Not being a software developer, you can imagine my confusion when NEC Display Solutions of America announced its upcoming line of commercial displays with the ability to insert a Raspberry Pi Compute Module. “Raspberry Pi?” I said. “Isn’t that some sort of dessert?” R read more
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
When most people in the Pro AV industry hear ViewSonic, they typically think small cost effective projectors or flat panels. What many people don’t realize is that besides the large flat panels, touch screens, laser projectors, etc., ViewSonic also offers products that provide a full solution for your Pro AV project. For that reason, I’d like to introduce you to…
The top 5 things you didn’t know ViewSonic carries:
Ok, technically this might fall under the “display” heading, but it’s definitely different than the average display. This free-standing digital ePoster is perfect for retail applications, movie theaters, and trade shows. With a built-in media player, optional touch interface, slim design and various inputs, it’s as versatile as it is attractive.
2. Media Players
A few display companies carry media players that work with their displays, but ViewSonic goes above and beyond with their choices. They range from the easy to use, SMIL based NMP642-W with HDMI input, to the Intel i7 based NMP712-N, so no matter what digital signage application you have, ViewSonic has the media player to fit your needs.
3. Thin Clients / Zero clients
With both thin and zero client options available, ViewSonic offers solutions that both the CIO and CFO will love. With both options, dealers are able to deliver more to their clients than just what’s in the boardroom.
4. Wireless solutions
The Solstice POD (NMP250-WL and NMP250-WU) offers a turnkey solution that easily connects a display or projector and enables multiple users to simultaneously share content from a rang of devices (laptops, tablets, or smartphones).
The ViewSync 3 Wireless Presentation Gateway enable instant streaming of 1080p content from multiple devices to a single projector or display.
5. Peripherals and Accessories
Projects aren’t complete without some essentials, including mounts, cables, HDBaseT transmitters and receivers, and even cable management. Dealers spend time looking to various manufacturers to provide those solutions, when ViewSonic offers them all. So next time you’re looking for a manufacturer that you can lean on to provide the full solution, look no further than ViewSonic.
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!
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.
Being in the Pro Av arena for 10 years there is really not much that I haven’t seen. You would think by now I wouldn’t be the person walking behind a LCD panel in a store or restaurant to see what mount is being used or what type of ceiling accessory it has…..well, you would be wrong! Yes, I am still that person! Just yesterday I received a text message with a picture from my niece while she was at Petco Stadium watching the Padres vs Diamondbacks game, instead of commenting on her experience my first response was “I love that stadium! I was part of their original AV renovation project in the early 2000’s”! Again, I am that person.
With that said, while there is not much in the AV arena I haven’t seen, there is still a TON that impresses me! Living in Chicago I have access to some of the most historic arenas and stadiums equipped with the best AV systems money can buy. Last month I had the privilege of going to the United Center to see Adele perform live. While I’ve been to the United Center numerous times over the last year, no other experience compared to this for me. I walk through the doors on July 13th and see the 35’ x 9’ curved video wall with no other than, yes, you guessed it, Adele! I was smiling from ear to ear and most definitely felt like a newbie in the AV industry. I am a huge fan. =)
As with many sporting events and concerts, signage was everywhere! Visitors of the United Center can see 64, 42 inch flat panel displays throughout the 100 level concourses, not to mention LED boards inside each of the four main gate entrances.
I feel very lucky to be part of a great industry like Pro Av! I get to help clients spec in products that enhance their customers experience in many different vertical markets. On July 13th I was just a patron benefiting from a truly immersive fan experience thanks to innovative, Pro Av solutions.
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…