Volume 10, Issue 1 — January 26, 2018
|THE BIGGEST Trend in AV in 2018 Will Be… Kayye’s Krystal Ball Is Back!|
By Gary Kayye
The year 2018 could turn out to be full of giant changes. The market is certainly poised for it as you have a number of technological advancements that have emerged simultaneously — each of them have a lot of potential. First, let’s review all the latest in emerging AV technology and then and I’ll tell you what I think will be the biggest one of them all in 2018, and why.
SSD Lighting: In the world of projection, both laser and LED lighting will hit the big-time in 2018. Although Christie Digital’s public pronouncement last month that 91 percent of the projectors they sold in 2016 were still lamp-based, it has — along with nearly every other projector company — retooled its production lines for laser-based projection. If a company hasn’t done that, it’s most likely decided on the other leading SSD (solid-state device) lighting source, LED. SSD lighting will change everything in AV in 2018. And, I am not just talking about third-party relamping companies going out of business. I am saying that colorimetry will be revolutionary. Any — I mean ANY — side-by-side you do with a traditional lamp-based projector compared to a laser-based projector will win you the project for the replacement every single time (unless, of course, the customer doesn’t have the budget — and, in that case, why do the demo?). When given a reference to what the color reproduction from the original source is on lamp vs. laser, laser wins 100 percent of the time. With LED (vs lamp), it’s easily 90 percent of the time.
But, SSD isn’t all about color — tt’s about lifetimes too. Most laser- and LED-based projectors, no matter the brand, are being spec’d at 20,000+ hours of operation — and some are even reaching the 30K hour mark. This simply blows away any lamp-based projection model. Everyone will want to upgrade.
But not everyone will be able to afford it. And, although SSD lighting will be the largest trend in projection, it won’t be the biggest thing in AV for 2018 — so keep reading.
Direct-View LEDs: It drives me — and about about 85,000 other AV professionals — crazy when I see ads on TV or even in our own trade publications touting the new generation LCD displays as LEDs. They aren’t LEDs. There’s a big difference between LED-lit LCDs and actual LED displays. Sure, LED-lit LCDs are awesome and way, way better than CFL-lit LCDs — who would’t buy an LED-based LCD monitor or TV today? LEDs last longer, have way, way less uniformity issues and much better colorimetry than any other backlighting technology for LCD monitors. But, they aren’t LEDs. LEDs will be big in 2018 and we need to stop the confusing the customer with our nomenclature as since they are, in fact, very different from LED-lit LCDs.
The big thing for LCDs in 2018 will be how they continue to get thinner, cheaper and lighter while also getting brighter. We’ll see brightness go up 30 percent in 2018, we’ll see prices reduced nearly 50 percent from mid-2017 pricing and we’ll see a plethora of 75″+ displays hit the market by mid-year — all at half what they cost now. But this won’t be the biggest thing to happen to AV in 2018. So keep reading.
LEDs: If I were starting new business in the market right now, I’d start an advertising agency that specializes in content for LED displays — this is the next big thing in advertising. The entire digital signage space will be revolutionized by LED and much of it will start to happen in 2018. In places where we were putting LCDs before (e.g., menu boards, drive-thrus, transportation signage and retail video walls)m LEDs will swallow up the market. I mean, LEDs will dominate nearly every direct-view display conversation and will certainly own 60 percent recent of the video wall market by the end of 2018. And because they are SSD, they too will have colorimetry that’s significantly better than LCD. In many cases we’re actually having to run the LED panels at 40-60 percent of their potential brightness because they’re too bright — so really will last forever. Yet, even with all that happening in 2018, LEDs will still not be the biggest thing to effect the AV market in 2018. So keep reading.
OLED: So far, LG is kicking butt with OLED. LG’s Wallpaper display is the one everyone wants for direct-view installs, but it’s still very expensive. But if the client wants perfect colorimetry throughout their signage network or in conference room, there’s only one choice in direct-view and that’s OLED. No one sees it and doesn’t think so — even LG’s competitors. However, issues like so-called burn-in, 24/7/365 operation limitations and cost will relegate OLED to the very high-end of display technologies. Companies like LG and Sony will be perfectly fine with that as they improve from generation to generation. OLED will accomplish 24/7/365 operation in 2018 without burn-in and pricing will fall. But even with all that happening, it’s not the biggest overall trend of 2018. What is? Keep reading — and no peeking ahead.
4K to 8K: Every single friend I have — whether they are in the AV market or not, wants a 4K TV. I live in a liberal arts college town full of non-techie types that see me as their only tech outlet and I get asked, all the time, about 4K TVs. Heck, even my parents went out over the holidays and purchased a 4K TV from Samsung — the QLED Q7 series. It looks amazing — even with old-timey 1080p coming from their AppleTV. But, all this talk in our market about 4K will diminish when Sharp debuts an entire line of 8K displays at CES next month. This introduction will garner much of the CES attention worldwide and will help put Sharp right back on the big-time monitor-map as an alternative for more than just their collaboration systems, dubbed AQUOS BOARDS. 8K will be big for Sharp.
However, just because you can display it, doesn’t mean you can use it yet. 8K will mostly be relegated to demo-land and wow-factor applications. So, although you will see it garner a lot of attention in 2018, routing signals will be difficult (in fact, currently, the Extron XTP II CrossPoint Series is the only switching system able to route 8K without compressing it because of its 50 Gbps digital backplane). 8K will impress, no doubt, but it won’t be the biggest trend in AV for 2018. So again, keep reading.
BYOD & Collaboration: Thanks to Barco and its ClickShare systems that debuted in 2012, a new market was spawned for wireless transmission systems — heck, Barco even bought one of them: WePresent. 2018 saw the launch of the first 4K BYOD system in the Barco CSE-800 and a few others have followed as well. Barco will continue to own the largest market share for stand-alone BYOD systems in 2018 and watch for them to launch a more cloud-friendly version this year (more on that later).
But, 2017 spawned an even bigger segment for AV than BYOD that will get even bigger in 2018. Dubbed the collaboration board by this very author when the segment found its way to the mainstream market, these are mostly direct-view LCDs that include white boarding, annotation and wireless sharing. They are integrated with cloud-based video- and audio-conferencing (without a PC), most have a USB camera and all of them include multi-touch interfaces. Infocus and Sharp didn’t totally invent the category a few years ago with respective launches of the Mondopad and the AQUOS BOARD, but they certainly set the bar for what was to come. And, 2017 saw nearly 15 new companies enter the market with collaboration boards — now everyone from Google to Sony has one. Name any display company and they have one. The biggest surprise here wasn’t a flat-panel manufacturer but projector manufacturer EPSON. The company’s BrightLink Pro, once aimed only at the higher-ed market, grew exponentially in 2017 because of two factors: They launched a corporate version and they added laser-projection models.
You can also expect to see digital canvas pioneers Nureva launch laser and higher resolution models this year as well. This market will explode in 2018. Everyone will be talking about collaboration, again, this year and the number of companies and products won’t contract one bit — you will see more, in fact. This will, no doubt, be the largest growth segment of the AV market for 2018 but it’s the second largest big-trend of the year. So read on.
AV-over-IP: Network-based AV, AVIT, AVN — whatever you want to call it, AV-over-IP is coming and coming fast — maybe faster than we all thought? In all honesty here, there are segments of the AV market that are all-in when it comes to an AV-over-IP future (like higher-education) and there are segments that are still in the “not yet” stage (like the corporate AV market). The adoption of AV-over-IP might even be outpacing supply as there are very few alternatives. The SDVoE (Software Defined Video Over Ethernet) protocol based on the Aptovision chip reference design is the leading technology out there due, in part, to their 25+ partners building (including companies like Sony, Christie, DVIGear, iMAGsystems, Aurora and Belden) and also, in my opinion, to their savvy hiring of industry-leader Justin Kennington. Justin has set a great vision and organizational system in motion over at the SDVoE Alliance and they are the system that will likely emerge at the end of 2018 as the leading sales of AV-over-IP systems — passing industry leader SVSi.
That said, the AV-over-IP market will literally explode and change the landscape WHEN Extron and Crestron BOTH have a family of AV-over-IP offerings. In fact, they will likely help validate the market shift towards IP. Crestron has one line, so far, in the NVX series using JPEG 2000 over a 1Gig network, but expect to see more in 2018. Certainly AV-over-IP won’t come close to 10 percent of the signal routing market by the end of 2018, but we could see one or two clear leading systems or direction site market is going — setting up for 2019 or 2020 to be the big-shift to move it all to the network.
The VTC Cloud: Desktop videoconferencing has been around for years, but 2017 was the year it truly became mainstream with, mostly, Zoom Video Communicaitons and Skype for Business, dominating the discussion — so much so that both Cisco and Polycom partnered with them. And, Zoom was savvy enough to have even worked deals with companies like Creston — who integrated Zoom into their Mercury huddle room system as well as Logitech, box and Slack. Although Cisco is still the market leader in videoconferencing, Zoom isn’t far behind them — along with Skype (aka Microsoft), BlueJeans and newbie (at least in this segment) Google. What this all means is that the video call is going in the cloud. Zoom just needs a PC (or something like it that can connect it to the Internet) and a USB camera — that can be a 720p, 1080p our even a 4K USB camera. You can even make 4K calls! The days of the hardware-based solution is numbered and 2018 will put most of the proverbial nails in that coffin.
And, speaking of the 4K call, a tiny unknown company called Altia Systems — you’ve probably never heard of them but probably heard of their product, the Panacast USB camera — took advantage of the concept of the 4K video call and created a 180-degree field-of-view USB camera that allows everyone in a room to be seen on a video call — even when sitting right up next to the screen. This, along with the new Logitech 4K Brio and MeetUp USB cameras, turn Skype, Zoom and BlueJeans into the “this is more than good enough” videoconferencing system for more than 90 percent of the users.
2018 will see more USB cameras, a new, giant company enter the so-called soft-codec (cloud-based conferencing) market and a nearly total shift away from hardware-based codecs. This is still not the biggest of all new trends of 2018. But what’s next is!
AVaaS: AV as a Service. Maybe you’ve heard of it, maybe you haven’t. But you will. And you’ll start doing it in 2018. The future of everything we do is in services and customers love this concept. It takes the confusion, complexity and caution out of buying AV gear from them. It simplifies your AV lines (as you can build all your AV systems with just a few lines rather than having to carry hundreds of brands), allows you to always specify what you want (and what you can best control and maintain) and sets you up to OWN the client relationship. Basically, to simplify it — your customer would be leasing each system from you rather than buying it. And, as long as it did what they wanted, was simple to use and worked when they need it, they won’t care what you use. So, you are in control of it all.
Look, AVaaS requires much more than a few paragraphs in a future-looking product round-up, and I will write about it a lot in 2018 as it emerges, but, here’s the basic concept:
AVaaS is where all the AV hardware, software, programming and integration services are paid on a recurring basis — maybe annually, quarterly or even monthly. The customer will like this as it removes the risk of owning a depreciating asset that is generally locally managed. And, you will like this as, since you are the owner, technically, of the AV gear, you become their in-house AV company — their go-to for all AV needs. Most of your clients have been using this model in some capacity for years for both IT and furniture. But, in the AV space, until now, we’ve pretty much only applied it to services — selling recurring service or maintenance contracts — and sometimes proactive monitoring, too. But why not everything?
The obvious response right now, from the integrator who may be reading and pondering this is that they can’t afford to finance the AV gear — you can’t afford to buy it all and lease it, in a sense, to the customer. But, you can. Basically, you form a relationship with a leasing company, you slightly mark-up their service and then resell it to the client. But, you also get to roll-up the programming, software licenses and integration fees (and maintenance, if you want) into one recurring fee. The advantages are huge — the obvious ones are, as I said, you own the relationship with the client. Since you’re managing and charging them regularly for the training rooms, why not use you for their meeting rooms too? And, and this is the biggie, you get to ALWAYS pick the the right AV gear for them. This will significantly reduce your overhead, eventually, as you can basically standardize on a set of AV gear you always use for every system. OK, maybe not all of it — but certainly 90+ percent of it. This means you will know that set of gear inside out: how it works, what its idiosyncrasies are, what its tolerances are, etc. — you’ll know those systems so well you’ll know before something happens what’s likely to happen. Servicing identical systems becomes easier and more profitable — especially if you’re good at selling services and/or proactive maintenance plans. Ssimplifying your systems means you’re carrying fewer brands, have fewer SKUs, spend less time finding a product that does something unique for the client and spend less time differentiating each system. In an AVaaS model, leasing programming becomes, legally and technically possible — and very profitable. There’s no question who owns the code.
AVaaS will be HUGE. The clients will start to demand it, eventually. So, consider adopting it now — be a pioneer and, if you don’t know how to do it, ask! AVaaS will be THE BIG THING everyone starts to talk about in 2018 and it’s my pick for the biggest new trend for the new year.
An Honorable Mention – Digital Content Management: Back in October of 2017, Barco issued a press release on a new version of its higher-ed focused WeConnect system. In that press release was a barely-mentioned “Digital Engagement Platform.” But, that mention didn’t go unnoticed by us. This is foreshadowing the direction Barco believes the future of the AV market is heading — content management. The press release describes the Digital Engagement Platform as a digital collaborative portal allowing clients to manage their WeConnect subscriptions over the internet. Translation: Barco has set up an online system to manage content that doesn’t require a locally-hosted network AND they’re even setting up WeConnect as an AVaaS product that has a sort of a seat-license to use it.
Maybe this was intentional or maybe it wasn’t. But you can be sure that every major AV manufacturer who currently does signal routing and management did notice — or at the very least, is looking at integrating such a platform themselves. This is all part of the future, forthcoming AVaaS model and this would even stack on content management — the holy grail (think AppleTV for the corporation) — the AppleTV is his the device and all the content management is the secret sauce. Or, put another way, the Amazon Dot or Echo is only the cheap interface to the intellectual-property-rich Alexa platform. The value of the Digital Engagement Platform is, in fact, intellectual property!
That’s it! I hope you enjoy this and will share it on social. Please also post it in your cubical or office and track it for accuracy. I’m curious what you think too! So comment below and let us know your thoughts.Leave a Comment
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|The Demand for AV as a Service: A Tech Manager’s Perspective|
By Mark Coxon
There seems to be a continuing debate out there on the demand for a true AV as a Service, (AVaaS) model. I have seen good points on both sides of the argument, each giving some logical reasons as to why a true AVaaS model is either the future of AV or an idealistic pipe-dream.
There are all sorts of ideas on how AVaaS would be facilitated financially speaking. Will manufacturers bear the brunt of the cost by seeding their products into AV systems for a monthly payment instead of an up-front purchase price? Will larger integrators with cash flow surpluses fuel an AVaaS model? Will equipment leasing companies play a role in providing this cash flow? Will larger investment banking companies continue to buy up AV companies and use their existing capital to take market share? Will the new tax laws that allow for 100 percent equipment depreciation in year one allow companies to effectively buy mass amounts of equipment realizing a 100 percent commensurate tax break in the same year?
All of these are good questions, and several of the ideas could be the key to AVaaS, however, these are logistical questions. Without a demand for AVaaS, they are really just academic concerns. The larger question becomes,
Is there a demand for AVaaS in our typical conference and meeting room environments in the first place?
Before I address that, we need to understand why AVaaS is suddenly more relevant than ever.
Ignore any buzzword connotations this term may ignite in your mind. The truth is that now that most of our AV devices are IP enabled and many of our appliances have been turned into cloud-based apps, creating AVaaS offerings that leverage limited hardware investments is more realistic than it has ever been.
I know a tech manager that manages hundreds of AV systems across as many rooms throughout the country. Due to his high profile, he asked me not to use his name here, but he did offer me his thoughts for print.
I talked to him this summer about AVaaS and his first comment related to the very convergence I referred to above. According to him:
“In my opinion, AV as service will begin to take shape in these markets as more pressure from the IT force wins big on budget control. For me, I’m in!!! AVaaS with utilizing and leveraging true network protocols (talking Ethernet layer 3). I really look at AV as just another service on my network. A network that exists everywhere!”
If you start to think of AV in this way, then you can leverage resources across multiple rooms and implement a licensing per room or even per-use model with an appropriate Service Level Agreement (SLA) based on the customer needs and the intended purpose of the system.
He went on to ask,
“Can you see buying DSP or video distribution as a service? It’s all there ready to go!”
Let’s explore that idea. Take a typical conference room. Now outfit that room with IP enabled equipment including powered speakers, a beamforming microphone, an IP camera, and a connected display. An on-prem or cloud-based server would be running DSP and control sessions for the devices in the room, and a wireless presentation software would allow BYOD devices to not only control the room, but also share content wirelessly through the existing wireless access points. A corporate-wide content management system would replace the traditional AV matrix switch, as content would all be stored in the cloud or on a server and delivered on demand to whatever speakers and display(s) happened to be assigned to that meeting, regardless of location.
This type of arrangement would require very little upfront capital expenditure for the limited hardware in each room while leveraging the existing network for management and distribution as well as existing devices for control.
So what’s stopping the industry from developing this level of AVaaS?
When I asked this question to the tech manager I know, he went on to talk about what he feels is the biggest challenge for AVaaS adoption. Ironically, he doesn’t believe it has anything to do with market demand, but rather to some of the industry’s resistance to change.
“The single biggest challenge we face in AV is knowing how our customers expect to use AV. This requires a tremendous amount of flexibility when looking at providing the best possible, most cost-effective solution. The only way to reach this type of customer is AVaaS, in my opinion. This kind of thinking is pretty disruptive since AV design firms, AV integrators and AV manufacturers are very satisfied with the current “build the empire” model (monster control systems, complex audio and video routing systems) including touch panels installed in the rooms that typically require an IT/AV person to navigate.”
Many end-users are ready for a change. They don’t want to be tied to legacy systems any longer. The very fact the Alexa is even being considered as a viable alternative to the robust systems of the past tells us that customers haven’t always realized the full value of these systems.
“I don’t want my customers having to call for IT support to set up a conference call in a meeting room. Simple is AVaaS in my opinion. This empowers the user and customer base to only pay for what they want. For me, I want my users to walk into a room, and see a simple device that looks a lot like something they have at home.”
So is there a market demand for AVaaS in all markets? I would argue that there is and I know quite a few others who think the same thing. The question that remains is who will develop the first full-fledged offerings? Will it be a manufacturer or an integrator or maybe even an IT services company?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on AVaaS below, especially with regards to any end user conversations you’ve had on the topic.Leave a Comment
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|New Digital Signage Player with GPS Trigger from Avenview called AVSignProThe AVSignPro, a line of digital signage players consisting of three models available from Avenview, have a new feature allowing a location based GPS Trigger for content playback (basically a GPS Location Trigger feature) which allows specific content to be played based on the GPS location of the device.
Traditionally, digital signage content is played on a schedule or on a set loop — automatically playing content based on a schedule that begins or ends at specific times of day or simply on a repeating loop. GPS triggering now allows an additional component for enhancing the relevance of your digital signage content by allowing real time location based triggering of specific content.
Users can create specific playlists and parameters for playback, including thresholds for distances from certain locations. The GPS triggering feature is ideal for mobile advertising, tourism, the transportation industry or any other mobile or multi location industry. Advertising can be displayed that is related to local businesses, local weather information can be displayed, or public transit locations can be announced.
Here are the details.Leave a Comment
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|4K Version of Vivitek NovoDS ShipsThe new Vivitek NovoDS4K has started to ship. NovoDS4K could be called a digital signage player or it could be labeled a wireless presentation system (think small version of Barco ClickShare with 4K output). The NovoDS4K manages to output 4K video (with an HDMI loop-through), RS232, PoE (Power over Ethernet), is Wi-Fi, and 1Gbps LAN capable that can be hidden behind any display or connected projector. It includes 36 built-in drag-and-drop templates for signage applications that are customizable, including HTML5 rendering, and a playlist for editing content creation.
It’s compatible with Windows, Mac, and Android operating systems so you can literally send content to it wirelessly from nearly any device. Network-based management software is included so that content can be updated over the wired or wireless network and to manage and monitor devce playback status from anywhere. Output is 3840 x 2160 (Ultra HD) and is 8-bit color at 60Hz or 10-bit color at 30 Hz.
Here are all the specs.Leave a Comment
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|VESA Readies 8K Resolution Ecosystem With DP8K Certified DisplayPort Cables Certification|
The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA)
today announced that DP8K Certified DisplayPort cables — native DisplayPort cables that are guaranteed to support DisplayPort High Bit Rate 3 (HBR3) — are now available in the marketplace. HBR3 is the highest bit rate (8.1 Gbps per lane) supported by DisplayPort standard version 1.4 and provides the speed required to drive 8K video resolution at 60 frames per second (fps) using a single cable, as well as multiple 4K displays. Key applications supported by HBR3 include high-performance gaming, augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) and television broadcasting. With HBR3 already available in a wide array of consumer products, including GPUs and monitors, the availability of cables that have been certified by VESA to support HBR3 provides a crucial final link to the ecosystem. DP8K Certified DisplayPort cables are guaranteed to support HBR3, the highest bit rate supported by DisplayPort version 1.4.
VESA is also currently engaged with its members in the development of the next DisplayPort standard generation, with plans to increase the data rate enabled by DisplayPort by two-fold and beyond. VESA plans to publish this update within the next 18 months.
With DP8K-certified cables, devices with native DisplayPort connectors can reliably support 5K or 8K monitors, as well as high-performance 4K monitors. For USB Type-C (USB-C) to USB-C connections, this same level of performance is available with “SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps” cables, which support the HBR3 data rate for DisplayPort Alt Mode. A complete list of vendors offering DP8K Certified DisplayPort can be found here
With the wide field of view offered by AR/VR displays combined with motion, the virtual world is putting more demands on resolution, refresh rate and color depth. In addition, two displays are needed for AR/VR applications, one for each eye, which doubles the data rate demand. Higher data rates will also be needed to support increases in HDR performance and resolutions beyond 8K for traditional displays. VESA is continuing to work on DisplayPort to increase data-rates by two-fold and beyond to enable the higher performance requirements demanded by these applications.
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In addition to pure display interfaces, VESA is also working to address the future needs of the mixed data-plus-video world of DisplayPort Alt Mode on the USB-C connector. USB-C now allows a single connector for USB data, video data and power, but for simultaneous support of SuperSpeed USB data (now running at 5 or 10 Gbps) and video, the USB-C signals need to be shared, which cuts the DisplayPort bit rate in half. Today, USB-C can support 4K at 60Hz performance utilizing the two lanes of USB-C in this configuration or 4K HDR or 8K at 30Hz by adding compression. Increasing the DisplayPort data rates in the future will also expand video display capability of a single USB-C connector.
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|Barix to Unleash its Third-Generation Audio Signage Solution at ISE 2018At ISE 2018, audio over IP company Barix will introduce the third generation of AudioPoint, the company’s audio signage platform that brings digital signage and TV content together with BYOD. AudioPoint helps end users deliver audio associated with video content to mobile devices over a local Wi-Fi connection, driving a more intimate connection with consumers and lending a voice to the screen.
AudioPoint 3.0 increases the value proposition for systems integrators and end users with an all-in-one integrated solution that removes the need for an external channel server. AudioPoint 3.0 is based on a brand-new hardware platform, engineered by Barix, that builds the channel server into the Barix Audio Signage Encoder to significantly reduce cost and integration time, according to the company. The encoder supports both single- and multi-channel audio streaming for up to 250 simultaneous users.
Enhanced networking intelligence underneath the hood also ensures that AudioPoint 3.0 works with most professional and off-the-shelf routers to immediately enable Wi-Fi streaming. As previous generations required a specific type of router, this flexibility in router choice removes testing and configuration headaches in advance of deployments.
Barix says that AudioPoint 3.0 reduces latency even further to tighten lip-sync. This optimizes AudioPoint 3.0 for new applications to serve hearing-impaired audiences, live translations and presentation support in corporate, worship and education environments. These benefits also make AudioPoint 3.0 an ideal audio delivery system in live event venues, where fans can see and hear the action in concourses and at concession stands in real time. That also means that for traditional AudioPoint applications in hotel lobbies, sports bars and museums, real-time, synchronized delivery is possible.
Beyond integrating components into a single platform, the AudioPoint architecture remains unchanged. Audio associated with a video feed is streamed from a mixer and/or microphone to a Barix Audio Signage Encoder’s analog audio input; that audio is sent to a Wi-Fi access point that consumers connect to from their mobile devices. The Barix Audio Signage App immediately enables the live stream on the consumer’s device. Channel selection is made available to consumers when multi-channel streams are enabled, allowing users to select another language or an alternative soundtrack for another local screen.
Barix says the latest version of Audio Signage Encoder that comprises the technical core of AudioPoint offers the company’s fastest signal processing to date. This ensures robust and reliable streams, while the devices remain plug-and-play for quick and simple deployments. Barix is here.Leave a Comment
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|Digital Signage Expo 2018 to Present “How to Accurately Measure Digital Signage ROI”|
Digital Signage Expo (DSE) announced today that Richard Ventura, Vice President of Strategy for NEC Display Solutions, will present a session at DSE 2018 titled, “How to Accurately Measure Digital Signage ROI.”
This general conference session is part the Digital Signage Fundamentals Seminar Program at DSE 2018 designed specifically for end users, AV professionals, systems integrators or anyone considering creating a digital communications network.
To be presented by Richard Ventura, Vice President of Strategy for NEC Display Solutions on Thursday, March 29 at 9 a.m., this session will look at the stages in creating a financial analysis of a digital signage solution as well as what tools will be needed in order to best understand and analyze the findings. In the end, the goal will be to arm attendees with the tools needed to make their solutions successful.
Attendees will learn:
- How to formulate an understanding of the tools needed to create an ROI/ROO of your digital signage system.
- How to develop a step-by-step process to create an ROI/ROO understanding within an organization.
- What to do when an ROI/ROO does not support a project.
“It depends on what your objective is regarding the digital signage installation,” said Mark Geiger, Advertising Sales Manager of Products and Services for the Georgia World Congress Center. “We use our digital signage network to inform customers and guests. Additionally, we use the same signage to sell advertising and sponsorship.”Leave a Comment
“ROI versus ROO depends on your situation,” said Daniel Orme-Doutre, media dolution srchitect for Microsoft. “ROI is not a factor in internal communications here or with our deployments. We can’t easily show that a display worth x dollars will get x dollars of usage out of it since our usage isn’t driven monetarily.”
To read why DSE Advisory Board members feel this to be an important topic, go here.
Registration for DSE’s Thursday, March 29 Fundamentals session, “How to Accurately Measure Digital Signage ROI, or any of the DSE 2018 educational conference seminars, which are sponsored by Broadsign and are eligible for Digital Signage Expert Group (DSEG) certification renewal credits, is available online here.
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|Signagelive and BrightSign Partner for Global Digital Signage Solution|
Signagelive today announced that it’s bringing Signagelive support to BrightSign’s line of Series 3 digital signage media players.
The BrightSign/Signagelive solution is meant for large companies and media agencies that require centralized control of their brand messaging worldwide. This pertains both to customers that require a platform for cloud-networked global signage networks, as well as tech-minded customers who build custom solutions based on their proprietary application programming interfaces (APIs).
Signagelive’s support for BrightSign Series 3 media players includes the following capabilities:
- Setup — Timezone configuration from the Signagelive platform/cloud
- System Reporting — manufacturer, model, app version, screen status (on/off), OS, serial number, IP address, CPU, memory and storage
- Screen Control — ability to schedule on/off based on day, time and recurrence
- Remote Reboot — force a reboot at the next check-in
- BrightSign NativeTicker support — very smooth left-to-right ticker
- HDMI input — full-screen and in a zone within a layout
- Dual-video support in layouts
- Frame-accurate synchronisation
- BrightSign WiFi Module and NativeTicker support
- IPTV Streaming — HLS only, full-screen and in a zone within a layout
- Remote Screenshots — shown on device dashboard including the capture of HDMI input
- Proof of Play — records and reports all media played with tags and metadata
For more information about BrightSign’s media players and the company’s full suite of digital signage software solutions, go here. To learn more about Signagelive’s digital signage software platform, go here.Leave a Comment
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|New Extron Room Scheduling Panels Make Booking a Room Easier Than Ever|
Extron just introduced a new generation of room scheduling solutions. The new TLS family of TouchLink Scheduling panels are designed to help ease integration and provide customers with powerful, dedicated panels for all their meeting space reservation needs. Right out of the box, TLS panels are ready to be customized with free Room Agent software and then to connect directly to Microsoft Exchange, Office 365 and Google Calendar without the need for additional scheduling software or external processors. There are 5″, 7″ and 10″ panels available, in both wall and VESA mounting varieties. Users can make reservations directly from these panels, a computer, or any smartphone or tablet that connects to any one of the supported mail servers. Bright red and green LED light bars makes it easy to see if a room is occupied or available even from down the hall. New room scheduling analytics provide the information customers need to closely analyze room usage, activity patterns and occupancy trends across the organization.
All TLS panels are configured with Extron Room Agent software. Simply connect the touchpanel to your computer, open the free Room Agent software, fill in the required fields to compose the user interface, and you’re done. Customization options include custom colors and background images, interface text fields to be shown or hidden, depending on user preference. TLS panels equipped with a digital input will work with just about any occupancy sensor, including the Extron OCS 100 series, which monitor room occupancy and, after a user-defined time, release the room back to available status.
TouchLink Scheduling panels are here.Leave a Comment
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|Navori Expands Software Integration with System-on-a-Chip Displays at ISE 2018Navori last year introduced a system-on-a-chip (SoC) development as the first digital signage software supplier to deliver a native Android media player built into Philips, Panasonic and Elo displays. At ISE 2018 (February 6-9, Amsterdam RAI), Navori will introduce its next proprietary SoC innovation, specially designed and globally certified for Samsung Tizen smart displays at Stand 8-C390 and at the Samsung Display stand (F004-F005).
The native Tizen OS software for Samsung displays extends the same SoC benefits of Navori’s integration with Samsung to a much broader customer base, delivering an integrated digital signage player engine that minimizes cabling and equipment costs, lowers theft and vandalism risks and eliminates third-party hardware installation headaches.
Coupled with the latest Navori QL Player innovations that are new for ISE – including web page authentication for password-protected page access – Navori customers are assured a dynamic feature set that outperforms typical, rudimentary software-based SoC players. Standard Navori QL Player strengths carried over to the Samsung integration include a proprietary graphics engine, broadcast-quality content playback, template and ticker support with multiple layers and transparency, player monitoring, proof-of-playback reporting, and automated software updates.
In addition to Samsung, Navori supports SoC-equipped Smart Displays from Panasonic (AF-1 Series), Philips (D Series and P and Q Series) and Elo (Touchscreen Signage). As with any QL Player deployment, compatibility with SaaS/cloud and on-premise installationsprovide network operators and end users several deployment options to best suit their needs, with minimal maintenance and training requirements thanks to QL Player’s trademark reliability, ease of use and short learning curve.
Navori will announce new innovations for its globally-deployed QL digital signage engine in the coming weeks, which includes new features and enhancements for QL Server, QL Content Manager and QL Player. The latter including a Player software add-on capable of rendering for up to 16 displays from a single PC, each at 1080p with frame-accurate synchronization.
Navori is here.Leave a Comment
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|dotstudioPRO Offers Direct Connection for Brands to Reach Consumers Through the Roku Platform|
dotstudioPRO announces that it is offering clients the ability to quickly launch channels for the Roku platform through Roku Direct Publisher.
By submitting content through the dotstudioPRO platform to the Roku platform, content owners can launch a streaming channel in just days without entering a single line of code. These free channels can be found in the Roku Channel Store in the U.S. Benefits of the platform include controlling where videos will be available geographically, monetization through video ads and tracking, revenue and views.
Examples of newly released channels for the Roku platform include Celebrity Page, a syndicated celebrity news program and the Minnesota Vikings Now app, which features the latest content from the Vikings Entertainment Network. The streaming apps were created using the dotstudioPRO platform to create a unique outlet for exclusive digital content and brand partners.
To create a dotstudioPRO account and begin streaming a unique channel, go here.Leave a Comment
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|Peerless-AV Launches New Ultra-Slim Portrait Kiosk|
Peerless-AV will introduce its newest kiosk, the Ultra-Slim Portrait Kiosk (KIPC35 Models). Featuring a pre-assembled design with lean frames and a small footprint, Peerless-AV’s Ultra-Slim Portrait Kiosk serves as a digital signage solution for any indoor application, including corporate, education, transportation, retail and more.
Peerless-AV can integrate an Ultra-Slim Portrait Kiosk with a wide array of components such as a flat panel display, media player, touch technology, camera, and software from various digital signage partners, including NEC Display Solutions, Samsung, Sharp, Panasonic, Philips MMD, LG, AOpen and more.
In addition to a slimmer design, the new line of Ultra-Slim Portrait Kiosks offer a robust set of features, including:
- Pre-assembled design to reduce installation/integration time
- Eight-way tool-less adjustment to quickly position the display within the kiosk window for a flush alignment
- Enhanced security through hinged rear doors with combination locks, allowing convenient access to just the parts requiring maintenance
- Customization through a wide range of aesthetic options, including multiple colors, vinyl wraps, etc. to meet the needs of any environment or brand
- ADA compliance
Here are the products.Leave a Comment
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|Leyard and Planar Announce Third Generation Clarity Matrix LCD Video Wall System|
Leyard and Planar announced the third generation Clarity Matrix LCD Video Wall System, which combines the industry’s thinnest profile ultra-narrow bezel LCD with improvements to video processing, installation, management and off-board electronics.
The new Clarity Matrix G3 LCD Video Wall System advances nearly every aspect of the unique Clarity Matrix architecture. It features a new, off-board video controller that offers unrivaled video processing capabilities built into the product. It includes new Leyard WallDirector Software to further simplify video wall installation, monitoring and management.
Clarity Matrix G3 claims to be the first LCD video wall solution on the market to embed advanced video processing directly into the product. The new Video Controller offers built-in video wall scaling for a single source input beyond 6K resolution (5760×3240) with Planar Big Picture Plus video wall processing, providing flexibility without the need for an external video processor or audio/video switch. Customers can take multiple 4K @ 60Hz signals and scale them across an entire video wall or separate sections within a video wall. They can also display content from a higher number of independent sources, superimpose a smaller image over a larger one with Picture-in-Picture (PiP) and incorporate up to four different image sources within a single display with 4K quadview. Clarity Matrix G3 supports 4K connectivity standards, including both HDMI 2.0 and DisplayPort 1.2.
Clarity Matrix G3 also comes standard with the touch-based Leyard WallDirector software that simplifies video wall set-up, configuration, operation and monitoring. The powerful, web-based interface automatically identifies video wall components such as the display configuration, power supply quantities and source inputs, significantly reducing the time it takes to configure a complex video wall. It offers the ability to drag-and-drop sources onto the video wall canvas and easily manipulate their size and position. Presets can recall video wall windowing layouts, making it easy to quickly configure content on a video wall.
Leyard WallDirector also makes it possible to monitor the health status of all video wall components from a central, local or remote location.
Clarity Matrix G3 comes with a new Clarity Matrix G3 Remote Power Supply that moves heat, noise, weight and service points away from the video wall and into a ventilated rack room. The advanced Remote Power Supply offers three times the power density per rack unit of previous versions, minimizing rack unit requirements.
As with Clarity Matrix G2, it offers a tiled bezel width as small as 1.7 millimeters and also includes standard and high brightness 46-inch and 55-inch models along with options for Planar ERO (Extended Ruggedness and Optics) glass, fiber video extensions, passive 3D and interactive multi-touch.
Clarity Matrix G3 also features the Planar EasyAxis Mounting System.
The Clarity Matrix G3 LCD Video Wall System will begin shipping in early 2018 and the details can be found here or here.Leave a Comment
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|InFocus Debuts Jupiter PixelNet 2.0 Distributed Display Wall System|
InFocus Corporation today announced PixelNet 2.0, an update to its Jupiter PixelNet solution. The new distributed display wall system increases the density of processing power, connecting more sources and displays to a single input or output node, while providing centralized control to support a wide variety of installations with live audio and video, streaming data and other real-time sources of information for control rooms, conference rooms, lobby displays, offices and classrooms. New features enable real-time HD or 4K information display to a virtually unlimited number of screens at sites spanning a building, a campus or a continent.
PixelNet 2.0 input and output nodes can now be configured with fiber optic connections via SFP+ or with Ethernet. Fiber network capabilities allow PixelNet 2.0 to support very large distributed systems with an unlimited number of sources and displays across multiple locations and vast geographies. Applications including redundant control room display walls in multiple locations, manufacturing and process management, digital signage, law enforcement and security monitoring and instructional networks. PixelNet 2.0 systems can scale to suit any requirement to connect and distribute video across buildings, campuses or global networks.
With PixelNet Domain Control (PDC), centralized configuration and management of the system and its content is simple. The PDC mimic function allows operators to visualize any video wall or single display in the network, placing any video or data source in a window anywhere on the wall or within a single screen. A single source of information can stretch across a large video wall for easy viewing, or multiple sources can be viewed in many windows to enable simultaneous monitoring of complex processes. Multi-casting allows streams to be shared at multiple sites.
InFocus says that PixelNet 2.0 delivers an increased density of processing power and connectivity, which yields a per channel price reduction of 30-40 percent over its predecessor. Users from enterprise to government to education will benefit with reduced project costs or the ability to expand the size of projects.
Backwards compatible with first generation PixelNet systems, PixelNet 2.0 is easy to install and supported by the self-configuration feature in PixelNet Domain Control which automatically assigns available inputs and outputs. Content can be managed simply with the PixelNet Domain Control software, which allows users to drag and drop input sources across a display wall mimic, as well as provide control over multiple connected video walls.
Each PixelNet 2.0 Input Node allows the connection of four 4K or eight 1080p inputs, while each Output Node provides two 4K or six 1080p outputs, all rack-mounted. PixelNet 2.0 features high bandwidth networking for real-time streaming sources, pixel perfect visual quality using uncompressed video and resolutions ranging up to 4K. New datacenter-grade Jupiter by InFocus switches support up to 100GB Ethernet connections.
Jupiter PixelNet 2.0 will debut at Integrated Systems Europe at stand #2-B60 or more details are here.Leave a Comment
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|Christie GS Series and LCD Panels Making the Grade While Lowering Costs at Moravian College|
Christie® DHD599-GS laser phosphor projectors and two Christie LCD panels are continuing to make the grade at Moravian College’s Sally Breidegam Miksiewicz Center for Health Sciences. The 275-year-old college, located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is home to over 2,000 students and a distinguished health sciences school complete with virtual cadaver room.
The 11 Christie projectors are installed in various classrooms while the two panels are in the Virtual Cadaver Room.
“We knew right away that we wanted to have the absolute best. We wanted the ability in our projection systems to be able to recreate that kind of detail onto a large screen and to be able to get the kind of color, accuracy and good contrast and just really kick our projection capabilities up to the next level,” said Craig Underwood, director of media services, Moravian College.
This isn’t the first time Moravian College hired Advanced AV and Christie for its technology needs; earlier installations include the Chemistry, Biology and Physics departments. However, the school now wanted the lower maintenance of lampless technology but wasn’t impressed with the technology until Advanced AV’s Mike Morgan showed him the Christie GS Series.
“I was immediately blown away,” said Underwood. “I couldn’t believe I was looking at a lampless projector. The color accuracy was phenomenal and I knew right away that this was definitely the right product to put into our Health Sciences building because of the quality of the image. And on top of that, being lampless and having a lot less maintenance for our limited AV team – that was a real winner in my book.”
Christie GS Series brings down both anticipated and overall cost of ownership
When Underwood’s team requested their GS Series projectors, they learned a newer, upgraded projector had replaced their choice.
“I was initially concerned, but it was a very pleasant surprise because not only did the price go down but the specifications were even better – they were brighter projectors,” Underwood said. “Overall, people were floored. They really loved what they saw of the building through the technology, you could tell.”
“Having integrated many, many Christie products in the past— we felt very confident with presenting this projection solution to Moravian, to meet their expectations,” said Mike Morgan, general manager, Advanced AV. “With the new laser phosphor technology, we minimize the cost and labor associated with lamp-based projectors. We’re talking about 11 new projection systems on campus and Craig mentioned he’s a staff of two right now so running around changing lamps becomes more difficult as they get more projectors on campus.”
Morgan also noted the resolution and reliability of Christie technology, along with Christie’s ongoing service and support.
“This being a nursing-science-medical building, and knowing the type of imagery they were going to be presenting, to give them the resolution and the reliability that Christie brings to the table was something we were very confident presenting,” Morgan added. “We also feel very confident in the support that we get from Christie and the support that Moravian would continue to get from Christie.”
Virtual Cadaver Lab in Health Sciences using Christie panels
As a small educational theater with limited capacity, the Virtual Cadaver Lab and table needed a supplemental display on the wall so every student can see what’s happening on the table during class.
“There are only so many people who can stand around the table but it has a video output so you can show it on an external display, which is the two Christie panels,” said Underwood.
“We’re the only ones in the area that actually have a Virtual Cadaver Lab and we wanted to make it the best it could possibly be. We wanted to be unique and offer that value to the area that nobody has really had, and to fill these needs within the health industry,” Underwood continued. “Part of that was to have some simulation labs which involve both high- and low-fidelity mannequins so that the nursing students and other health profession students can do simulations and training with these virtual mannequins that give real-time feedback on health situations.”
The Christie GS Series of laser phosphor projectors provides a premium performance and ongoing reliability in high-usage environments such as higher education facilities, business venues and more.Leave a Comment
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For all you REGULAR readers of rAVe DS [Digital Signage] out there, hopefully you enjoyed another opinion-packed issue!
For those of you NEW to rAVe, you just read how we are — we are 100 percent opinionated. We not only report the news and new product stories of the ProAV industry, but we stuff the articles full of our opinions. That may include (but is not limited to) whether or not the product is even worth looking at, challenging the manufacturers on their specifications, calling a marketing-spec bluff and suggesting ways integrators market their products better. But, one thing is for sure, we are NOT a trade publication that gets paid for running editorial or product stories. Traditional trade publications get paid to run product stories — that’s why you see what you see in most of the pubs out there. We are different: we run what we want to run and NO ONE is going to pay us to write anything good (or bad).
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