iPad Art

I get a lot of press releases in my email, and quite honestly most of them get skimmed quickly, if at all, and then forgotten about. When one does capture my attention, it’s usually something related to one of my personal hobby horses, such as HDMI distribution or automation and control. The press release/event invitation I got […]

Holograms they AIN’T

Okay, folks, I love 3D projection. I think that no matter how you slice it, it’s exciting and gee-whiz. I’ve been a devotee for years, staging it and experimenting with 3D and its big cousin, VR. And I think it’s great that companies are promoting it and that stagers are doing press releases about the […]

The Invisible Phone

I have a problem. It turns out that it is probably more serious than I thought or than you might expect. It might actually be an addiction. Also, turns out that many others have this same problem and many worse than I do. I am addicted to my “smart” phone. It made a noise – […]

If You Can’t Beat Them Join Them

It’s not news, but I was reminded of this topic yesterday while shopping and I saw side by side displays of the Bose SoundDock for iPod and the Around Ear Headphones in the AV section of my local Costco. It wasn’t that long ago that Costco was generally regarded as a pariah in the Electronics industry for […]

Into The Fire

We all have funny stories from work. In many cases the stories we tell are funny now, but they certainly weren’t funny at the time. My introduction to AV installation was far from auspicious. I was working at an AV specialty retailer and we (mostly I, which is how I got the nickname “Projector Boy”) […]

Hey, You – Get off of my Cloud

Rarely have I come across a technical situation where I felt that Mick Jagger had expressed the best advice, but there it is. This week, after my last posts, I had several inquiries from people over how I thought the widespread use of “cloud-based computing” would change things for us – and what changes WE should make […]

The #1 Ground Rule for #AVChat

I’m afraid to tweet something during the chat because people may not agree or may get mad at me. What do I do? Don’t be afraid to say what you feel. You’d be surprised at how many people are probably thinking the same thing. No one will get mad at you for having an opinion, […]

Why Do People Still Buy Small TVs?

It’s been a mystery to me for years. Selling TVs I always counselled customers that “no one has ever regretted buying a bigger TV.” And five years ago, as flat panel prices continued to drop I coined the phrase “50 is the new 42.” Well guess what? 60 is the new 50. And yet, talking to […]

D-Tools, Inc. Announces 2011 “PROJECT: Success” Design Awards Contest Call for Entries

I just happen to be a huge fan of D-Tools’ SI5.5 software, and constantly use it for design and bidding purposes when I’m in the Vsys Automation office. It has helped us with quicker bids and to format them in such a way that has gotten repeat compliments on not only the look and feel, but  a straight forward easy […]

What happens when the AV service industry is commoditized?

I had a great discussion recently with one of my AV colleagues and friends, who I have known for about 5 years.  He works for a well known and successful AV integration company.  We were discussing AV service from an integrator’s perspective; specifically that in this difficult economy it seems some integrators are focusing less […]

Enough With The Blu-ray Already

Contrary to analysis that I’ve read elsewhere, Blu-ray is on life support. Despite some of the boosterism that’s accompanied the Year-Over-Year growth numbers for Blu-ray, the numbers are hardly encouraging for a format that’s nearly five years old now. 26% of packaged-media sales revenue? Compared to DVD’s 74%? Hooray, that’s real growth. So what’s stopping the studios from […]

He Who Hesitates Is Lost

The blog post by Joel Rollins the other day, entitled “Ya Gotta Buy In Sometime,” was on the money. It also reminded me of an episode from my retail days. Back when camcorders were both analog and expensive there was an old guy who used to come into our store regularly who was serious about buying one. […]


Trying to expand your network on all those social networking sites is great and all, but how do you meet new people with like interests with being considered spam? Simple, you can’t, not without being blocked or having your account seized for a few days or permanently deleted by the host. Enter Unsocial! Unsocial is a […]

Head in the Clouds

OK, as a followup to my last post, about why those of us who are pure-tech open-source weenies won’t stop Apple’s domination of the tablet industry, lets talk about its other side: “Cloud-Based Computing”. First, “Cloud Computing” Is NOT a new idea – the idea that resources, applications, and data reside on a remote computer system and […]

Ya Gotta Buy In Sometime…

After a number of my recent columns, people have written in, especially about two items: tablet computers and cloud-based services. Because there have been quite a number of you, I’ve decided to answer here and point you to the blog. First, with regard to tablets: Stop looking at processors, memory, and physical configurations, and PLEASE […]

ElkDroid Security and Automation

Some of you already know and have been using this since it’s release back in August of 2010. ELK Products has got your back with their third party Android application, created by Williams Automation: “Get full command of your Elk at your fingertips. Become a power user with ElkDroid! Achieve full control of your configured Elk M1G or EZ8 home security panel […]

ElkDroid Security and Automation

innovative video idea…

OK, I don’t write product reviews – and this product really has very little to do with my own field of AV rental and staging. But when I saw it, I was so taken by the idea that I had to share it with you. The product is Collabracam, a software program for the iPhone that […]

LinkedIn kicks it up a notch with an attractive Android app, BAM!!!

LinkedIn’s Android app is finally out of Beta and available to download for free! “LinkedIn for Android puts your professional network just a touch away. Walk into any interview or client meeting with the ability to look up the details and connect with over 100 million professionals worldwide. Get the latest updates and messages from […]


Alright. I’ve given it 24 hours, and let it roll around in my brain, and I am still completely baffled by DISH’s $320M bid for Blockbuster. I’m not alone either. Not only has the AV Twitterverse been gobsmacked, even Wall Street analysts whose job it is to cover DISH don’t know what to think. So far, the most positive […]

I’m Not A PR Flack, Really

There’s a perception, and it’s only a perception, that somehow trade media journalism is a lesser cousin to mainstream media journalism. And it annoys me. Partly because that’s nonsense, and partly because, as far as I can tell, it’s a myth propagated by members of the MSM to feel better about themselves. Some people think that all […]

And Then They Were One: The Da-Lite, Chief, Sanus Merger

So far, the industry scuttlebutt on the Milestone merger announcement yesterday that the AV industry’s leading screen manufacturer (Da-Lite) would merged with Milestone Technologies (parent company of Chief and Sanus – two of the leading ProAV and HomeAV mount and rack manufacturers, respectively) is nothing but positive. And, from all angles it does look like a picture perfect merger. There’s virtually […]

Pay It Forward

In the last few weeks, our industry has seen the passing of many of its leading figures – people who were important in the building of AV as an INDUSTRY, rather than just as a niche business. People like Kevin Collins, Barry Halligan, and now the legendary Fred Dixon, to name a few. These people influenced […]

Goofy Technologies Of Yesteryear

Even though you’re supposed to recycle electronics, the dustbin of history is stuffed with technologies that aren’t with us anymore. Some were victims of historical forces. Take MiniDisc. I LOVED MiniDisc back in the day with all the evangelical passion of a true fanboy. But alas, no matter how cool, and no matter how great the sound quality, it […]

10 Years Later – OH C’MON! Did You Not Get the Memo??

As an AV pro and a social media enthusiast, I tend to keep an eye on the Twitterverse throughout my day. We’ve developed quite the community of AV professionals on that platform, and you never know when something profound, beneficial or earth-shattering will come across the Twitterfeed that can impact our businesses – a link to an article, research, […]

Why would I buy that when I could just build my own?

Since the beginning of time, (or at least that’s how long it feels like it’s been) wherever the word Media Server has been said, there has always been the reply “Why would you buy that when I could just build my own?” Last weekend my friend Joseph Travinksy and I got into what I like to refer […]

Help for Japan – and everywhere else

This is the most worthwhile cause I can think of – to help our friends and colleagues in Japan, and all over the world. Most people have it, but I thought I’d post the link here and appeal to everyone to help if you can. American Red Cross

268 channels, one story

Has anybody else noticed that, with “narrowcasting” the norm, it is still nearly impossible to get anything but the nuclear accident and tsunami in Japan covered by any of the major news outlets? Last I knew, our economy was in a precipitous place, there was a civil war raging in Libya, people were still starving […]

Vendors Need To Make Up Their Minds

Every time I read a press release that announces that Sony is making “a commitment to the custom channel and the small dealer” I feel like I’m stuck in Groundhog Day. Just the other week Sony announced that it was going to be taking its ES line of audio equipment out of big boxes and […]

MIT’s Junkyard Jumbotron: Strange Genius

This web-based software is a little hard to explain, so bear with me.   Take any combination of devices and screens with access to a webpage.  This could be 10 cell phones on your desk,  27 HDTVs,  2iPads and 7 laptops.   ANYTHING.   Take each individual device to a website that sends a picture of a QR code.  Take a picture […]

MIT’s Junkyard Jumbotron: Strange Genius

Using Kaizen: Toyota’s Lean Business Practices

At CEDIA Management Conference this morning, the first session was a keynote from Rick Drumm, president of D’Addario, a manufacturer of music accessories. His topic was “Using Lean Practices to Open New Opportunities.” At D’Addario, they have adopted the Toyota style of lean and efficient business management, known as kaizen. Kaizen literally means in Japanese, “small improvements.” Drumm spoke about how businesses […]

Green AV: Beyond Energy Management

Ok- who said Green is passé? Granted, the term “Green” may be getting kind of annoying.  And the references to our childhood, redundant (poor Kermit doesn’t get royalties, ya know!) But we, as the AV industry, haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of Green. It will go beyond sucking less energy and reducing or carbon footprint. Heck, […]

I’m Delivering Digital Signage to the ALMO E4 AV Tour

I am super excited about the 2011 ALMO ProAV E4 AV Tour as this is the year of Digital Signage – and my session at each tour stop will be all about how and why you need to get into the digital signage market. But, I wont stop there! In fact, I’ll give I’ll give you a step-by-step guide […]