Building a winning team not entirely unlike building… well, a building. Ah, it’s that time of year. The kids have gone back to school, the northern states have a crisp evening chill in the air, and the pigskin has begun to fly. Millions of people across the United Sta read more
I had one happy visitor at my home last month. My dear friend Blair lives in Nova Scotia, on the Southeastern tip of Canada… up near Maine. He came for a long overdue visit, and I’m sure at the time there wasn’t a happier Canadian anywhere in the Lower 48. Plenty of th read more
I couldn’t wait for my TV to die. Crazy, right? Read on and I’ll explain.
More than half the TVs installed in outdoor spaces are engineered for indoor use. And I was like most people. Why would I spend more on an outdoor rated display when I could get something for less than half the price? If it dies I can run out and pick up a newer model and throw it up on the wall without much down time. And when my first display died I did just that. I found an old plasma in the house and hung it up outside. Eventually, as expected, its performance began to decline.
“Die, you imperfect plasma, just DIE!” I muttered to myself in the fall. Here’s a snapshot of its demise, notice the upper right hand corner image fade. It was only a matter of time!
(Full disclosure, Brian Rhatigan, my coworker and display expert tells me this isn’t a typical symptom of aging displays, and probably has more to do with the source. But that doesn’t work with my story. Read his blog here.)
Cut to earlier this month. A recent Polar Vortex had 75% of the country experiencing below freezing temperatures. I was in chilly, snowy Chicago (my hat is off to those of you who can handle that!) and I couldn’t wait to get home to my beloved South Florida, the 85°+ December weather and watching the Miami Dolphins claw and fight their way to their first winning season since 2008 in my outdoor football paradise.
Flag on the Play!
It’s a Saturday night prime-time Dolphins v. Jets showdown in New York. December football in-conference rivalry at its finest! The bevvies were ice cold, the sausage dip was made, and the propane tank was full. I was ready! But I was unprepared for a dead display. It was a football fail, to put it mildly. Yes, I’d wished ill-will upon my clunky old plasma, but the timing was terrible! I’d wanted to brag to my northern neighbors! (Karma much?) We watched the Dolphins trounce the Jets, 34-13 in the living room on the couch. Booooo!
Can this be corrected in the second half?
Earlier this fall SunBrite TV introduced their new Veranda Series 4K UHD outdoor displays for full-shade outdoor spaces. These beauties are up to 30% brighter than typical indoor TVs, and they’re weather proof! And while that was always a major selling point for buying an outdoor display for outside, now… NOW they’re affordable!
If there’s such a thing as a spirit animal, mine is an iguana. (OK, spirit reptile). Not glamorous, cuddly or even cute. What we have in common, according to Wikipedia is that we thrive only in temperatures between 79-95°F. This makes South Florida the perfect place for me to live. And ideal for outdoor winter TV watching.
You can’t keep a true Dolphins fan down for long. My Veranda is on a truck headed to South Florida. Just in time for college bowl games and the NFL playoffs… I’m holding out hope that my Dolphins are still standing by mid-January! Stay tuned for Part II, as I turn my Football Fail into Veranda Victory!
Do you have an outdoor setup you LOVE? Share a picture in the comments, I’d love to see what you’ve got!
October finished up the last of the Almo Pro AV E4 AV Tours for 2016, the last of which was in Dallas, TX.
One of the many things to do is walk through the Exhibit Hall, where all of Almo’s manufacturer partners showcase their latest and greatest products…
I really “flipped” over the all-new R Series product displayed by Sharp at our Dallas Show.
This beauty will come in a 42”, 49” and 55” display, and with the extreme tilt capabilities opens up new mounting possibilities that gives more flexibility than ever before to digital signage installations. My imagination went wild. Not only can this series be mounted in portrait or landscape mode, imagine the 42” display mounted face up on a table in a sleek apparel shop, or the 55” face down from the ceiling in a planetarium…
While I wouldn’t suggest mounting it on a floor surface that would be walked on, the design of these monitors is robust enough that they can be suspended from the four corners of the rear housing using wires. I immediately envisioned a simple, elegant look for an office lobby, like an attorney’s office or accounting firm or a retail shop where information, daily specials or other content could be simply and beautifully displayed.
The ingenuity and creativity of our dealers and integrator customers is always impressive. And I can’t wait to see what they come up with when they let loose with Sharp’s new PN-R Series!
I’m an aspiring techie. As a marketing manager in the Pro AV channel I marvel daily at what you guys and gals (girl power!) can do. While I’m at home battling my wireless printer you’re out there day after day beaming Cecil the Lion onto the Empire State Building in New York City. Well, maybe you don’t do that every day, but what you do on a daily basis is still quite impressive.
I was a high school student in the 90’s. (You Gotta Fight! For Your Right! To Partyyyy!) We had the old school projectors that shined the lesson written on multiple sheets of clear plastic onto a pull down screen, or even a cement wall in some classrooms. Teachers would walk away with colorful smudges on their hands from the ink they were using to illustrate their points. Imagine how Mr. Flammond would teach me the DNA sequence of an amphibian these days!
But, I digress. I haven’t walked the halls of BHS since back when we were sporting Members Only Jackets and fluffy Love Eric socks, but I see now what you the installers and integrators are putting inside those classrooms. And I’m downright jealous. I want to go back and learn the way children of today are learning!
And education isn’t the only way you are changing lives. Making meetings more productive with amazing technology like Sharp AQUOS BOARDS and the InFocus Mondopads and Barco Clickshare in boardrooms and conference rooms is changing the way companies think and do business. Even Almo Pro AV!
Don’t even get me started on retail right now. I just can’t. Because if I start talking about that LG Dual-Sided Curved OLED display and how many pair of shoes that thing could sell me I may have to run to the Galleria Mall immediately.
The point is… the dealers and resellers and installers and integrators that trust Almo Pro AV with their technology needs are pretty impressive folks. And I’m going to be lucky enough to meet some of them in person this coming Tuesday in Dallas, Texas, where our E4 AV Tour makes its last stop in 2016. If you’re close-by, come check it out. You can register here. There are classes and other educational opportunities for CTS Renewal Credits and a super-cool experience by Samsung of their outdoor displays that Paris Hilton would actually describe as “that’s Hot”.
Yes, I’m going because it’s my job. But don’t think I won’t be walking away all geeked out and excited over the technology we’re showcasing. And when I come home I’m going to beat that pesky wireless printer!
There has obviously been a TON of information published, interviews conducted, Web X Meetings, etc, from both inside and outside the channel in regards to the acquisition of IAVI by Almo Pro AV. Now that the dust has settled, and as a 10 year employee and Senior Manager at IAVI before the acquisition, here is a look at the acquisition from (perhaps) a little DIFFERENT perspective.
- “OMG we’ve been bought out by a competitor in the industry”
- “OMG do I have a job?”
- “Oh no, what ARE we going to do?”
Rewind 3 months to April 13th
IAVI was a 19 year old Commercial – Pro A/V Distributor; a veteran so to speak in the channel with HUGE growth percentages year after year since the mid 2000’s. Almo Pro AV, the company that acquired IAVI, was for the last 7 years one of our chief competitors, certainly our rival in the channel and now; they’ve both taken us out of the game and literally taken over in general. The world as WE knew is now totally upside down and “we” have seemingly LOST the battle.
Fast forward… (it’s now the end of September!)
Where are we today?
“We” as the new combined Almo Pro AV have participated in the third of our E4 AV Tour of the year in Boston, exhibited at InfoComm in June, conducted our annual National Sales Meeting in July, and have one more E4 AV Tour shows coming up soon: Dallas on October 18th (SAVE THE DATE!)
Virtually ALL of Almo Corporation and Almo Pro AV Senior Management have visited the new Almo Florida office and have provided the EX IAVI team with their motives for acquiring the company, and their vision for the future. They’ve shared opinions and insights with us in regards to the “best practices” that had been identified early on between the two companies and we’ve watched as they’ve specifically implemented some of the IAVI practices quickly into the NEW combined Almo Pro AV.
The results of the due diligences investigations that took place prior to the acquisition have been shared and many of us have been proud to see our NEW company adopt and implement many IAVI practices into the new combined Almo Pro AV almost immediately.
Those of us that were offered positions at Almo have been extremely impressed with the ongoing thought process of Almo Corporation owners and the executive team in the Pro AV Division digging deep into all of the business practices of the acquired company to make the new combined company even BETTER than the previous two individual organizations.
My hats off to Gene, Roz, and Warren Chaiken, Sam Taylor and the rest of the Almo Pro AV Senior Management team for the care and dedication they demonstrated in trying to FIND ways to retain members of the IAVI Team throughout the entire organization in lieu of finding reasons to let them go.
Many people have told me over the years and especially right after the IAVI acquisition, that Almo is a PEOPLE first company and that they recognize their greatest assets as their employees. As a NEW employee of Almo Pro AV it’s my pleasure to testify to the truth of their words and it’s my pleasure to be a part of such a warm and caring organization. I for one am very PROUD to be a part of this incredible new Almo Pro AV TEAM!
I was lucky enough to join the Almo Pro AV Marketing Department as a result of the acquisition of IAVI in May this year. Pretty much right away we ran off to Las Vegas together. You know how it goes, wining and dining and enjoying the hot summer sun… oh, and InfoComm. Only the biggest AV show the industry has to offer each year.
While I’m new to Almo, I’m not new to the channel. Or to Pro AV. So when I tell you that new technology hardly gets my motor running anymore, you’re probably not surprised. We all see it all the time. But this year… this year in Vegas something was different. This year I was dazzled. (Almo is amazing, but I’m not talking about my new relationship. We’ve settled into a nice rhythm, in case you’re wondering, though).
I was dazzled this year by LG Business Solutions’ Dual-View flat OLED Signage Displays.
If you were in Vegas last month you’re feeling me right now, right? This display is sexy. SEX-EEEEE.
From a distance, the first thing I noticed was the color, the brightness. Dark, dark blacks. Bright, vibrant colors. Perfect color. Purrrrr-fect. When you see it from afar you just have to get closer. And when you do – this is one thin display. We’re all used to thin by now. In fact, we expect it. But this! This. Is. THIN! Like the majority of the people I saw checking this display out, I had to hold up my phone for perspective. With the case on (I have the dropsies with my phone) this LG OLED display is thinner than my phone! Amazing!
So here I am. Dazzled by the colors. Dazzled by the depth. But wait! LG isn’t done dazzling me yet. This display is dual sided! Oh, yes. You heard me. There is a crystal clear, vividly bright picture on both sides of this ultra-thin 55” display. My mouth agape, I gawked in awe at this work of art, imagining the impact to so many applications. I’m wowed. I’m floored! But LG’s about to drive it home. The dual sides can even show different content simultaneously, and this display can be mounted from the ceiling, from a base on the floor or on a wall. If that’s not enough, the ceiling mount has a motorized mechanism that will rotate the display to capture every viewing angle in the room.
How’d they do that? How did they not sacrifice picture quality? How did they keep it soooo unbelievably thin? LG Magic I suppose.
Mind = Blown.