READY TO GROW YOUR DIGITAL SIGNAGE BUSINESS IN 2017? HERE’S HOW! Life wouldn’t be fun without change. And 2016 was certainly full of exciting changes and new developments in the Pro AV Industry. Technology has “Moved Beyond Limits” with exciting products like Dual vie read more
At Almo Pro AV we just wrapped up our 2016 E-4 AV Tour with stops in Boston and then Dallas. Like our previous E-4s, these events offered our customers, large end-users and consultants multiple CTS-certified lectures (with RU Credits!), hands-on experience rooms and an impressive exhibit floor populated with over 50 manufacturer partners displaying the latest in technology.
Due to space constraints and other outside factors, exhibit halls in general often restrict what manufacturers showcase to individual components and not an entire working solution. Attendees then must visualize the solution, usually by associating it with a recent or current application need. But what if they could see an entire solution, made up of components from multiple manufacturers in a single exhibit? This is a concept I’ve been at work on for the past few E-4 events, and the reception and feedback I’ve received is motivating.
Representatives from well-regarded display and projector manufacturer NEC have worked with me on this concept from the beginning. Our goal is to display NEC’s superior commercial panel designs and demonstrate their functionality in a working model, such as a video wall or unique projector application. To accomplish this we started with a video wall configuration and called on another partner, Peerless-AV to supply their specialized video wall cart. The cart is an actual Peerless-AV sku providing video wall mounting with mobility. Perfect for our exhibit hall floor. Now we can easily demonstrate the features of this video wall solution and mount combination to show attendees.
In Dallas we took the partial solution even further. TVOne joined our configuration to display their low-cost and feature-rich 4k video processing unit that utilizes NEC’s Tile Matrix feature. We then insured electrical noise-free power by employing a Tripp-Lite double-conversion UPS. The end result was a working, fully mobile 4k video wall solution.
Next, we wanted to demonstrate a single-panel application with a 65″ UHD Panel, mounted in portrait orientation. Once again we called on Peerless-AV to provide a video cart capable of portrait orientation, enabling us to demonstrate the panel’s ability to change screen orientation. One dealer group actually came by the booth that day ans offered to purchase the solution right then and there and take it back to their office!
Also popular these days are indoor kiosks, and Almo and NEC were able to bring such a solution to our E4 attendees as well. This time we created a kiosk solution featuring a 46″ NEC panel displaying content from a BrightSign media player, all secured and ventilated within the Peerless-AV kiosk and once again powered by Tripp-Lite.
Almo is already hard at work with our partners for our March E-4 AV Tour stop in the Windy City, Chicago, IL. Our solutions exhibits will no doubt continue to evolve and grow. Perhaps we’ll employ a unique NEC SSL laser projector based digital signage application with portrait orientation using content provided by Almo’s Content Creation Services. Rest assured, we’ll come up with something – and our attendees will be able to see a true solution through the forest of products on the exhibit floor.
As a product manager in Pro AV Sales, or any type of sales, really, it’s critical to be able to connect with your customers. While establishing a relationship using only the telephone is not impossible, I’ve discovered that connections and rapport can be made more quickly and become much stronger in-person. A great way to personally connect with partners and resellers in the Pro AV world is through technology training and product roadshows. It’s a great way to say, “check this new gadget out” and “thank you for your business!”
At Almo PRO AV we bring the future of AV to you via our E4 AV Tour. These one-day events, held in different cities across the country offer product exhibit halls, educational classes for CTS renewal units, demonstrations, and one-on-one engagement with our Almo Pro AV Business Development Managers and their respective manufacturers.
For me… it’s all about LG!
At our most recent E4 AV Tour stop in Boson, Commercial Integrator Magazine named LG a leading manufacturer with “Standout Products” for its OLED technology, suggested to be “one of the most eye-catching displays on the exhibit floor.”
LG’s 4K dual-sided OLED straight displays are available now. The curved models are coming late this month.
At the end of September, Almo sponsored an invitation-only reseller event at the LG Business Innovation Center in Lincolnshire, IL. Approximately 25 resellers attended this event and enjoyed in-person training on LG’s exclusive OLED, IPS technology and a private tour of the facility. Product demonstrations showcased a full assortment of LG products, including LG Stretch, 4k, OLED dual side and curved models, video walls and the soon to be released 98” display. Steve Stacy, Almo’s VP of Sales for the Midwest and Northwest Regions delivered a summary presentation on Almo’s Value Add services such as Content Management, Installation and Connectivity.
Our events provide hand-on technical training as a component of social learning and partner collaboration. I look forward to building new partnerships and strengthening the existing ones in a comfortable, friendly setting that opens lines of communication.
Looking ahead, the Almo E4 AV Tour makes its final stop in 2016 on Tuesday Dallas in the Lone Star State. As we wind down the year we’re continuing to plan new and exciting ways to bring our partners and resellers emerging technologies.
The popularity of video walls in in the Pro/AV industry is exploding. The market is competitive and selecting the best video wall solution may feel overwhelming. Video walls can be configured in an infinite range of shapes, sizes and technology. With LG’s Commercial Display Portfolio that targets all vertical markets you can create stunning video walls that are easily installed, maintained and managed. LG offers a Commercial Display Portfolio that targets all vertical markets.
Most of us are comfortable talking about LCD (liquid crystal display) flat panels. We see this technology every day in computer monitors, smart phones and TVs. They are cost effective and high resolution. This makes displaying text images and video aesthetically pleasing. Typically though, their bezel width is visible, so when you are creating a video wall, the “big picture” is far from seamless.
Direct view LED panels are bezel free, so you can create different configurations for a seamless video wall. They are great for large scale digital signage solutions due to their efficiency, reliability, refresh rates and color accuracy.
OLED or “Organic Light Emitting Diod’s” are solid state devices made up of thin films of organic molecules that glow when an electric current is introduced. When the light passes through the layers, it produces spectacular high definition images. LG’s perfect OLED design has only two layers, making their digital signage display unbelievably light-weight and incredibly thin; 4.5 mm at its thinnest point.
Image Gap reduction from LG provides a beautiful, crisp clear picture… without image distortion.
As the content moves from one screen to another, and the picture is shared across multiple screens, look to LG for the distortion-free “BIG PICTURE” every time.
I wrote several months ago about one of the most impressive large displays of techorating I’ve ever encountered at the Comcast headquarters in Philadelphia. These massive installations and others with image mapping on buildings have been covered in all the major AV outlets and yes, they are impressive. But for the average dealer, techorating may seem like an area that’s out of reach. Well I have a little case study that just might get you thinking about how you can use flat panels or projection to change the atmosphere of a space, even in just a small way.
I just finished a vacation in Puerto Rico on a more remote part of the island, which was very relaxing and beautiful. But after five days on the beach, I was ready to explore. And my husband heard those three little words that every man wants to hear “Let’s go shopping” (of course, I’m being totally sarcastic).
Into Old San Juan we go because he’s just a good sport like that and after brunch we start hitting the shops. It was blazing hot so for a little respite and a clean restroom, I suggested we visit the Museo Del Mar – Museum of the Sea.
It has an impressive collection of memorabilia of some of the most momentous highlights of nautical history, from both the modern and contemporary eras. It also holds the Guinness Book of World Records title as home to the largest display of original life preservers – from different ships – in the entire world. Real estate in Old San Juan is a premium, so it was not a big space. They were using several 32” Samsung displays to show videos of nautical history.
Off to the side was a lovely door with a port hole. I’m sure it was a door to administrative offices but instead of leaving it plain with a boring sign saying “employees only”, they used a tiny bit of techorating to mimic the sea – check out this video:
Pretty cool, huh? There was audio as well with simply sounds of the ocean to give it a little ambiance. Nothing spectacular, nothing difficult but nonetheless, it lent a little more of the nautical atmosphere to a small space.
Take the Samsung SmartSignage platform that comes in the small 10” form factor with power over ethernet. Where could this tiny digital signage fit in your next installation? Or a 22” perhaps on an end cap? The possibilities for Tiny Digital Signage are really endless. All you have to do is use your imagination and show the customer how digital signage or techorating can make a big difference even in small spaces. Adios for now!
I just returned from a much needed vacation in Puerto Rico at the Wyndham Rio Mar resort. This property recently completed a $500M addition of Wyndham vacation condos in partnership with his royal beach-iness and head Parrot, Jimmy Buffet. The Margaritaville themed portion of the resort was impressive and had that cool Buffet laid-back vibe. As a marketer, I’m amazed at how this artist, who hasn’t had a record on the charts in the last couple of decades (save collaborations Zac Brown and Alan Jackson), has managed to become a global brand commanding licensing agreements from everything to restaurants, merchandising and now resorts.
The outdoor cabana with swim up pool was the centerpieces of the resort, appropriately named Margaritaville. You even got your own mondo margarita cup shaped like, you guessed it, a blender!
Hanging above the bar was a gorgeous installation of SunBriteTV’s, made to withstand the heat, humidity, wind and sand rolling off the beach just a few feet away. Trust me when I say it’s humid down there and the TV’s looked fantastic. Note that the clock on the wall is always on 5 o’clock.
We just had training from the very smart folks at SunBriteTV who reiterated that there are very real safety concerns with putting consumer TV’s outside. Forget about there being no warranty, or that the picture will be terrible in a matter of months, or that you can’t view those TV’s in direct sunlight. If you are working with a restaurant owner who wants to go on the cheap with his outdoor TV’s, tell him to call his insurance company and get a rider for electrocution for TV’s that aren’t UL certified for outdoor use. Maybe that will get him thinking. Business owners need peace of mind that their customers will be safe and happy. Use SunBriteTV and you can chill and go to your happy place – kind of like this…
LG is known for technology that “moves beyond the limits”! OLED is all the buzz in today’s technology market. But what is OLED? “Organic Light Emitting Diod’s” are solid state devices made up of thin films of organic molecules that glow when an electric current is introduced. When the light passes through the layers, it produces spectacular high definition images. Simple, right?
OLED’s can provide brighter displays with a crisper image and use less power than an LED or LCD in the process. LG OLED signage provides 5000 times faster motion picture response time, for perfectly clear images without blurring. And, LG’s perfect OLED design has only two layers, making their digital signage display unbelievably light-weight and incredibly thin; 4.5 mm at its thinnest point. Unlike other manufacturers, LG uses advanced four color pixel technology that adds a white pixels to the traditional sub-pixel red, green and blue.
Despite the two layer designs and light-weight, LG OLED signage still delivers an awe inspiring picture quality across the entire screen. Even from wide viewing angles! If that’s not enough, self-lighting pixels switch off completely to reproduce black. OLED gives perfect black! Some LG OLED models provide curved capability, while maintaining an outstanding viewing angle.
What can you expect from an LG OLED TV panel? Imagine a picture that is bolder and more lifelike. That old cliché “you need to see it believe it” really holds true for OLED. Check it out!
For more on LG OLED Technology, contact your ALMO Business Development Manager for LG
Corinne O’Rawe | DSEG
Business Development Manager| Almo Professional A/V
P. 888-420-2566 x 6220 | C. 716-474-2323 | F.267-350-0321
I’ve noticed over the last year the increasing use of outdoor displays in commercial applications. Once regulated to residential porches and light commercial use (such as a sports bar’s outdoor covered patio), manufacturers are now producing displays that eliminate the need for environmental enclosures and kiosks.
Today, properly specified displays provide many benefits compared to the traditional panel within an enclosure or kiosk. Some of those benefits include but are not limited to:
- Weatherproof operation at a considerable lower cost without expensive environmental enclosures & kiosks
- Better picture due to no gap between the screen and an outer enclosure glass that may hinder picture quality
- Overall reduction in physical size and weight for the application
- Simpler mounting and installation
- Ease of on-going maintenance
But how does a design engineer specify the right outdoor panel for a particular environmental application? It’s relatively simple – match the properly-rated display to the outdoor demands of the application. First, assess the application environmental demands:
- Environmental temperature extremes.
- Dust & water extremes (both type of dust and at what angles they can attack a panel).
- Under cover or in direct sunlight.
- Maintenance access (e.g., mounted high, extremely restricted location, etc.).
- Exposure to glass-breaking projectiles like rocks and such.
Now, match the display to the environmental demands of the application.
- Temperature Extremes: Coldest and warmest extremes a display can safely operate.
- Dust and Moisture: Determine a display’s rating using either a NEMA Enclosure Rating (relative dust & particle resistance measurement) or the more popular “IP’ Rating (Ingress Protection as defined by DIN EN 60529). An IP rating indicates the external conditions enclosures can withstand. It describes a display’s scope of protection during use when exposed to temperatures, fuel and oil and their fumes, chemical clouds, acid based moisture and dust entering the display. For example, the “I” in IP has a scale of 1 to 6 that defines the protection against contact and ingress of dust. The “P” has a scale of 0 to 9k that defines ingress of moisture from water droplets to high pressure steam cleaning.
- Indirect or Direct Sunlight: If direct sunlight is a factor, consider a panel with UV optical bonding that can eliminate reflection & refraction glare so it can be easily seen in direct sunlight. Note that simply being a high brightness panel (1500+ nits) doesn’t necessarily translate to good picture in direct sunlight. It’s hard to out bright the sun!
- Impact Resistant: Determine if the display needs to be protected from impacts. And should the screen be broken, make sure it is shatter proof to protect nearby viewers and property.
- Maintenance: Some displays will be mounted high or in difficult to reach places. The less maintenance of filters and the ability to be hosed-off or pressure washed can be key.
Almo ProAV partners with Peerless-AV to offer a family of outdoor displays starting with the IP55-rated UltraView Series up to the IP68-rated Xtreme series. We can match the right display for the environmental demands of temperatures, dust & moisture, direct sunlight, impact resistance, and ease of maintenance. Also, we will assist in pairing the proper outdoor, wind-rated mount. Feel free to contact me or your Almo ProAV Account Rep. We’ll be happy to assist you in specifying the right display for your outdoor application.
Choosing LG Supersign products is a smart and affordable way to provide an all-in-one display solution, with easy to use software for fast content creation. This all in one solution provides integrators entering the digital signage market a low cost option with simplicity. It is a great option for various verticals such as restaurants, financial institutions, dental and medical clinics, public offices, educational venues, retail stores and more.
SO WHY SUPERSIGN?
- All in one slim and stylish solution
- 42 PRE MADE templates for multiple vertical markets
- Remote control over 50 TVs over the network
- Built-in tuner and speakers
- Multiple ports for multiple connection and applications
- 2 year warranty
SuperSign software includes a collection of basic templates to suit a variety of verticals. Details such as font, background color, accompanying image and the location of the video window can also be customized.
- SuperSign W Lite is a web-based content authoring/player solution that allow the connection of up to 50 client displays.
- SuperSign-W Lite has templates but is designed to build your own content from scratch by importing videos and jpg pictures and adding text zones.
- There are 74 predefined templates for use if preferred.
- SuperSign Simple Editor includes 42 pre-designed, ready-to-use content templates.
- SuperSign Simple Editor is designed as an easy way to create content.
- The 42 pre-defined Templates must be used as a starting point to build content.
- Check out the SuperSign-S tutorial video here
- SuperSign “C” for display control via network or RS-232, featuring enhanced auto calibration providing superior color adjustment in as little as 4 minutes per screen.
- SuperSign-C is not an application to create content. It is used for video wall calibration and RS232 (serial and network) control of LG monitors and Commercial lite TVs.
Although there are three downloadable versions, the most commonly required downloadable solution is the Supersign Simple Editor. You will easily recognize when to use SuperSign Simple Editor since the part numbers end with an “S”. Simple right?
5 Simple steps to setting up the LG Supersign product.
- Unbox the Unit
- Use the downloadable software to create your templates
- Set up the screens as to where you want to display the messages
- Upload the templates to the TV using a USB plug into the display, or run from a network media player
- Play and Loop
For more information, contact me or please visit: http://www.lg.com/us/commercial/display
Corinne O’Rawe | DSEG
Business Development Manager| Almo Professional A/V
P. 888-420-2566 x 6220 | C. 716-474-2323 | F.267-350-0321
A couple of months ago, I spoke with one of our Arizona integrators about a window digital signage project for a large retail jewelry store. As we discussed the project, I asked for specifics as to display size dimensions and quickly moved to content, media player, and signal distribution scheme. The spec seemed relatively straightforward and a bill of materials would be easy to create.
But as I reviewed drawings and artist renderings, I quickly asked myself:
- What direction do the windows face? Southwest exposure?
- Coverings shading the windows?
- Portrait or landscape orientation?
- City ordinances on night time brightness?
The answers to the above questions quickly convinced me that I was actually dealing with a high ambient light specification than that of a typical within-the-building digital signage project. Additionally, this window project calls for commercial grade, 24/7 displays (for use well into the night after closing hours) that must have the following design attributes:
- Higher brightness rating than that of a typical indoor display to ensure crystal clear visibility during the daytime
- Resistant to the effects of high temperatures and direct sunlight that cause an isotropic blackening effect on liquid crystal
- Advanced heat management to provide proper cooling given high temperatures and extensive operational hours
- Polarizing film on the displays so as to be seen by polarized sunglasses in either portrait or landscape orientation
- Ambient light sensors to dim displays in low sunlight or nighttime
So, as you can easily surmise, we’re now talking about specially designed displays for this project. NEC, for example, manufactures 47”, 55”, and 75” high brightness displays designed for front-facing window display applications. The XHB Series of displays addresses the above needs with:
- High brightness (2000-2700 nits) for high ambient light conditions
- High resistance to isotropic effects from direct sunlight
- Quarter Lambda Polarizing film so content can be easily seen regardless of orientation or polarized sunglasses
- Internal heat management and self-diagnostics to insure reliable 24/7 operation
- Ambient light sensors to dim the panel for lower light and nighttime conditions
Bottom line—front-facing window signage demands are different from indoor or outdoor models. Be sure to know the application when an end user mentions windows in a digital signage application. Yes, these panels are an investment, but if you can’t see the displays, why have the signage?