every single interface between each box is a chance for something to fail. Expect devices and interfaces to fail, and plan accordingly.
Listen, actually listen to what your client wants out of their system, and design accordingly. In so far as it’s in your power to do so, design the control interface so that your client and their children and elderly parents (not just you or your brilliant programmer nerd) can operate it.
Both when pitching the system to the client and drawing out the system, stop and ask yourself, “Just because we can do something, does that mean we should?” If more AV Pros asked themselves this, more often the world would be a better place.
The industry-specific business conference delivered information to innovate integration professionals that will improve their business life cycles, create leadership among their employees and management teams, utilize economic factors to administer logical business decisions and were inspired to be more by one of the most dynamic speakers the conference has hosted.
“The 2013 BLC deliverable exceeded its billing,” said Advanced AV Vice President of Sales & Marketing John Greene. “The event was business altering. It included a wonderful agenda with informative, challenging and pertinent speakers who delivered business solution on industry issues ranging from economic to marketing, strategic and motivational. This year was even better than 2012, which was remarkable, and the primary reason I attended this year’s event. I will not miss next year and if you are involved in the communication industry you need to consider this conference if you want to stay relevant. The peer networking alone was worth any expense.”
Several integration companies have been bringing their entire management staff, from accountants, technology managers to CEOs, and using this conference to kick-off their strategic planning meetings. They incorporate the thought processes and content to build their business plan and check in on their current processes and procedures.
“It was refreshing to have successful speakers finally say ‘it’s time to pull up your bootstraps,’” said Andy Musci, Altel Systems, Inc. president/CEO and a member of the BLC planning committee. “To receive that message and then be inspired to make it happen – I’m looking forward to building off of this momentum.”
“I am overwhelmed by the response from our attendees, sponsors, and speakers this year,” said Chuck Wilson, NSCA executive director. “Our speakers were thrilled to have such an engaged audience. Their messages resonated with the pain points of our members, the concepts and theories that will improve profits, meet customer expectations and so much more. We truly heard how this was the best event yet and hearing from a couple of our Excellence in Business panelists that they incorporated strategies learned from this conference and improved profits by 50 percent -- it is exciting to realize the impact this conference has on our integrators success.”
“Attending BLC was exactly what I needed to focus my efforts in growing my company, said Gregory Meyet, BAE Technology Inc.; vice president of business development and first-time attendee. “I had decided to attend so that I could meet with other successful integrators, share ideas and develop strong relationships. Growth is my immediate focus for BAE Technology and the BLC provided some strong information to help me achieve that goal!”
Despite arriving to snow in Phoenix, more than 60 golfers participated in the NSCA Education Foundation Golf Tournament which led to three days filled with networking, inspiration, and motivation to build a better business.
“We get asked to sponsor events every day, but Listen Technologies has chosen the BLC due to the incredible networking opportunities,” said co-founder and Vice President of Sales Worldwide for Listen Technologies Corporation Cory Schaeffer. “We have found the caliber of the attendees to be outstanding and with quality time to actually network. I have left each BLC feeling enriched and inspired unlike any other industry event I’ve attended. NSCA has the secret ingredient to pull off the most amazing topics with dynamic speakers.”
NSCA announced the 2014 Business & Leadership Conference at the conclusion of the conference and received nearly 70 registrations on-site. Additionally, the NSCA Education Foundation will offer twice as many Randy Vaughan Founders Awards, 20 in total, for the 2014 event. Award winners will receive complimentary admission to the Business & Leadership Conference, of which Randy Vaughan founded in 1998. The 2014 Business & Leadership Conference will be held February 27 - March 1, in Dallas, TX, at the Four Seasons Las Colinas. Registration is now open by visiting http://www.nsca.org/blc Add a comment
With the new Windows Driver Model (WDM) mode in V3.2.0, Dante Virtual Soundcard for Windows now adds support for applications including iTunes, Windows Media Player, Skype and more. PC users can play out or record audio from these applications with professional sound quality.
- Choice of 64x64 ASIO or 8x8 WDM mode (presents as four stereo Windows WDM soundcards)
- Choice of 44.1kHz or 48kHz sample rate in WDM mode
- Windows 8 32- and 64 bit support
- Integrated online help
- Installation of Apple Bonjour service no longer required
- Clock performance improvements
Download Dante Virtual Soundcard V3.2.0 for Windows at the Audinate website: http://www.audinate.com/DanteVirtualSoundcardAdd a comment
The EDID 101H joins the EDID 101 Series of EDID emulators, which includes the EDID 101D for DVI and the EDID 101V for VGA signals. The EDID 101H is housed in a compact 1" high, quarter rack width metal enclosure for convenient, discreet installation. An energy-efficient external universal power supply is included.
Here are all the specs: http://www.extron.com/product/product.aspx?id=edid101h&s=5 Add a comment
Almo Professional A/V announced this week a new distribution agreement with Elo Touch Solutions, a global supplier of touch-enabled Interactive Digital Signage (IDS) technology. Almo Pro A/V reseller partners now have access to Elo’s touch interactive experiences in screen sizes ranging from 7 inches to 70 inches.
“The Elo team is excited to engage with the Almo digital signage thought leaders and certified Pro A/V technology experts,” said Craig Witsoe, CEO, Elo Touch Solutions. “Together we will help resellers and end-users realize the possibilities for digital signage to help education, government, hospitality, healthcare, and retail organizations enhance their audience experience and optimize communications efficiency.”
“Our resellers are experiencing increasing demand for large format touch-enabled displays,” explained Sam Taylor, executive vice president and COO for Almo Professional A/V. “We’re partnering with Elo Touch Solutions because they provide a broad portfolio of screen sizes and touch technologies our resellers can incorporate into their projects with the service and support to back Elo’s innovative products.”
Almo will show Elo Touch Solutions products in its booth (#1251) at the Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas this week.
Learn more about Almo Pro A/V here: http://www.almoproav.com/
Learn about Elo Touch Solutions here: http://www.elotouch.comAdd a comment
This achievement underscores Philips’ continued focus on driving sustainability throughout the organization and aim to improve the health and well-being of people through innovation. “We are proud to report that today Philips improves the lives of every 4th person on earth and our ambition is to grow this target to 3 billion a year by 2025 as part of our company’s vision”, said Jim Andrew, chairman of the sustainability board and Philips’ chief strategy and innovation officer. “We have also made huge progress in the environmental impact of our operations and have reached our five-year carbon reduction target of 25 percent this year. This was primarily accomplished through energy saving programs in our major operational sites, green logistics, reduced travel and increased use of renewable energy, which we will continue to implement globally.”
In 2012 Philips invested EUR 569 million in Green Innovation, on track to reach our target of EUR 2 billion by 2015. Lighting led the way by investing over EUR 325 million in innovation towards furthering the LED revolution which aims to substantially reduce carbon dioxide emissions by switching to energy-efficient lighting.
In Consumer Lifestyle the company implemented its voluntary commitment to phase out polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFR) from its products, and for the first time all its espresso coffee machines launched during the year are free of these substances.
Investments in healthcare support the increasing interest that we see in societies across the globe for green hospitals and reduced environmental impact of healthcare. This commitment was recognized by COCIR in choosing Philips Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) as the front runner in the industry for energy-efficient MRI with 22 percent lower average energy consumption.
The Philips 2012 sustainability update is an integrated part of the Philips 2012 Annual Report, available at: http://www.annualreport2012.philips.com Add a comment
Delta Products is launching the WX21 and WX31 WideXtreme (WX) megapixel displays that Delta claims can be assembled in under an hour and calibrated in seconds using Mersive's auto-calibrating Sol software. In addition to integrating Mersive's Sol software, the WX series displays are also the first displays to ship with Mersive's Solstice software, a new application that allows multiple users to access and share the display simultaneously using laptops and mobile devices over an existing IP network. Delta’s WX displays effectively solve two of the most common problems found in nearly all conference rooms today: the lack of cost effective beyond HD display systems, and collaborative software to connect, control, and share.
Here are all the stats: http://www.delta-americas.com/displaysolutions/products/WX-Series-Displays/Add a comment
Soundcast Systems, developer and manufacturer of wireless music systems, has been purchased by former SpeakerCraft CEO Jeremy Burkhardt. Burkhardt brings 23 years of industry experience to the company. It looks like he's decided to compete directly with his old company. He is also currently suing SpeakerCraft, with whom he had a non-compete, but Burkhardt says is invalid. This should be interesting to watch.
Burkhardt says, "Soundcast is an innovative, engineering driven company and one of the first to deliver high-performance working wireless technology and portable outdoor speakers. The unique opportunity lays in the fact that it's a company with proven cutting-edge wireless, DSP and amplifier technologies with multiple patents under its belt. They've lacked the capital resources to grow the business with more products, marketing and field training initiatives that are necessary for its dealers."
Burkhardt's longtime business partner Jeff Francisco will take the role of CTO at the company, but the company says it will maintain its current management, sales and operations team, including Oscar Ciornei as head of business development. "Soundcast already has a great management and sales team in place, but together we will make a great team even better by adding our collective strengths along with the financial resources I can deliver to the company. With our added people and resources we will strengthen our customer service, technical support, product time-to-market and new product innovations," Burkhardt said.
The headquarters will remain in Chula Vista, Calif. In addition, expansion plans will be announced in the near future for larger headquarters facilities and staffing.
Soundcast's current and ongoing president Mike Weaver states, "Jeremy brings a powerful combination of vision, experience and fervor to Soundcast. All that plus a combination of new products and more ways to use existing platforms to grow with our channel partners. I am excited to work alongside Jeremy, our leadership team and network of global partners to rapidly grow Soundcast to new heights."
The company plans to accelerate the development of new products that best fit the needs of the modern connected world, with many new innovative models slated for 2013 and 2014.
Soundcast has one of the most comprehensive patent portfolios for wireless audio in the world. The company says it plans to aggressively protect the company's intellectual property of its wireless audio, digital amplification and proprietary high-performance battery technologies.Add a comment
I've attended every single Almo ProAV E4 AV Tour and it's, by far, the best regional trade show in AV - and not just because i'm the keynote presenter. Seriously, after you attend, if you aren't convinced that their E4 AV Tour isn't the best distributor show you've ever been to, I will PERSONALLY give you a spot in rAVe to write your own rebuttal and post you opinion of the best regional distributor show. Well?
Anyway, I sat down with Melody Craigmyle over Skype this morning and got a preview of what to expect in Chicago next month and also she tells you how you can earn over 10 hours of InfoComm CTS renewal credits by attending.
Here's the entire interview:
And, to register for the show, go to: www.almoproav.comAdd a comment
ELO Touch actually invented touch-screen technology back in 1971. Elo Touch happens to be the leading global supplier of touch-enabled technology. The Elo portfolio encompasses the broadest selection of OEM touch screen components, touch monitors and all-in-one touch computers for the demanding requirements of diverse markets, including gaming machines, hospitality systems, industrial automation, interactive kiosks, healthcare and digital signage. You can see the company's entire product line here: http://www.elotouch.com/Products/default.asp
You can read the full press release here.
I spoke to Almo Pro A/V's Executive VP Sam Taylor this morning about the partnership with ELO.
Almo Pro A/V can be found here: http://www.almoproav.com Add a comment
Complicating matters is an anticipated global healthcare provider shortage, which is threatening the ability of healthcare delivery organizations (HDOs) to meet the growing need for services. As a result, HDOs are aggressively seeking ways to re-tool their operations to provide care more efficiently and cost-effectively to an increasing number of patients, without compromising quality or their own financial bottom lines.
High-Tech Improves Coordination of Care
Fortunately, one of the latest trends in Healthcare IT may provide a partial answer to the crisis in the form of new Interactive Patient Care (IPC) solutions that promise to improve clinical workflow and staff efficiency, while enhancing the patient experience. New and re-purposed technologies are converging to equip the hospital enterprise with a user-friendly IT platform that streamlines numerous processes while empowering patients with tools to personalize their stay and optimize their recovery.
Hospitals are rapidly adopting Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and Real Time Locating Systems (RTLS) technologies throughout their facilities to automatically identify clinicians and patients and deliver a wealth of patient data to caregivers at the point of care. Featuring built-in security parameters, RFID and RTLS capabilities ensure access to specific patient information only by authorized individuals, so that sensitive data is always protected.
These technologies are now providing value far beyond simple inventory tracking and equipment monitoring in facilities, creating opportunities for a more streamlined, coordinated approach to patient care on behalf of the entire healthcare team. Today’s IPC solutions are designed to increase clinician productivity and enhance both patient safety and comfort. Having a patient’s up-to-date medical history and current medications at your fingertips is the key to safely and effectively delivering optimum care while reducing the administrative burden.
A Portal in the Storm of Information
By combining these automated identification capabilities with new networked, smart terminals located at the point of care, these fully integrated solutions provide a convenient portal to information, services and a diverse array of capabilities for clinicians, staff and patients alike.
Today’s bedside smart terminals come in all shapes and sizes to provide the utmost comfort, control and convenience for both patients and clinicians within the confines of the hospital room. Typically comprising a medical grade all-in-one computer, these consoles are available in wall-, ceiling-mounted or tabletop options for easy viewing and mobility. User-friendly graphic interfaces, similar to smartphone menus, make applications easily accessible via an anti-bacterial touchscreen. Patients can select from a wide array of functions to make their stay more personalized, from ordering their evening meal to checking their daily schedule or simply adjusting the room lighting.
The best-performing solutions offer a turnkey approach to interactive patient care systems, bundling proprietary software with the terminals to ensure seamless operation and smooth connectivity. Many also feature sound ergonomics and sleek styling, in addition to energy-saving LED backlights for a truly “green” approach to bedside computing.
Clinician Collaboration Goes Mobile
One of the greatest benefits to physicians and other caregivers is the ability to instantly access, update and communicate a patient’s medical data conveniently at the bedside. Using smart cards or RFID cards, doctors and nurses can also securely access the Hospital Information System (HIS) in addition to complete Electronic Medical Records (EMR) for patients. Healthcare providers can view a patient’s chart to prescribe medication, examine x-rays, update records with lab test results – all conveniently at the bedside, so information is available to the entire healthcare team at any moment, from any networked workstation. Moreover, by entering patient data only once at the point of care instead of transcribing notes or logging into multiple workstations, providers can significantly reduce the potential for error and deliver improved efficiencies and clinical workflow.
Clinicians can also use bedside smart terminals to build a rapport with patients, employing these user-friendly tools as an interactive “whiteboard” to communicate more clearly and completely about a patient’s course of treatment. While a patient rests comfortably in bed, the doctor can pull up their latest MRI scan, show a video depicting the upcoming surgical procedure, and provide post-operative instructions to illustrate the continuum of care in a meaningful, understandable way.
Staying Connected for Better Outcomes
In addition to learning more about their condition and course of treatment, patients can utilize smart terminals to access a diverse palette of entertainment and communication apps, allowing them to stay connected, both inside and outside the hospital, during their stay. Armed with a fully-optimized, ergonomic monitor, patients can quickly and easily access television, movies, radio, Internet, email, games, video conferencing and more to make their recuperation more enjoyable.
Hospitalized patients can also use the terminal to communicate with hospital workers, control their room environment, request special meals and view their daily schedule to feel more in control of their experience. It goes without saying that the patient “self-service” aspects of bedside smart terminals can also free up medical staff to attend to more critical tasks and provide better care in a more timely manner.
Education Promotes Long-Lasting Recovery
Another key benefit, is that patients and their families can view educational brochures and videos about their specific medical condition, including follow-up care, to learn ways to enhance their opportunities for a full recovery. It’s no surprise that a well-informed patient is likely to have a more successful recuperation and return to good health more quickly. We are seeing that patients actively engaged throughout their hospitalization typically experience greater overall satisfaction, which can also positively influence their clinical outcome.
Hospitals Re-tool for Efficiency
Patients who have taken an active role in their care and treatment are often more likely to continue healthy habits upon their return to home. For an HDO, successful patient outcomes can result in fewer re-admissions due to potential complications or relapses. With fewer re-admissions, hospitals can benefit from faster bed turnarounds to accommodate new, incoming patients.
In addition to their clinical advantages, IPC solutions can also aid healthcare administrators in significantly improving operational efficiency throughout the hospital enterprise. Anything that empowers clinicians and staff to increase their productivity and throughput is going to benefit an institution’s bottom line.
Hospitals can leverage the networked communications and information-sharing capabilities of IPC solutions to reduce the administrative burden on providers and staff, primarily by eliminating repetitive data entry and automating many routine tasks. Also, by integrating these solutions into the hospital’s nurse call systems, hospitals can enable caregivers to prioritize and more fully respond to requests while allowing patients to obtain exactly the type of assistance needed. For the hospital, these types of modifications can enable a smarter approach to staffing and clinician coverage, which in turn, improves utilization of resources across the enterprise.
Creating New Revenue Streams
The flexibility of the platform also enables hospitals to package and upsell premium patient entertainment packages to create a new source of revenue stream, complete with integrated billing systems for true self-service entertainment. This may also be a benefit that prompts patients to rate their hospital highly when it comes to satisfaction surveys. The bedside smart terminal makes this easy! Hospitals can offer online patient satisfaction surveys right on the device, potentially using positive results to secure higher reimbursements from many healthcare insurers. Patients can take surveys anytime during, and at the conclusion at their stay, providing feedback on numerous parameters which can be used by healthcare administrators to continue improving the delivery of care.
From a cost-containment perspective, hospitals typically benefit from the bundling benefit of IPC solutions, i.e., sole-sourcing TV/telephone/Internet platform and services, which typically results in a lower total cost of ownership for these items when not combined.
Paving a New Path to Quality Care
IPC solutions can play a vital role in ensuring the continuity and quality of patient care, closing the resource gap with innovative, self-service tools that benefit patients, clinicians and the entire hospital enterprise. By adopting these bedside smart terminals in their facilities, healthcare delivery organizations can continue their mission of safely and cost-effectively delivering high-quality patient care in a new era of growing demand for services.
Warren Kressinger-Dunn is vice president of strategic marketing, Point of Care for Barco Healthcare. In his current role, he leads the corporate strategic direction and product development for Barco’s Point of Care solutions. Bringing more than 25 years of experience in the electronics industry, Kressinger-Dunn joined Barco during its acquisition of JaoTech where he formerly served as the company’s chief executive officer. Add a comment
Now how much do you practice what you preach? As a consultant I have had the opportunity to work with design and construction professionals who can talk the talk but have a hard time walking the walk when it comes to their own businesses and personal lifestyles. It is rather profundicating to me. I suggest that one of the best and easiest ways to sell your ability to provide meaningful, environmentally sound and sustainable solutions to your clients and customers is to show them what you do in your own business and life and be able to convey real world experience in how that has affected your company and yourself personally.
In the days of Facebook, Twitter, Angie’s List and a plethora of other social media avenues, a personal recommendation is still the best and least intensive way to convince others that what you are telling them is true and has benefit to them. Modern social media has certainly taken this to stratospheric heights as there are myriad places people can post their experiences about anything from a dentist to dining to a contractor. For example, as a trained degreed (MFA) theater professional that still designs professionally and teaches in the field, I am able to understand and offer up meaningful real-world experience because I live their challenges. So let’s look how you do with your own carbon footprint and what experience can you bring to the table to help your clients. Save money? Retain happier employees? Protect the environment? You would be surprised at one of the largest companies that are constantly learning, expanding and sharing this lesson -- Wal-Mart.
Whatever disdain or enthusiasm you may have for this company and its impact on local mom and pops, they can and are offering a great opportunity and example here in partnership with the Clinton Foundation. Wally World has moved seriously to make its supply chain more sustainable as a good and profitable business model. They have also decided another avenue to work on was their own employees and their sustainability choices in their own lives. Now first and foremost I want to point out that the word “sustainability” in itself does not only include green efforts but in the true sense of the word means something continuing in perpetuity. So what has Walmart been up to and how does it impact their customers and their own?
In 2007 an associate pilot program started with some noticeable results. By the end of the first few years over 20,000 employees had quit smoking, they recycled 3,000,000 pounds of plastic and shed a collective 184,000 pounds from themselves. Wal-Mart saw this real opportunity to make a change for the better in a positive way for themselves, their families and to 200 million customers worldwide.
In 2010 the My Sustainability Plan (MSP) was created (formally know through the pilot program as Personal Sustainability Project) to better engage employees to advance their sustainability initiatives through a comprehensive guide. MSP is a true win-win for the associates and Wal-Mart as a whole by providing opportunity to the employees to feel valued, engaged and cared about giving rise to increased productivity and job satisfaction. The plan was created with the employees input as well as an outside consultant, BBMG.
Launching MSP in 2010, Wal-Mart engaged and urged employees in 28 countries to adopt goals in specific areas of concentration: living healthier (My Health), caring for the planet (My Planet) and getting the most out of life (My Life). An online space was created with a tracking component and a social networking side that allowed employees to see how they were succeeding or even to provide a little friendly competition using a goal oriented framework. To date over 50,000 Wal-Mart employees worldwide are signed up and participating. For Wal-Mart this provides them with real data that can then be translated into actual strategy to increase profitability, say a reduction in healthcare costs, to both Walmart and the employees as employees are eating better, losing weight and staying healthier. Employees get to keep more of their take home pay because they lowered their electric bills by switching to CLFs or LED lamps. This translates into that real world experience that can then be brought to the customers providing them with confidence that what they are buying means something and they can feel good about.
One of the best things about this program in particular is that Wal-Mart and the Clinton Foundation have made it royalty free and available to all. Many organizations such as UPS, J.B.Hunt, United Healthcare and others have taken advantage of this initiative including my own company. You may be tempted to say “But Wal-Mart is a huge company. What impact can my ten person firm make?” There really is only one way to find out. This particular program does not rely on how many employees you have to work and most can be tailored to suit your situation. So now I have given you an example of a great set of tools. There are probably many out there and hopefully you have some motivation to provide that personal experience you need to walk the walk as you talk the talk with your clients and customers.
The roadmap is easy as BBMG explains. Set the strategy by creating a vision statement giving works a good solid understanding of the resources and firms goals. The goals should be actionable and personal, but also measurable and achievable. Next build the buzz by using firm social media, e-newsletters or other corporate communication. Also, try inviting local nutritionists to speak at your firm about eating healthy or other guest speakers related to the goals. Make the goals voluntary and rewarding -- competition with a juicy prize always helps. And lastly, measure the impact and use the programs successes to continue to garner support from your employees. Display this not only for your employees to see but your clients as well. You will be surprised at the positive results. Then next time you meet with that client you can be really speaking from experience beyond what you installed for your last client.
To find out more about what the Clinton Foundation and Wal-Mart are doing you can go to http://mysustainabilityplan.com
DSA welcomes entries from all interested companies - members and non-members alike. The cost to enter is $195 per entry for members and $225 per entry for non-members per entry. All entries will require a video demonstration of the product in use. The video MUST be available to view on the web via YouTube, Vimeo or your own website (no downloads).
Technology (you can enter a project in one or more of these categories):
- Digital Signage
- Self-Service/Interactive Kiosk
Vertical market (choose only one):
- Corporate Communication
- Digital Out-of-Home Campaign
- Financial Services
- Restaurant/Food Service
- Other (industry not listed above)
A list of 2012 winners can be found here: http://www.digitalscreenmedia.org/2012-dsa-industry-excellence-award-winners
In addition, the DSA will also give awards for Industry Deployer of the Year to an individual and Network Operator of the Year to a company. These awards are via nomination.
rAVe founder Gary Kayye will be one of the judges for the awards, along with other industry experts.
Entries are due March 15, 2013. For more information on submitting an entry, click here: http://www.digitalscreenmedia.org/dsa-awards-entry-information
To enhance and simplify integration, the HDMI DA Series offers features including automatic input cable equalization, automatic color bit depth management and selectable output muting, as well as indicators for monitoring and troubleshooting. Input cable equalization restores and reshapes incoming HDMI signals, reducing the need for additional signal conditioning equipment by compensating for weak source signals or signal loss from a long input cable. The HDMI DA Series automatically adjusts color bit depth based on the display EDID, preventing color compatibility conflicts between source and display. Outputs can be muted independently via RS-232, allowing content to be previewed on a local monitor. Additionally, the distribution amplifiers provide immediate visual confirmation of EDID status, HDCP authentication, and signal presence confirmation for each port via front panel LED indicators.
Here are all the stats: http://www.extron.com/product/product.aspx?id=hdmidaseries&s=5 Add a comment
The Savant SST-W100, requiring only standard thermostat wiring at its mounting location, is ideal for retrofit installations thanks to its wireless communication to Savant's SmartSystem controllers. The SST-W100 provides access to temperature adjustments from anywhere in the home or from a remote location using any Savant interface. Multiple Savant thermostats may be networked over an existing Wi-Fi network, enabling temperature and humidity adjustment from any SST-W100 in the home. Energy conservation is achieved by programming the HVAC system (using the HVAC Scheduler within the Savant TrueControl iPad app) to automatically respond based upon outside temperature, season or time of day.
Up to two optional remote temperature sensors (sold separately) can be connected to the SST-W100 for enhanced flexibility and optimized performance when required. Climate can be regulated according to the average of multiple sensors or the built-in sensors within the thermostat can be disabled entirely to allow the SST-W1000 to be installed out of sight.
Key features include:
- Wi-Fi (802.11) enabled thermostat
- Supports standard or heat pump HVAC systems
- Includes 128 x 64 backlit graphical display
- Local temperature displays on backlit LCD
- Set point display and control
- System mode (off, auto, heat, and cool)
- Fan display and control (auto, manual, and on)
- Six buttons with on-screen labels
- Fahrenheit or Celsius modes
- Optional remote sensors
- Optional flush mount accessory
- Integrates easily with TrueControl
- Automatically sends changes, so there is no polling
The RPV RPMM Matrix Flex Mount enables a large flat panel matrix to be firmly held in position and mounted on a load bearing wall. If the wall is not able to hold the flat panel weight, custom H-Frames (steel slab-slab posts), floor stands or overhead support structures are available as installation options. This mount is ideal for two high 46”, 55”, and 60” flat panels. It can go up to four wide.
The RPMM-Matrix Flex Mount is shipping now. Here are the details: http://www.rpvisuals.com/ Add a comment
Yesterday, the Board authorized to increase the amount available for the stock buy-back program from $3,000,000 to $10,000,000.
Generally, this is a good sign that the company believes it's in a good financial position and wants more control from the shareholders. We'll continue to monitor ClearOne's 8-K fillings and report them as we see them.
ClearOne is here: http://www.clearone.com Add a comment
Following a pilot phase, UBC selected Haivision's CoolSign digital signage solution for its campus because it provided highly scalable infrastructure for easy expansion, simple management tools for content broadcasters, platform stability and an economical price tag. In the event of an emergency, UBC can now instantly deliver a broadcast message throughout its network of displays via a centrally controlled communications platform. The solution is also fully scalable, meaning that as the university continues to grow, the digital signage solution can be adapted to accommodate any number of new applications. To manage the cost of the solution, UBC also benefits from a flexible licensing agreement, which allows for cost-effective operations that can be tailored to the university's specific needs.
To support UBC's marketing and branding initiatives, content administrators now have the ability to include a central content playlist, which is relevant to the entire campus community, in their own local playing content. From within the different schools or faculties, students and other members can also submit content for rotation on internal, campus-wide, or large outdoor screens. This setup enables UBC's different units to use digital signage in a way that corresponds to their existing workflows while still allowing for centrally managed infrastructure and support. Recent initiatives have included notices for Remembrance Day ceremonies, teaser profiles of student athletes participating in the 2012 London Games, and student film projects posted to the UBC's large outdoor display. The university also incorporates social media to help augment its brand awareness by broadcasting curated Twitter streams and posting photos to promote events unfolding live on its campus.
For business units, digital signage has made operations more efficient and is being used to promote specific products and services. For instance, the university's Food Services now uses dynamic menuboards to advertise its offerings. Via digital panels, the service is able to instantly adjust the menu to better match its inventory and launch spontaneous promotions to coincide with special events taking place at UBC. Food Services also enjoys increased operability with its point-of-sales system and a better overall service to its customers.
Since launching the system two years ago, UBC has already increased its number of displays from 15 to 110 and intends to add multicast video streaming throughout its signage network in the near future. Furthermore, the "Campus Signage Unlimited" program is currently enjoying a 100 percent retention rate from all of its participating services. UBC's signage solution has also enabled substantial economies of scale; networking, infrastructure, security, disaster-recovery, software licensing, training and support costs have all be reduced thanks to the deployment. From a content perspective, there is now more consistency to the university's branding message due to more centrally managed broadcasts and an increase in successful campus-wide campaigns related to faculties and student life.
Wilson Lo, senior programmer analyst in the IT department at the University of British Columbia (UBC), comes from a varied technical background. He started out as a Unix systems administrator and then moved into the area of Java development. He has been involved with the delivery of several enterprise open source-based services at UBC. Most recently, his work has shifted more into the solutions architecting of enterprise services, including the UBC student e-mail and digital signage services.
Lo will also be a presenter during the "Digital Signage in Education" conference from 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 26 at Digital Signage Expo 2013 in Las Vegas.
This case study was reprinted with permission from the Digital Signage Connection and originally appeared here. Add a comment
The projector is equipped with several connectors for multiple-PC source input, offering instant switching and connection options. Input interfaces include analog RGB/component video (D-Sub), composite video (RCA), S-Video (mini DIN), component (three RCA), two HDMI (video, audio, HDCP) and PC audio (stereo mini jack).
It lists for $799. Here are all the specs: http://us.acer.com/ac/en/US/content/series/projectors-home Add a comment
DMP 128 AT models provide scalable audio transport over a local area network using standard Internet protocols. Each processor sends out 24 channels of 24-bit/48 kHz digital audio and can receive 56 channels over the network. A built-in four-port Gigabit switch also provides direct interconnection of multiple DMP 128 AT units to create larger, cost-effective audio matrixes. Dante technology distributes a virtually unlimited 512x512 audio channels at 24-bit/48 kHz over a single Gigabit Ethernet link, or 48x48 audio channels at 24-bit/48 kHz over a single 100 Mbps Ethernet link, plus integrated control data with extremely low latency. Both Dante and the DMP 128 AT processor's four-port switch are AVB - Audio Video Bridging ready.
The DMP 128 features Extron ProDSP, engineered from the ground up using a powerful 64-bit floating point DSP engine and studio grade 24-bit converters with 48 kHz sampling. ProDSP is managed by the intuitive DSP Configurator Software, featuring an easy-to-use GUI that allows for complete audio system visualization within a single window. All DMP 128 models include an automixer with gated and gain sharing modes for managing up to eight groups of microphone signals. Select DMP 128 processors feature Extron AEC with eight independent channels of high performance, fast echo cancellation for optimal intelligibility in conferencing applications.
Here are the specs: http://www.extron.com/company/article.aspx?id=dmp128ad&s=sl01 Add a comment
Typically, companies start by unconsciously growing their future project managers through a “trial-by-fire” approach to crisis management. They give intelligent, highly motivated technical or functional employees a “challenge” or “opportunity” to fix a problem in a very limited time and with very limited resources. This opportunity is viewed as an emergency, and the company (or manager) is depending on these individuals to “Give 110 percent,” “Pull out all the stops,” “Do whatever it takes,” etc. to get the crisis contained. To paraphrase an oft-quoted phrase, “A crisis is the instantaneous end of a delusion.”
The thing is, attempting to transform a company’s star problem solver into a project manager can be challenging. Many of these problem solvers are what we call technical specialists and they have a general tendency to look within themselves in order to arrive at the desired solution. In fact, let’s list the traits of a typical technical specialist and an optimal project manager and discuss each.
Technical specialists — the ones putting out the company’s fires while being groomed for a project management role:
Seek optimal solutions. There is a best answer to the problem and technical specialists usually make every effort to attain it. They often get demoralized when they’re unable to realize the optimal end.
Strive for precision (exactness). Technical specialists look for exactness, and when they can’t give an exact answer, they tend to feel as if their competence or knowledge is being judged. Their estimates tend to be presented as very exact and are often based on optimistic (perfect-world) conditions. Their confidence is directly related to the amount of certainty.
Deal with things. Machines, speakers, equipment, wiring, racks, etc. If technical specialists can understand the inner workings of something like an AV system, they can fix it or make it work. Things can’t talk back or have an opinion that may cause conflict (a condition to be avoided or minimized).
Focus on processes. Technical specialists feel there is a prescribed way of getting things done, in an often systematic and very linear process, and spend time creating their own way of doing things—which they rarely share. Following the developed steps will lead them to the optimal solution.
Practice reactionary problem solving. Putting out fires is a challenge — an opportunity to show one’s expertise and knowledge. The bigger the crisis, the more indispensable the person. Technical specialists only escalate a problem when it has grown insurmountable.
Work with immutable laws. To technical specialists, there are certain laws of nature — physics, electrical, mechanical, etc. — that make sense and must be applied to a problem in order to solve it. They believe there is a “right way” to do things.
Specialize to improve. They get better at their job by becoming more and more knowledgeable about specific areas of interest. Being the expert in a field—the go-to person in a crisis — is the highest compliment.
Succeed individually. Technical specialists focus mainly on diving into a challenge or opportunity individually, removing themselves from their surroundings and focusing all their effort on the specific problem. Communicating often gets in the way of solving the crisis.
A technical specialist is answer-based.
In short, technical specialists see their value and worth measured by how well, quickly and precisely they can answer a question. And if they ever had to ask a question themselves, it would only show others that they didn’t know or couldn’t determine the answer.
While technical specialists are critical to an AV integration firm’s successful operation, they aren’t always the best choice for project management roles. Mature project managers look outside themselves for resources, understand interdependencies and ask probing questions of others (client, design consultant, general contractor, users, technicians, manufacturers, etc,) to achieve the desired outcome. The people you want managing your AV projects:
Seek pragmatic solutions. They defines what is probable and realistic, given the circumstances, assumptions and constraints, and communicate realism, not optimism.
Strive for accuracy (predictability). Project managers know that an accurate estimate always has a confidence range, or a probability factor. They know a precise estimate is typically exact but completely inaccurate and they are comfortable with the unknowns and variances of projects. They remain confident when there is uncertainty.
Deal with people. Most projects impact a range of different people, all of whom have opinions, needs, wants and expectations — many of which are often in conflict. Project managers learn to address conflict early and understand that proactive conflict management is an essential part of a successful project. Early diagnosis and resolution reduce the probability of a dramatic crisis.
Focus on outcomes. They are able to envision the desired result and look at multiple ways to achieve it. They are more focused on deliverables than on following their own rigid processes.
Practice proactive planning. Project managers strive to minimize risk and “fires” through proactive planning. When problems do occur, they will notify others as the problems are worked on and escalate issues early, with viable and well-constructed options.
Work with situational rules. They understand that the world is not perfect and are willing to adapt to the current situation. They’ll make changes based on fluctuating conditions and communicate what is happening versus what was hoped for or expected.
Generalize to improve. They attempt to understand the bigger picture, the interrelationships between the various pieces, and the people involved and affected by a project. Project managers focus on the integration of different specialties and the hand-offs between them. They can picture the spider-web of interdependencies and orchestrate their connections.
Succeed through others. Project managers rely on the expertise of others rather than trying to know all of the answers. They understand that projects are successful because of the combined efforts of many talented people working together.
A project manager is question-based.
In short, project managers understand the value of asking questions, especially those that may seem too simple to ask. They involve many different stakeholders and are willing not to know the answers in order to find the correct solution.
Both of these types of people — technical specialists and project managers — are incredibly important to the successful completion of a project and the continued satisfaction of a client. The challenge is in determining which of your resources is predisposed to growing as a technical specialist and which is more inclined to become a project manager.
Organizations have to separate project management from the technical specialist career path. Not all employees should or can play both roles. Such a practice often diminishes the strengths of our technical specialists and ultimately reduces their value, and their morale.
This column was reprinted with permission from InfoComm International and originally appeared here. Add a comment
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