Evidence of the disruptive power of pop-up retail is rapidly emerging. Take for instance, the recent announcement by WPP agencies Barrows and VML, who have teamed up with Samsung, to develop what is being described as the next generation of Connected Pop-Up stores. The read more
Anyone who knows me knows that coffee is my life blood. Not sure what I would do without that first cup in the morning that gets my eyes to open all the way, and gets the blood pumping at high octane.
While driving six hours last week to our latest E4 in NJ (http://e4avtour.com/) I had to pull off the thruway to fill up…not just on gas but on coffee. As I pulled up to the drive thru, I was staring at the menu…like staring, staring. Not in confusion of what I was going to order (duh, I know that by heart) but because I totally recognized the beautiful outdoor menu display that was super bright and sharp. It was the 46-inch Samsung OH series high-bright displays. I was sure of it!
After several more coffee and bathroom stops along the way I finally got to my hotel and jumped on line to do some digging. Come to find out there was an article written this past spring about Dunkin running a pilot program at some of their locations with Samsung Outdoor Displays. Check out the article on Samsung’s blog here: https://insights.samsung.com/2017/04/04/dunkin-donuts-serves-up-an-enhanced-customer-experience-with-outdoor-menu-displays/
When you’re amped up on coffee it’s hard to slow down… and the deeper I dug the more fascinated I became at just how impactful outdoor menu boards are. For example, over a five-year period, a QSR with a 10-store pilot can increase profit by almost $1.5 million and reduce costs by over $1 million! That’s a LOT of lattes and donuts!
Get yourself a cuppa joe and download the study by Forrester Consulting on the Total Economic ImpactTM (TEI) of Samsung Outdoor Digital Menu Boards that examined the ROI Quick Service Restaurants experienced when deploying outdoor digital menu-boards in their drive-thru locations.
What’s your go-to fast food fix, and do they have static posters or digital menu boards?
TECHNOLOGY DRIVEN. Hoteliers are constantly challenged to keep up with the rapid pace of technology advancements and with the majority of U.S. hotels still running on coax infrastructures, most properties are still playing catch-up with the replacements of first generat read more
Last week I was at CEDIA expo in San Diego and I got a firsthand look at the 2017 product of the year, The Frame. Does it live up the hype? You bet it does. Don’t worry if you missed it. You can check it out for yourself at the www.e4avtour.com. What impressed me w read more
SIZE MATTERS. The United States hotel market is made up of 4 million hotel rooms and the typical life span of guest room televisions ranges between 5-7 years according to recent studies. Going back just a few years, the most popular size for guest room televisions in ec read more
As a nod to The Kentucky Derby, a few classic cocktails were in order to celebrate New York’s Always Dreaming, the colt who was “ready to run” at Churchill Downs on Saturday and bolted over the finish line in first place despite the mucky track and acclaimed list of con read more
While we know it can be challenging to pin down application details in the early stages of a project, gathering as much info as you can early on can help save thousands of dollars from the get-go and can even save you from headaches later where you might need to modify your proposal to reflect the correct product and adjusted labor. In Part I of The Great Outdoors, we highlighted 5 questions to help our reseller partners uncover specific needs for getting outdoor digital signage right the first time.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the unique features Samsung has engineered as part of their totally new 2016 outdoor lineup and see if we can put the answers to those questions to work for you!
For example, knowing who the audience is and where the unit(s) will be located may clue you in on the need for durability features. Let’s say you’re working on an application for a movie theater, college campus or theme park, you may want to suggest a model with Magic Protection Glass which can withstand whacking from a hammer or even a baseball bat to protect the investment your clients are making in digital signage against rowdy patrons or students. Three of the five new series include Magic Protection Glass: OHF, OHD & OHE Series. (See chart at bottom). Another feature is Polarized Sunglass Support which ensures a perfect picture regardless of the viewer’s lenses and eliminates the blinding glare on most flat panels.
IP56 Certification is another important feature that can be essential to the longevity of an outdoor unit if directly placed in the elements. As defined in international standard IEC 60529, it classifies the degrees of protection provided against the intrusion of solid objects (including body parts like hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water in electrical enclosures. The standard aims to provide users more detailed information than vague marketing terms such as waterproof. Samsung has IP56 certification on the OHF, OHD and OHE Series outdoor units. (See chart at bottom.)
Depending on the application, some locations may require round-the-clock operation. With Samsung, select outdoor units are rated for 24/7 usage meaning they are engineered to run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 5 years to half brightness. This means the display will run a full 5 years without any noticeable degradation in brightness; if used only 24 hours a day 5 days a week, this life span would be extended beyond 5 years, minimizing total cost of ownership. Don’t forget Samsung’s 3-Year On-site manufacturer’s warranty on all professional displays, plus New optional, Protection Plus extended and expedited service options to help you meet the requirements for overnight replacements for more critical installations where down-time is simply NOT an option. Ask your Almo rep for more details.
Speaking of brightness, did you know Samsung’s new 24” compact display, the OM24E can not only take direct sunlight without blacking out the panel like many outdoor units, but it has also been engineered and tested to withstand temperatures of 110 degrees! Plus, the display can now automatically optimize brightness control and increase energy efficiency using the new Auto-Brightness Sensor. This allows the display to automatically reduce brightness to 200 nits or up to 1,500 nits depending on the ambient light which maximizes effectiveness of digital signage in any lighting conditions. In addition, the OM24E also allows users to manage digital signage content wirelessly with built-in Wi-Fi and mobile app support.
Although most applications are a great fit for complete products that are ready-to-hang right out of the box, we realize there are plenty of unique applications where digital signage displays are incorporated into an overall design theme or as part of another structure – Samsung hasn’t left you hanging in this regard. In the OMD Series, Samsung offers two versions to accommodate needs for a fully-enclosed, ‘complete product’ (OMD-W) as well as a KIT version (OMD-K) which can be installed into a more customized enclosure. Both versions can stand up to direct sunlight in a store-front window or out in the elements in a weatherized enclosure (provided by others); both versions now available in 46”, 55” and 75” sizes for maximum design flexibility.
Let us know how we can personally help you on your next outdoor digital signage project and we’ll help confirm the right solution for your specific application.
Here’s a snapshot of the key specs on Samsung’s 2016 Outdoor Lineup: (see www.almoproav.com for full details)
And don’t forget to register for this Friday’s Webinar on Samsung’s High-Bright, Outdoor and Weatherized Displays!
The Great Outdoors: High Bright, Outdoor & Weatherized Displays Defined on Jun 29, 2016 2:00 PM EDT at:
Drive-thru restaurants, theme parks, stadiums, retail window displays – these are all places where specialized displays are a necessity due to the outdoor elements, lighting and more. In this session, learn the differences between these types of displays, when to use them and in what applications. Through an examination of real-world case studies, you’ll explore the essentials for installing these specialty displays and important considerations BEFORE you start to specify a project.
Presented by Jonathan Brawn, Brawn Consulting on behalf of Samsung.
It’s especially nice when the manufacturers plan their distributor summits in a nice warm location during the dead of February. Such was the case this month with Samsung in beautiful San Antonio, Texas. Distributors, resellers and DMR’s gathered to hear the vision to 2016 and beyond, while seeing some of the latest product developments.
One of the greatest things about these functions is the networking aspect. You’re surrounded by customers, the manufacturer’s folks and even your friendly competitors (and if you are lucky a celebrity or two). The opening reception kicked off this portion of the conference. Here I am rubbing elbows with George Gervin from the San Antonio Spurs (left) and Director, US B2B Distribution for Samsung, Tom Perrier (right):
A lot of the conversations revolved around the ever-present dilemma of shrinking and sometimes even razor thin margins on displays in both the Pro and especially consumer markets. I think Samsung has got some new things up their sleeve that may be impactful for their partners as to help with the margin issue. More on that later. Now speaking of razor….
I’ve been on the road a lot lately, and even though I consider myself a season traveler, inevitable I forget something. This time it was a razor so I went down to the JW Marriott gift shop. Filled with cowboy hats, sombreros, ponchos, hot sauces and other Texas sized treats, it was your typical gift shop. I grabbed my usual brand from the stand, went up to the register and the cashier said, “That will be $20.12”. WHAT???!! $20.12 for one disposable razor?
I said no thanks and started to wonder…in this age of fighting declining margins in our industry, how is it that a commodity product like the razor can command 3000% mark up? Location, location, location. Resourcefulness took me to the spa and they ponied up a razor at no charge.
On to the Samsung Product Showcase – in usually Samsung fashion they never disappoint when it comes to new product development. It was good to see some of the concept things coming to fruition such as:
The transparent display which holds a multitude of applications such as retail and anywhere the end user just basically wants to be uber swank.
The mirror display which they showed in a retail setting with RF technology in clothing and shoes that dynamically changed when the user took them to the mirror. Here is our Business Development Manager extraordinaire, Apryl Lamberti taking it for a spin.
Outdoor displays – not just ruggedized, coated and cased back- lit LED panels but..
Surfs’up! Samsung’s YESCO acquisition last year brings the new outdoor LED.
Finally the indoor LED was quite a hit. Here is Apryl examining the type of panel used to make the video wall in the background.
I think the future looks bright with the new LED products (no pun intended). What Samsung was showing are solutions that require an ecosystem of services, which is where the margin lies and value to our partners. The opportunity for services such as content creation, can create that long-term relationship with a customer, long past the sale of the display.
As digital signage continues to grow in the pro AV space, it’s no secret that one of the biggest trends has been the movement to larger screen sizes with how affordable panels have become. For Samsung, in addition to larger screen sizes it’s their video wall category that continues to tip the scales with record growth. Taking a close-up look at the new, expanded video wall product lineup, the new UD and UE “E” Series Smart Signage Video Wall Solutions in 46” & 55” options and specifically their Color Expert Technology, it should be no surprise that reports show Samsung spends nearly as much on R&D and product development as some of the world’s global technology leaders including companies like Hewlett Packard, Microsoft and others.
Why is Color Calibration Important?
While there are many components that contribute to a successful digital signage installation, video walls can be particularly challenging because of the added complexity involved with having to adjust the luminescence, brightness, color and other settings on multiple displays in order to achieve a uniformity in appearance with the goal of getting the overall array to show the content as it was originally designed/intended without looking patchy or having any color variation between screens. Some examples of color calibration issues include: fonts could appear grey or darkened to the point text may not be easily spotted by a viewer, graphics may appear distorted and unsynchronized because of the time difference of conventional LCD panels’ scanning mechanisms and images can appear choppy, images of select screens within an array may appear tinted or as though they have a cast of color (green, red, blue) over the entire image which can distract the viewer by drawing their attention to the differences or imperfections rather than to the intended content.
Samsung Addresses Calibration Starting Right at the Factory… Why?
Samsung’s new optimal calibration solution provides multistep factory tuning process and uses an Advanced Color Management (ACM) Chipset with 16-bit processing and a 12-bit lookup table (LUT) that provides the highest performance available for image and color processing in our industry. The ACM chipset enables displays to provide extremely crisp, clear images with accurate color, producing nearly perfect uniformity right out of the box which makes Samsung’s video wall displays more tech-friendly and saves considerable labor on the job which can mean higher profitability and/or more competitive video wall proposals for your clients. The enhancements made to the 2015 “E” Series UD/UE product lineup is “dramatically different” and does the majority of the work for you without a color calibration tool, although some folks will likely still want to make some adjustments. The differences with the latest ACM chipset have been said to be 20-30% faster in processing and some of Samsung’s applications engineering level technical teams have described the setup for new video walls taking nearly 70% less time than previous generation product, so the Samsung product will be a great asset for integrators to grow their video wall business in the year(s) ahead. The ability for fine tuning is provided with Samsung’s Color Expert Software for customers who want to customize the color settings beyond the factory calibration settings depending on environmental conditions, content, client preferences, etc. This software is included at no charge and allows for finite adjustments to settings such as local uniformity, gamma and white balance to create engaging and immersive experiences for viewers regardless of the application.
Why has Samsung Become Known for their Video Wall Display Solutions?
Samsung is known for being the premier brand of professional grade displays (as well as consumer) but this is especially true when it comes to video wall displays. These units come standard with a 3-Year on-site, parts and labor warranty with a variety of options available for extended service programs to fit nearly every budget, which can be particularly important in a video wall installation when there’s no time for down-time. If you’ve ever talked with a Samsung employee that has been on a factory tour, you’ve probably heard comments about the impression made on them by the extensive quality control inspections; this factory tuning and calibration is another great example of the Samsung brand standard and their commitment to quality and manufacturing excellence; they strive for perfect product out-of-the-box and the number of units we see coming back as DOA compared to other lines we work with is extremely small in comparison.
A few other highlights include: high durability for longer term usage, clear viewing with vivid colors for exceptional picture quality, and superior panel technology and design result in anti-wrinkling/crumpling panels. The durability of these panels is unmatched; rated for 16 hours a day/7 days a week usage or 24/7 usage at high temperatures, these units are built to last. They even include built-in technology to help prevent image-sticking that can happen when the same image is displayed for a long period of time, especially common in black/white or greyscale content, so this is one less thing you have to worry about especially if the client has not yet determined their content selections at the design and proposal stage, which we know happens more often than not. Finally, Samsung is also known for having the best picture quality in the industry; their displays have very high contrast ratios and the darkest blacks as well as quicker response time for smoother motion viewing. Below are some visual examples to help you see just what we’re talking about and how this technology can make an impact to the picture quality.
Can Almo Help Design Your Next Video Wall Project?
Absolutely! Reach out to us today to help design the right video wall solution for your specific needs. Whether it’s the ultra-narrow bezel (3.5mm edge to edge) or new UD/UE “E” series high-bright versions at 500 or 700 nits, studio/broadcast version or you’re looking for a simple video wall solution without having to add the expense of a separate PC and want to simply play content right from a USB thumb drive, contact your Almo rep today or me personally for assistance with your next video wall system design. Let us help take the guesswork out of your next video wall project, while increasing your margins and providing you with a quality product you can continue building your reputation on. Samsung provides extensive support for Almo partners and is here to help us as we work with you to grow your business. We look forward to hearing your creative video wall ideas!
Samsung Makes a Splash with New Small-Signage Products at Chicago E4!
Last week’s Chicago Almo E4 AV Tour was fab-u-lous! Some of our top vendor partners said it was THE BEST reseller event they had ever exhibited at. By the time I glanced at the time, it was already one o-clock! Where does the time go? With nearly 20 CTS certified training sessions, a product Expo that introduced some of the latest technology in our industry and the support of our vendors, what a great resource for dealers to see so much all in one place!
I spent the majority of time at the Samsung pro booth where a number of new series were vividly on display:
Love these professional grade displays for simple digital signage but what about for posting outside a meeting room or throughout a conference center for welcome messages, meeting room bookings, or even at the front desk for guest check-in for hospitality applications?
So while bigger may be better most of the time, you’re no longer limited to just 32” and up. Think of Samsung as the leading brand of professional digital signage solutions with the most extensive product lineup in the industry, from 10” and soon, all the way up to 110”. Samsung’s solutions carry a full 3-Year, On-Site Warranty and your Almo rep can even help you with extended warranties.
Don’t miss the next stop on the spring E4 AV Tour coming up in Los Angeles, CA at the Sheraton LAX Gateway Hotel, April 21st! And let us know how we can help you today!