The cat is finally out of the bag. After an extended period under NDA, we can now start saying the word “UniSee” without using hushed tones, closing doors, or looking over our shoulders. For those of you that missed the launch, Barco’s UniSee leverages multiple innova read more
One of the questions that comes up frequently is what are the differences between the three current models of ClickShare and which one should I choose.
Below is a chart that lines up the features…
The most common difference that jumps out when looking at the chart is the number of supported buttons and simultaneously supported images. Extra buttons and trays are available for all units, so don’t let the number of included buttons limit the decision process. However, if we look a little deeper, there are some less obvious and potentially more important elements to consider:
If users will have a 4K display, then consider the CSC-1. Even if they will not share 4K content, the CSC-1 allows users to show up to fou
r 1080p sources simultaneously at their native resolution on a single 4K display. (If end users share spreadsheets or other visually detailed content, then this alone may be enough reason to move to a 4K display.) No external scaler required.
On the other end of the spectrum is the budget conscious CS-100 which is great for small businesses and huddle spaces. Many companies choose to move up to the CSE-200 for Airplay compatibility and to allow two users on screen at the same time. For consistency in the end user experience, companies also tend to go with CSE-200 in huddle spaces when a CSC-1 is also used in larger spaces. Both the CSE-200 and CSC-1 allow for network integration, while the CS-100 does not. This combination of price and features has made the CSE-200 the most popular unit, followed closely by the CSC-1.
In addition to our demo loaner program, there is also a dealer demo purchase program that allows integrators to by one of each unit at a discount. Both options are a great way to help you and your customer evaluate options. As always, feel free to contact me or your Almo rep if you have questions.
My impressions 60 days after adding Barco to my Business Development Manager responsibilities: there is much more to Barco than ClickShare and projectors. This includes video walls, image processors, video switchers, and beyond. Similar to ClickShare, design elegance and sophistication is consistent. Yet, recent price moves and promotions in some categories keep the products within reach of their target markets.
ClickShare is still the most popular Barco solution at Almo. If you have not seen ClickShare yet, check out this video (1:15). Customer’s love the simplicity of wireless screen sharing, knowing meetings will run smoothly, and that ClickShare does not require connection to a corporate network (although it is an option). As a bonus, the savings compared to a matrix switch, scaler, and table connectivity are significant.
Since ClickShare creates its own wireless connection in the Wi-Fi band, the integration questions that come up the most relate to managing multiple units in a crowded Wi-Fi space. There a numerous successful installations with literally hundreds of ClickShare units in the same facility and that work glitch free. Much has been written on the subject including white papers and user guides, but some of the high points include:
- ClickShare allows you to manually set the Wi-Fi band, channel, and power of each unit. This allows you to alternate channels between adjacent spaces, dial back power if necessary, and minimize potential interference in a crowded wireless space.
- Change the default SSID and name of each unit to something logical (i.e. the room name).
- Room-specific connection instructions (with SSID) appear on the welcome screen – reducing questions on how to connect.
There are flexible security options making it easy to share content while keeping malicious outside content from hijacking a meeting.
If you have not experienced ClickShare first hand, or would like to dive deeper into configuration options, contact your Almo representative for a 21-day demo loaner unit. Nothing compares to first-hand experience.
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!
Being a pioneer in the meeting room/conference room collaboration and presentation product development is a tremendous feat. But how do you top yourself when you already have an award winning product with tremendous sales growth? How did Barco outdo itself again?
Well, Barco is introducing the new CS-100 and CSE-200 models that will transition and compliment their existing offerings. They are tapping into new customers and markets at an aggressive price point while continuing to give them the ease of sharing and collaboration during presentations.
The CSM-1, also known as the ClickShare mini has now transitioned into a new model – CSE-200. In addition to the simplicity of Barco’s one-click-wonder, they have completely redesigned the unit with brand new look with all the simplicity of its predecessor. The CSE-200 is taking on the new role of the ClickShare mini and making it even more secure. With updated security embedded into the ClickShare buttons, it becomes even more secure while sharing participant content on the big presentation screen.
Barco also added a new cost-effective model, the CS-100, which is a lower cost unit that has most of the features of the CSE-200. The CS-100 model is priced low to allow any potential end-user to invest in a great platform to share content in their meeting room spaces. This model looks a little different than the CSE-200, with no external antennas and only one USB button to share. But, even with only one button end-users can still use the Barco mobile APP (Android & iOS) that will allow mobile device users to still contribute to the main display.
But, the CSC-1 has some fresh news of its own. With a new firmware upgrade, existing CSC-1 ClickShare Classic units can be upgraded to support 4K UHD resolution (with the use of an active DisplayPort to HDMI adapter) and Airplay for iOS 9 devices.
Barco continues to elevate itself in the products they continue to develop for the collaboration and presentation.
For more information on Barco’s ClickShare or to schedule a demo, contact Eric Olson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 888.420.2566 x4082.
ClickShare, the one click wonder, has been an extremely valuable product for many of our customers who are looking for an easy to use presentation and collaboration solution. ClickShare solves many of the issues that so many customers have with meetings; the actual sharing of information.
It is easily the most user friendly system to use when compared to other wireless presentation and collaboration tools. With a zero-IT footprint, using the ClickShare buttons on your laptop can be a breeze without the added IT support required from network administrators. The participants in a meeting can now effortlessly join in and present, share and collaborate with their peers, making the actual meeting more productive and engaging.
Almost every time someone new sees the ClickShare in action for the first time they are captivated by the simplicity and ease of presenting and sharing information on meeting room displays and projectors. The usual reaction is…”that’s pretty cool, what is that”? Followed up by a series of questions on how it operates and ultimately leads to, “how can I get one of those for my conference room?”
With my primary background from the wireless realm of IT, I really appreciate the ClickShare’s autonomous integrated access point that is built in. Users have the option to either use the wireless access point built into the ClickShare, or make the ClickShare part of a company LAN and utilize their WLAN to access the unit. This can be advantageous in the sense that you minimize concurrent wireless devices that may cause interference within your own wireless network, thereby degrading the wireless speeds and achieved data rates. You are essentially competing for RF “air space” when you run a wireless access point in the vicinity of another wireless network.
However, it can be equally advantageous for ClickShare integrators to run the built-in autonomous AP to run parallel to a company network. Too often A/V professionals are told, “You want to put an A/V project my corporate LAN? Not on my network!” With responses like these, you will soon see why using a Barco ClickShare has a huge advantage over its competitors.
We can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for Barco’s ClickShare!
Attending InfoComm is essentially a rite of passage for any AV professional. The latest products from major contenders in the AV world come together, bringing out the most innovative technologies from the manufacturers. Meeting new people, observing cutting-edge technology, and getting a feel for where the industry is headed were the high points of my first InfoComm experience.
There were definitely a few stand-out moments of the show. One impressive highlight was the unveiling of LG Electronics’ industry leading Full HD Video Wall display. This product has the world’s slimmest, bezel to bezel design at 1.8mm which, combined with their existing IPS and Shine-Out technologies, makes it a perfect fit for window displays and exhibition. These characteristics maximize the viewing angle while reflecting away ambient light for best image visibility and clearer display under direct sunlight.
Also, Barco’s latest line of laser projectors was an intriguing feature of InfoComm. These projectors deliver exceptional image quality with outstanding brightness, contrast, and superior color performance; they did not disappoint. Associated benefits also include significant reduction in operating expenses (no more lamp replacement and maintenance), energy efficiency, and a lower total cost of ownership.
Last but certainly not least, Almo exhibited the ADTI SkyPanel outdoor digital LED display, a recent addition to their product line. This product is interesting not only from an innovation standpoint, but also from a solutions provider’s perspective. The ADTI SkyPanel is a modular outdoor digital signage product that offers a turn-key solution to any integrator looking to delve into that market. This is an ingenious modular design that reduces energy consumption, dissipates heat efficiently without fans, and is available for shipping and installation within one day. I was (and continue to be) impressed!
My first InfoComm trade show event with Almo Pro AV was a very exciting and enjoyable experience. It was an honor to be part of the team that fabricated and exhibited the Almo booth at InfoComm 2015. I was able to become well acquainted with my new team and learned a tremendous amount from them. Aside from meeting all the great people that make up the Almo team, it was an amazing event that provided me the opportunity to view the latest technological advances from our vendors. I am looking forward to InfoComm 2016 and the new innovations to come.
What was your favorite new product? Leave a comment below to let us know about your InfoComm experience!
Barco’s Launches New Update For the Clickshare Firmware
Barco has stepped to the plate, now with their CSM units, releasing a firmware update last week that allows you to disable the WAP of the base unit itself and instead connect it to an existing corporate network (the larger, 4-button CSC units have had this capability since December 2014).
This is important for two reasons. First, you are not forced to create an additional WAP (or multiple, depending on the number of base units in your deployment) to allow for mobile devices and tablets to connect. Creating an array of access points increases the amount of “airtime” of a network, specifically, the bandwidth consumed by management traffic such as beacons and probe responses.
As the BYOD trend continues to establish itself in the workplace, IT departments must be prepared to accommodate any and all devices. And, the growing prevalence of wireless devices combined with the surge of mobile applications requires network admins to be diligent in managing their airspace. Connection issues and signal interference can no longer be chalked up to the kitchen microwave – managing the complexity of wireless performance has been proven to be difficult.
The Clickshare units are designed to enable quick, effortless collaboration from multiple devices. VGA, HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI – doesn’t matter. Scrap the mess of wires under the conference room table and plug a Clickshare button into your USB port, or, connect to the base unit via its wireless access point to share your content.
You can watch an overview of how to update your firmware here:
This may not be an issue if your infrastructure is small (say one centrally-located AP), but in a large office building or congested area, there will most likely be a dense number of SSIDs up on the usable 2.4GHz channels. Beacons are used to announce the presence of an SSID and consume some bandwidth of a channel. The more airtime that is dedicated to this management traffic the less there is available for actual user data, which can result in poor TCP throughput and packet loss. Allowing the Clickshare units to connect directly to an existing network helps eliminate these concerns.
Second, users will no longer have to switch SSIDs on their mobile devices before sharing content via the Clickshare. They will most likely already be connected to an existing network anyway. This eliminates the potential to lose network shares while further streamlining the connection process to the base unit.
Also included in this firmware update is side-by-side functionality on the CSMs, which allows two users to simultaneously share content on the screen, as well as the ability to modulate the strength of the WAP signal coming from the base unit.
You can download the update here
If you are interested in demoing a Barco Clickshare unit, fill out a demo request form here and an Almo representative will be in touch!
On March 27th we had our 1st of 4 regional E4 Trade Shows of the year in Chicago. We had an outstanding turnout. Well over 500 dealers and end users attended. As per usual, our marketing department came through in spades. All the feedback I received from every vendor, sponsor and attendee made it clear this event was a resounding success. In terms of the business I manage, it was for me as well.
One of the key attractions to our E4 shows is accessibility to new products and technologies. On display was the new, highly anticipated Barco Laser Phosphor PGWU-62L projector.
This was the first real opportunity I had to see this new unit in action. I must say, it did not disappoint! In a room overflowing with ambient light, this projector had no difficulty whatsoever of filling that Da-Lite screen with stunning image quality. Black levels, color uniformity and eye popping contrast were what caught my attention immediately. And given the price point of this model and of its WXGA cousin, we anticipate the demand to be very high for both models. But no worries, we will be prepared. Both models will be stocked in all our ProAV warehouses across the country.
As many of you know, some of Barco’s competitors were quicker to market with their versions of lamp-less models. Barco’s position on this at the outset was made very clear, they were not going to release a projector model employing laser technology until it met their standard for performance across the board. If I can quote a line from one of my favorite movies “you can’t rush art”. (Name that movie. I’ll give you a hint, Tom Hanks was involved in it.) This projector truly is a work of art. Outstanding job Barco!
For those of you who were able to attend our show and had the opportunity to feast your eyes on the 62L, I’d love to hear what you thought and what your reaction was.
As many of you know, the Barco ClickShare technology has been a resounding success since its launch early 2013. I have spent a significant amount of time working very closely with our sales staff and our dealer channel in selling, designing, training and supporting the implementation of this product in just about every application you could think of. I’ve come to highly appreciate the strengths of this technology across the board. Its brilliance is only outshined by its simplicity.
Over this period of time, Barco has made continuous improvements and performance enhancements to the technology and has pushed these out via firmware updates. Many of these updates have essentially flown under the radar. While some were significant in nature, none nearly as impactful as this most recent release on the CSC-1.
Of the many demands on a collaboration system, none have been more consistently prevalent than these two…
- IT Flexibility with Minimal Intrusion
- Full Support of BYOD
And yes, while the ClickShare wireless architecture is head and shoulders above the competition when it comes to minimizing impact on IT infrastructures, it has never addressed how to at the same time allow for greater flexibility in this regard. And because of Apple legal limitations (not Barco’s fault), BYOD support with iOS was limited.
All of this has changed… the proverbial gloves have officially been taken off! As of this latest release (which actually came out end of December) the CSC-1 now supports full mirroring from any iOS device by embedding native Airplay into the CSC-1 unit. Here is a YouTube video showing you how it works. This is a game changer!! With the MirrorOP app supporting full mirroring from Samsung tablets and phones and now with full iOS mirroring, true BYOD support is fully implemented.
The other very powerful feature that has been launched in this release is the CSC-1 now has the ability to be integrated into a corporate network environment. What this means is IT departments, if they so choose, can now control the connectivity, security and throughput of the CSC-1 by pushing all the wireless traffic of the ClickShare buttons thru access points in the building and then over the base unit across the corporate network. Up until before this release, the ClickShare buttons were completely locked down. There was no option to deviate from this connectivity path.
There are a number of other very important improvements that may be of interest. Here is a link to Barco’s website that calls attention to all of these updates.
Please post your take on what your experience has been so far if you’ve had the chance to implement the new software. We’d love to hear from you.