|Volume 13, Issue 9 — May 13, 2016|
|What Missing a Flight I Was Early For Taught Me About UI|
By Hope Roth
A few weeks ago, I had the mortifying and frustrating experience of missing a flight that I was very, very early for. How does one go about missing a flight after sitting for a few hours in the terminal? It turns out that it’s a relatively easy process.
- Step One: Arrive early, then have your flight delayed.
- Step Two: Hear the announcement that your flight will be boarding soon. Make a brief trip to the facilities so as to avoid the uncomfortable experience that is using one of the tiny bathrooms on a regional aircraft.
- Step Three: Walk back to your gate, see that the agent is gone, and that your flight status hasn’t changed on the airport’s digital signage. Assume that you’ve been delayed again.
- Step Four: Look up at the digital signage just in time to watch your status change from “on time” to “departed.”
As best as I can tell, the flight only had a few passengers on it, they boarded quickly and then took off post-haste to try and avoid further delays. They claim that they paged me, but I never heard them. There was a flight from another airline that was boarding at the same time, so it’s very possible that my page got drowned out by the other gate agent.
Most people would have fumed for a bit, had a glass of wine in their hastily booked hotel room, flown home the next day and then forgotten all about it. I work on UI for a living, so I’m still thinking about what this incident can teach us about the user experience. I think that there are a few takeaways.
1. Beware your customer’s expectations, especially the ones that don’t get verbalized.
I might have had a chance of making my flight if I’d flagged down an airport employee as soon as I realized what had happened. Instead, I made the (in hindsight) silly mistake of going by the flight status on the terminal’s digital signage. My expectation when flying is that the signs will say “boarding” once the boarding process has begun. They might even say “Paging Passenger So-and-so.” You could make a reasonable argument that the fact that my flight never showed up as delayed and that I’ve never seen a flight at that airport listed as “boarding” should have been a pretty big tip-off that I needed to ask a real person instead of going with what it said on the TVs. But that’s the thing about sub-conscious decisions… they don’t get a lot of mental scrutiny. I didn’t think about my assumptions until *after* I’d missed my flight. And, by then, it was too late.
If any aspect of your UI relies on your end users thinking too hard about how it’s all supposed to work, you are not providing the optimal experience. The best UIs are intuitive. And some of the most important features to include might never got mentioned in an SOO meeting. There are certain things about how systems work that some users may have internalized to the point where they don’t even mention them to you. That’s why it’s so important to ask a lot of questions and ask for examples. I will always do my best to get my hands on a user’s existing system. It’s only by pressing all of the buttons and seeing what happens that you can really see what they’re used to. They very likely have expectations that they don’t even know that they have.
A good example of this would be mute and privacy buttons. I never want to be on the receiving end of an angry phone call after someone heard something they weren’t supposed to on a conference or video call because their audio wasn’t properly muted. Mute and privacy mean very different things to different people, and it’s important that your interface makes it clear what state the system is in. There’s also the question of feedback on the buttons. Does the icon change? Does the color change? Personally, I hate the look of flashing buttons, but that’s what you might need to do in order to avoid multiple service calls for “audio problems” in rooms where the system is muted. And, finally, if your system does any auto-muting or un-muting, it’s important that your users are expecting it. If they were already expecting it, you’d better hope you’ve covered that in your discussions and implemented it properly.
Many of these issues can be solved with a well-formulated scope process and with good documentation. I also find that it works well to create a dummy UI so that users can click the buttons and see what happens. The act of seeing things move on a screen will often help to drill down to issues that you might not have found if you just sent over a bunch of screen shots. And then, at the end of the day, your system still needs to be easy and intuitive for someone who *didn’t* spend 15 hours in meetings discussing button and slider placement.
This is why the people who are really, really good at UI (I am not including myself in this category, at least not yet) get paid so well. It’s a difficult, and often thankless job.
2. Base your system on the premise that some of its users will abuse it horribly.
If my gate agent paged me, it was likely lost in the noise of another delayed flight with a lot of passengers boarding very, very quickly. Technically, she paged me. Functionally, it was like she had just sat there and said nothing. I am not an expert on paging systems, but it seems like this could have been avoided by only letting one gate agent use the system at a time (and providing some sort of feedback that they need to make their announcement when they are clear to use the system). It’s quite possible that there is a logistical limitation because it was different airlines. It’s not my place to criticize a system that is outside my area of expertise. I am merely using this as a lesson in how our end users might interact with our systems.
There’s an old joke about someone who goes to see their doctor and says, “It hurts when I do this.” The doctor looks back and says, “Well, then stop doing that.” Groan all you want, but if your answer to a user saying, “The system does [bad thing] when I do [something maybe not so bright]” is, “Well, then don’t use the system like that,” you are probably not doing such a great job yourself. People don’t always pay attention to the buttons that they’re pressing. They get frustrated when things don’t happen right away and start jabbing at buttons repeatedly. If your system relies on your ends users to police their own behavior, you are borrowing trouble. You should be locking out certain functions while a projector warms up. You should prevent your system from queuing up commands while someone hits buttons and then letting them all go through at once. People hate it when the lights won’t stop flashing, or when the volume suddenly jumps from “barely perceptible” to “ear-bleedingly loud.” While we’re at it, unless there is a valid reason that your users need an “ear bleeding” mode, I think most of us know to lock them out of that function as well.
One thing that I’ve found that’s really helpful in defensive designing is to ask other people to mash buttons on my panels for me. If you don’t have a dedicated QA staff at your shop, you can either find the least technical person in your office… or the most inquisitive one to push buttons for you. Either of them will very, very quickly help you locate the ways in which an end user might “break” your system. Really, you just need someone who will say, “I wonder what happens if I do this” over and over again.
I program the same way I drive a car. I assume that everyone out there is about 10 seconds away from running me off the road.
My final takeaway is less about UI and more about big data.
3. Big data doesn’t always tell the whole story. Beware the law of unintended consequences.
As we were straightening out how I was going to get home, my gate agent very indignantly told me, “We waited three whole minutes for you.” At first glance, that seems rather uncharitable of her. Especially when you factor in the fact that I was 16 *hours* late getting home. But then, when you put it into context, a very different picture emerges. Airline departure times are assiduously tracked these days. Just a few minutes can be the difference between a good rating and a poor one. If you rank airlines on how quickly they can get their planes to their destinations, they are going to start doing everything they can to get their planes into the air as quickly as possible. Not even two weeks after I missed my flight, I was on a different airline’s plane and watched a flight attendant tell the man in front of me that they just couldn’t wait for the rest of his family and we’d be taking off without them. Not 30 seconds later, another flight attendant announced to the plane that we would be arriving 30 minutes early at our destination. I thought the suddenly solo traveler’s head was going to explode.
Flight delays are annoying. We all want to get where we’re going on-time. But they factor into ratings in a way that “angry passengers stranded at the gate” do not. That’s the price we pay for the technological advances that have allowed us to track just about everything. And, for the most part, this is a great thing. It means that we can all avoid hospitals that have high mortality rates. It means that UPS drivers are now instructed to never make left-hand turns, because they crunched the numbers and avoiding left-hand turns is both faster and safer. But it also means that a lot of us have had the experience of being rushed off the phone when calling tech support because their metrics are based on how many calls they can handle in an hour.
When you introduce metrics into a system, you just might be incentivizing less than optimal behavior. Try and think about how your employees might end up attempting to game the system. And always be prepared to make changes if you discover a way that they’re doing it that you hadn’t even thought about. It’s the law of *unintended* consequences, after all.
By far, the biggest takeaway from all of this is clearly:
4. While waiting for your small, regionally based flight… go ahead and use the facilities about 10 minutes *before* you’re scheduled to board.
You’re just going to have to trust me on this one.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
Click above to learn more
|The Shortest Distance Between Two Points|
By Lee Distad
Although it’s verity has long since been debunked, there’s a popular adage about how during the height of the Cold War and the Space Race, NASA spent millions developing a ballpoint pen that could write in zero gravity, while Soviet Cosmonauts just used a pencil.
Regardless, the moral of the story as I’ve always applied it to AV installs is that innovation is great, but what AV Pros actually get paid for is a working installation. Regardless of features, interfaces, and hot-topic buzzwords just clients just want their systems to work.
There are two kinds of AV pro, in my experience: enthusiastic technophiles and reluctant adopters. It’s mostly a generational thing, and more often than not, the enthusiastic techophiles are new to the business, shiny and keen. That shininess wears off after a few years. Sadder, but wiser, veteran AV pros learn, often through painful experience, to not confuse the sizzle for the steak.
Hands up everyone who’s ever been dazzled by cool technology, and was bursting at the seams to jam as much of it into your client’s home as possible. I’m guilty, on all charges.
The common thread in most repeatable, reliable systems is simplicity. I was trained according to the premise that good system design follows from having the minimum number of boxes and wires necessary to achieve the system’s required functionality.
The fewer links in the chain, the fewer the number of things that can go wrong. It also helps if a system uses the absolute minimum number of brands, which is part of the reason why automation vendors offer a breadth of hardware solutions: the assurance that the selected gear will play well with others.
By the same token, simplicity in system configuration means that when it’s time to troubleshoot for bugs (and there will almost always be bugs), there are fewer individual checklist items that require testing. With added complexity, when debugging a new system, you run the risk of getting caught up in overly complicated workarounds that cost too much time and money relative to execute. Call me crazy, but I still think that finishing a system on time and on budget is what makes the difference between being a profitable company and puttering around so much that it’s really just a hobby.
On the topic of problem solving, don’t get bogged down in solutions that create more work than they solve. The cardinal rules of troubleshooting should always be observed, which is that the problem must be repaired, and that future foreseeable problems have been prevented. But the best solution is the one that does all that while costing the least amount of time and money to implement.
Switching analogies from the Soviets to Ancient Greece: Consider Alexander the Great and the Gordian Knot.
Instead of trying to untangle the knot, he cut it in half with his sword.
Here’s my favorite example of simple and direct: Years ago on one project we installed over a dozen wireless music zones. The client’s 2.4 GHz cordless phone was interfering with the zone players, a problem we had never encountered before.
What was the solution? Sending a technician to Costco and buying the client a different brand of cordless phone. Total cost: $150, plus driving time. And it worked perfectly!
Cleverness, resourcefulness and a dogged approach to problem solving are laudable. But that doesn’t mean making things complicated. Keep it simple, and remember that the client just wants it all to work.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
|In a Blink: Sony’s Contact Lens Records VideoBlink and you could be recording video. Sony has designed a wearable contact lens that can take photos and video — and it has been sitting in the U.S. patent office for three years. The media (yes, all of us) missed the filing. Sony filed a patent in the U.S. in May of 2013 for a smart contact lens and it’s here.|
Let’s hope they call it a Sony “Watchman” when they do release this product.
The device takes both photos and video on its own– no need to tether to a smart device. The camera has autofocus, automatic exposure and an adjustable zoom (no, don’t ask us how). It uses an organic electroluminescence display screen, and we guess it’s the curveable type.
Sony is here.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
|Ihiji ServiceManager Adds Ticketing Feature for Streamlining Service OperationsIhiji just added a new service ticketing feature as part of its Software as a Service (SaaS) tool, Ihiji ServiceManager. Introduced at CEDIA 2015, Ihiji ServiceManager helps home technology professionals, security monitoring firms and systems integrators provide services enabling them to generate recurring monthly revenue (RMR) through managed, proactive annual service plans.|
Efficiently creating and tracking trouble tickets, often referred to as technical support or service tickets, is a critical component of a successful services organization. Subsequently, of the new functions provided by Ihiji ServiceManager, Ticketing has been highly anticipated since the feature was first announced.
A SaaS tool that facilitates management of recurring service plans and service operations efforts, Ihiji ServiceManager features:
- Customer Warranty tracking
- Recurring Service plan tracking
- RMR invoicing and billing
- Customer contact management
- Technical support ticketing and tracking
- Centralized project documentation (coming soon)
Based on extensive market research and feedback the Ihiji team has received from dealers who use the Ihiji Invision platform for remote network management and monitoring, this standardized process is nothing like what most integrators have in place today. In fact, Ihiji has discovered that most systems integration firms do not have an efficient way to capture and track service tickets.
Instead, the usual “system” includes sticky notes on computer monitors, messages jotted on scrap paper, and face-to-face conversations between members of the integration team. Notes get lost. Communications go awry. Troubleshooting steps get repeated. Customers are left hanging or take their business elsewhere when their integrator fails to deliver a seamless, exceptional experience to the technology user. The trickle-down effect can be costly, and even disastrous if neglected.
Ihiji ServiceManager not only provides the opportunity for integrators to offer a higher level of service and support to technology users, the ticketing feature also offers the following benefits:
- Evaluate your total cost of support in order to improve efficiency, reduce excess costs, and earn more revenue off service plans
- Create easily trackable accountability within your company for service calls and service ticket resolution
- Track your issue resolution time and share the statistic as a selling point to customers interested in a service plan
- Resolve issues faster with your customer’s history at your fingertips – even if a different technician takes the call each time
- Detect trends with hardware, as well as hardware compatibility issues, so you can avoid future problems and be more proactive about fixing issues with current hardware across your customer base
You can see it here.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
Click above to learn more
|Bowers & Wilkins Acquired by EVA AutomationBowers & Wilkins, the British audio brand founded in Sussex, England, in 1966, has been acquired by Silicon Valley based EVA Automation Inc.|
Bowers & Wilkins is a maker of high-end audio equipment. EVA Automation will integrate fully with Bowers &Wilkins’ acoustic engineering prowess by offering innovative A/V technologies and product vision that will enable Bowers & Wilkins to grow faster and further.
Joe Atkins, incumbent owner of Bowers & Wilkins, will remain as CEO and will work closely with EVA and Yu to continue to develop Bowers & Wilkins’ position as a world class highly integrated AV company. Gideon Yu is well known for helping to build companies including Facebook, YouTube and Square and will act as executive chairman for Bowers & Wilkins
Bowers & Wilkins is here.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
|Hands-On Advanced Networking Boot Camp Offered at CEDIA HeadquartersCEDIA will be offering its popular networking training in the form of a three-day boot camp at CEDIA headquarters in Indianapolis this summer and fall. CEDIA Advanced Networking Boot Camp, offered June 22-24 and November 2-4, covers advanced networking topics and provides attendees with the skills needed to install and manage a high performance residential IP network.|
“Knowing the ins and outs of the network represents a necessity for home technology professionals. Homeowners expect a seamless, uninterrupted experience and as the number of connected devices continues to increase, it will be up to home technology professionals to deliver a solution that is reliable and secure. That’s why this training continues to be one of our most requested offerings,” said Vin Bruno, CEDIA CEO.
Advanced networking boot camp attendees will discuss, conceptualize, and implement networking concepts such as virtual local area networks (VLANs) and virtual private networks. This training offers a mix of classroom lectures, demonstrations and more than eight in-depth, hands-on lab exercises. Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to sit for the CEDIA Electronic Systems Certified- Networking Specialist certification exam at the end of boot camp.
Advanced networking boot camp is recommended for those with a fundamental understanding of networking and IP and the ability to successfully configure a residential router and access point. CEDIA offers the following fundamental networking training courses online: Network Cabling Infrastructure, IP for Technicians, and Wireless Network Technologies.
Registration for the June boot camp is open, cost to participate is $950 for CEDIA members and $1,200 for non members. Early bird savings are available until May 25, 2016. Additional information about networking boot camp and CEDIA’s other training offerings can be found here.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
|Extron Video Targets Crestron with Side-by-Side 4K Processing Comparison|
Extron doesn’t say this in their new side-by-side comparison video explaining their Vector 4K scaling engine, but they are clearing taking aim at Crestron. This video explains how they make their Vector 4K scaling chipset and is designed as an educations tool to help you understand 4K technology and signal nuances, but is also designed to explain why they think their technology is better than Crestron’s own scaling – even calling Crestron out (not by name, but it’s obvious when they show the products) as making a marketing claim of their DM 4K product as capable of 4:4:4 chroma subsampling when, according to Extron’s Vice President of Product Development, Dave Pincek, in the video, the Crestron only actually processes 4:2:2. Again, although not calling them out by name – they show their product instead, Pincek calls Crestron’s advertising and marketing of their DM 4K scaling as “deceptive.”
The video starts and ends with Pincek explaining the benefits of 4:4:4 signal processing, and how it compares to 4:2:2 and 4:2:0 processing. He then demonstrates why video processing in the RGB, or 4:4:4, color domain is required for computer-generated graphics and text. The video actually features a side-by-side comparison of an Extron scaler with 4:4:4 processing and the Crestron DM scaler with 4:2:2 processing.
Whether you’re an Extron or a Crestron supporter, the video does have some great educational elements in it – and is absolutely worth watching. Extron explains scaling features such as bicubic scaling, automatic film cadence detection and motion-adaptive de-interlacing and why ProAV integrators as well as HomeAV integrators should care about these functions in 4K scaling. Extron says that their Vector 4K scaling engine was developed internally.
Extron has posted the video behind a log-in so you have to be an Extron dealer to watch it, but we have contacted our attorney to see if we can legally rip-it and post it on our site for you to watch: http://www.extron.com/444videoprLeave a Comment
Back to Top
Click above to learn more
|IMAX Private Theatre has 80 Installs ComingIMAX Entertainment Co announced that in the six months following the launch of the IMAX Private Theatre Palais (Palais), it has signed agreements for more than 80 committed systems. The agreements follow the June 15 launch of the first TCL-IMAX Palais showroom. Additional showrooms are scheduled to open in the coming months on the Chinese resort island of Hainan, Beijing, London, Los Angeles and New York and Dubai.|
The majority of the total systems signed to date comprise agreements with high-end luxury property developers, which represent the first Palais distributors in China. The first installations are taking place now, with the current backlog scheduled to install over the next three years. In addition to these larger-volume deals, the TCL-IMAX joint venture has also signed multiple additional Palais agreements, including iconic global installations in London and New York.
“We are very encouraged by the strong initial Palais signings to date and the interest that continues to build for IMAX in a home environment among key developers, dealers and high-net-worth individuals,” said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. “We’ve invested in this new line of business over the past few years and will continue to do so, based on the significant interest shown to date. We are encouraged by our results so far and – together with our partner TCL – look forward to the launch of our upcoming showrooms and the broad roll-out of this impressive product.”
“We are pleased to have exceeded our initial signings targets for this important new venture,” added IMAX Chief Business Development Officer Robert D. Lister, who is also Chairman of the TCL-IMAX joint venture. “We are focused now on continuing to leverage the strong interest we are seeing in China, in particular, and on expanding our target markets, with an aggressive roll-out in the Middle East planned at the start of 2016.”
Speaking of the expansion of IMAX Private Theatre Palais in China market, CEO of TCL-IMAX Entertainment Co., Ltd., Yifeng Hu added: “Our growth in China showcases the potential gap of high-end home entertainment industry in China and great confidence the market has for our product. This month, we just unveiled the second IMAX Private Theatre Palais showroom at Diamond Beach in Sanya, Hainan Island, which is a successful partnership and collaboration between Palais and high-end real estate and tourism industry, and is an important momentum of our expansion strategy in China. We will continue to strengthen our partnership with qualified distributors next year and aim to open a few more showrooms in tier-one cities across China. I believe, with the help of these partners from both China and international markets, IMAX Private Theatre Palais will lead the high-end home theatre industry and create a legendary brand.”
The IMAX Private Theatre “Palais” delivers IMAX’s best-in-class projection and sound technology as part of the very first completely integrated home theatre system from a single holistic IMAX design and source. It for the first time offers the immersive IMAX movie experience to its customers in the comfort of their home, and supports multi-media functions including Blu-ray, high-definition TV, games and Karaoke. Features include sound isolation, acoustics, wall treatments, flooring, lighting, seating, and specialized, high-quality and unique audio-visual content provided by IMAX.
IMAX is here.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
|Barco Names Jan De Witte as Next CEO|
Barco announced today that current CEO Eric Van Zele plans to retire later this year. In anticipation of Van Zele’s retirement, the board has appointed Jan De Witte, a former corporate officer of the General Electric Company, as CEO-designate. Jan De Witte will join Barco’s Core Leadership Team in June 2016 to effectively take over as CEO as of Oct. 1, 2016.
Van Zele will continue to serve on the board of directors to ensure continuity of leadership and strategic focus for the company.
De Witte, 52, was until recently president and CEO of General Electric’s Global Healthcare IT activity, a close to $2 billion revenue business with 4,000+ employees worldwide that provides clinical- and system-software solutions to healthcare providers on a global basis. Over 16 years of increasing responsibility at General Electric’s Healthcare business based in the United States and France, De Witte has demonstrated leadership in sales growth acceleration, operational efficiencies, organizational effectiveness, supply chain management, technology and product development and strategic realignment. He has been a General Electric company officer since 2007.
Prior to his tenure at General Electric, Mr. De Witte spent five years at McKinsey & Company Inc. in Brussels, Amsterdam and Zurich, where he served clients in the industrial and transportation sector on strategy and business development, business process re-engineering and operational improvement. Between 1987 and 1991, he held positions in supply chain and production management at The Procter & Gamble Company in its Belgium operations.
De Witte holds a master degree in Electro Mechanical Engineering (1987) from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) and an MBA from Harvard Business School (1993).
Barco is here.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
|Altinex Debuts Anywire TP315-101 and TP315-102 Transmitter/Receiver System That Sends 1080p Over Speaker Wire|
Altinex just launched the Anywire TP315-101 and TP315-102 Transmitter / Receiver System designed for sending 1080p/60 Hz HDMI signal over any type of copper wire, including speaker wire, low voltage wires, any type of CAT wires, coaxial wires and more. Anywire facilitates the transmission of live video and computer video signals with synchronized audio over long distances, even without the presence of Cat6 cable.
The TP315-101 HDMI over Anywire transmitter facilitates the transmission of 1080p HDMI signals up to 600 feet using a simple two-conductor cable. The TP315-102 HDMI over Anywire receiver allows the receipt of the same signal. A single TP315-101 transmitter is capable of driving up to four TP315-102 receivers using either four individual wire pairs over 600 feet each, or by daisy chaining the receivers.
The Altinex TP315-101 transmitter and TP315-102 receiver are designed to create an economical solution for many audiovisual installations. Integrators need only to route the wires, cut and trim the installation and connect to the terminals. The unique design of the Anywire video transmission system provides stable video over greater distances than other designs. IR pass-through for receiver side to transmitter side control is provided without corrupting the HDMI signal during transmission of IR signals. Operation does not require any user control or interaction. Simply connect the Anywire input and when the transmitter detects the receiver, the receiver begins video transmission to the display.
Both the transmitter and receiver list for $375 each. Here are the details.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
Click above to learn more
|Extron Ships Fiber Optic Extenders for 4K|
Extron is shipping its new FOX II 4K Series for extension, switching and distribution of 4K video (up to 30 Hz with a 4:4:4 color space over one-fiber or @60 Hz with a 4:4:4 color space using two transmitters), multi‑channel audio, and bi-directional control signals over fiber optic cabling. The series includes the FOX II T DP 4K and FOX II T HD 4K fiber optic transmitters for DisplayPort and HDMI, as well as the FOX II R DP 4K with a Type 2 dual‑mode DisplayPort output to support DisplayPort and HDMI 4K resolution displays. They use Extron all‑digital technology for reliable delivery of video signals at resolutions up to 4096×2160. These extenders are HDCP-compliant, and expand the capabilities of the Extron FOX Series fiber optic products. Available in multi-mode and single-mode models, the FOX II 4K Series extenders are ideal for point-to-point installations or in combination with a FOX Matrix Switcher for an enterprise-wide 4K video distribution system.
The FOX II 4K Series fiber optic extenders provide signal extension for moderate distances of up to 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) over multi-mode fiber optic cable and extreme distances up to 30 kilometers (18.75 miles) when using single-mode cable. Both transmitters include a buffered loop-through for a local monitor at the source. Also, the FOX II R DP 4K provides audio de‑embedding and balanced return analog stereo audio output to support a remote audio source at the receiver. Other integrator-friendly features include Key Minder, EDID Minder, audio embedding, audio gain and attenuation adjustment, bidirectional RS232 and IR control, and real‑time system monitoring. Also, optional mounting kits such as the MBU 125 under-desk mounting kit allow signal extension from a source in a lectern to a remote display or central control room. These extenders are simple to set up and commission using Extron’s PCS – Product Configuration Software.
The specs on the FOX II DP 4K are here and the FOX II T HD 4K specs are here.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
|Peerless-AV Announces New Line of UltraView Outdoor TVs|
Peerless-AV today announced a new line of all-season outdoor TVs for outdoor home entertainment and living, the UltraView Outdoor TVs. Completely weatherproof and maintenance-free, Peerless-AV’s UltraView TVs make it easy and affordable for homeowners to add digital entertainment to their outdoor living spaces. Available in 49″, 55″, or 65″, the TVs are equipped with an LED backlight to provide a full HD 1080p resolution for bright and crisp visuals. The UltraView TVs also come with an IP68 rated waterproof and dust-proof universal remote that can be programmed to control up to three additional devices.
The UltraView TVs include built-in weatherproof speakers and the ability to operate at a range of -24°F to 122°F but, installation of the UltraView TVs is best suited for shaded outdoor areas, out of direct sunlight.
Peerless-AV’s 49″ and 55″ UltraView TVs are available now and the 65″ UltraView TV will be available in July 2016. Here are the specs.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
|Vivitek Adds H1060 Home Theater Projector|
Vivitek just debuted the H1060 projector — a 3,000 ANSI lumens with a contrast ratio of 15,000:1. Using DLP’s BrilliantColor technology, the projector has a six-segment (GYRWCB) color wheel.
Connectivity options include two HDMI v1.4 inputs and an MHL input. According to Vivitek, it uses a new energy efficient lamp, the lamp lifetime in dynamic eco mode is extended up to 10,000 hours and its position on the top of the projector also facilitates easy replacement by the user.
The Vivitek H1060 is already shipping and is priced at £629 ($925). You can see all the specs here.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
|BenQ’s Intros New MH530 Colorific Home Projector|
BenQ America today introduced the latest addition to its Colorific home entertainment projector lineup, the MH530. The MH530 is native 1920×1080, has SmartEco technology, 3D functionality and HDMI connectivity.
The MH530 is spec’d to have 10,000:1 contrast ratio and 3,200 ANSI lumens of brightness. The BenQ SmartEco technology uses what they call dynamic power saving that claims to save up to 70 percent of lamp power consumption and lower maintenance costs. The unit’s “SmartEco” mode adjusts lamp power to maximize energy savings by using only as much light as needed. Since projector lamp replacement costs make up the biggest part of the total cost of projector ownership, the unit’s “Lamp Save” mode is designed to dynamically adjust lamp power based on content brightness levels. This extends projector lamp life by 50 percent and up to 10,000 hours. The “No Source Detected” mode reduces power consumption by automatically adjusting power consumption to 30 percent when no source is detected for more than three minutes. When inactive, the MH530 keeps power consumption to a minimum at 0.5 watts standby power.
Th MH530 is shipping now and lists for $999. Here are all the specs.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
|Compound Photonics Likely Freaked Out Texas Instruments’ DLP Team Yesterday With 14mm 4K Resolution Chip LaunchAt Display Summit China, Compound Photonics introduced what it’s calling the world’s smallest native 4K imaging device, measuring only 14 millimeters diagonally and featuring pixels smaller than three microns. Compound Photonics is an eight-year old technology company whose engineering and marketing teams are comprised of some of the brightest stars in the photonics and projection industries.|
Hidden at the bottom of their press announcement was the contact information for Pierre Richer — former NEC Display president and CEO! So, this is the REAL DEAL!
“Compound Photonics is the biggest and most capable photonics and projector manufacturer that you have most likely never heard of,” declared Tim Anderson, the company’s vice president of product management in his Display Summit presentation. “We are the company that has succeeded in introducing the world to RGB solid state laser based technology, making it finally possible to manufacture a 3,000 lumen lamp-less native 4K projector that rivals the performance delivered by today’s solid state displays.”
So, what’s all this mean? Well, in case you aren’t reading between the lines, there’s a new projection company about to hit the market with a pure-laser projector, using a technology that the company claims is higher resolution AND smaller than DLP — the dominant projection technology, as far as quantity goes, in the market right now. So, this could be big.
Compound Photonics says that the use of RGB laser technology eliminates lamps, creates a huge new color gamut to work with, and enables balancing the color output of each color channel to achieve a perfect white point. And, Anderson claimed that Compound Photonics has invested significant engineering resources to reduce the cost of RGB lasers and speckle.
“Projector customers around the world want to be able to project a huge image in full daylight and still have an outstanding image,” Anderson said. “Our engineers have developed specific algorithms that use an expanded color gamut made possible by RGB laser technology. These algorithms combat ambient light and dramatically improve color contrast.”
Anderson said that Compound Photonics offered capabilities ranging from tiny, bright, full HD laser light engines for mobile devices, an embedded 1080P projector that is less than two cubic centimeters in size, IR and Green lasers, head-up car displays, near-eye augmented reality, and gesture recognition. “We are a team of over 300 scientists, technologists, software engineers, and marketers that are committed to changing the way consumers interact with technology. Our corporate directory is a veritable ‘who’s who’ of technology and includes veterans of IBM, InFocus, Epson, NEC, Philips, Pixelworks and Microsoft,” he said.
Compound Photonics’ primary manufacturing and design centers are located in Phoenix, Arizona and Newton Aycliffe in the United Kingdom. The company also has offices in Vancouver, Washington; Redmond, Washington; Madison, Wisconsin; and Chicago, Illinois. The company was founded in 2008.
Here’s a link to exactly how the technology works.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
|Drop-Down Monitor Mount Debuts from MultibracketsThe Multibrackets M Motorized Ceiling Mount lowers a monitor from the ceiling. The brackets arm length can be adapted to the size of the TV and hold it securely in place and can be quickly folded down, via a remote control, to be used. The mount also includes a locking mechanism to safely lock your flat screen in place when flipped down, thus minimizing fatigue and vibration.|
The M Motorized Ceiling Mount handles 32″-55” monitors and allows them to be mounted flat on the ceiling but then fold down when used. Designed for bedrooms, kitchens, commercial offices, schools or retail, it can fold your screen down or up -75° to 0°. This under the cabinet/ ceiling mount includes a locking system to keep the screen in position and is a very practical solution supporting screens both smaller and larger, 32″ to 55″.
The M Motorized Ceiling Mount uses what hey are calling a rapid motorized flip down transition technique with little noise. Use the included remote control or use IR codes (RC5) to fold down for control systems or off-the-shelf TV remotes to lower or flip up the TV.
More information is here.Leave a Comment
Back to Top
For all you REGULAR readers of rAVe HomeAV Edition out there, hopefully you enjoyed another opinion-packed issue!
For those of you NEW to rAVe, you just read how we are — we are 100% opinionated. We not only report the news and new product stories of the high-end HomeAV 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).
Don’t like us, then go away — unsubscribe! Just use the link below.
To send me feedback, don’t reply to this newsletter – instead, write directly to me at email@example.com or for editorial ideas: Editor-in-Chief Sara Abrons at firstname.lastname@example.org
A little about me: I graduated from Journalism School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (where I am adjunct faculty). I’ve been in the AV-industry since 1987 where I started with Extron and eventually moved to AMX. So, I guess I am an industry veteran (although I don’t think I am that old). I have been an opinionated columnist for a number of industry publications and in the late 1990s I started the widely read KNews eNewsletter (the first in the AV market) and also created the model for and was co-founder of AV Avenue – which is now known as InfoComm IQ. rAVe Publications has been around since 2003, when we launched our original newsletter, rAVe ProAV Edition.
rAVe HomeAV Edition, co-published with CEDIA, launched in February, 2004.
To read more about my background, our team, and what we do, go to https://www.ravepubs.comBack to Top
Copyright 2016 – rAVe [Publications] – All rights reserved. For reprint policies, contact rAVe [Publications], 210 Old Barn Ln. – Chapel Hill, NC 27517 – 919/969-7501. Email: email@example.com
rAVe HomeAV Edition contains the opinions of the author only and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of other persons or companies or its sponsors.