Would you be interested in installing a free-standing, 55” portrait kiosk with touch and Wi-Fi connectivity? This kiosk would support a simple interactive directory board, which an end-user can easily update and manage using a cloud-based CMS. All this for around $5,5 read more
OK y’all, this is my first time as an Almo Blogger. Or is it Bloggist? Filipino by birth, East Tennessean by the grace of God, this Filbilly sometimes doesn’t rightly know what term to use. However, I do know the difference between these two terms: Pro AV Pharmacist v read more
At CES 2018, Samsung Flip shows how ideas can be instantaneously shared across devices and how multiple people can contribute, widen and build on ideas in real-time. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. will offer CES 2018 attendees a first look into its vision for a “W read more
Whether you are the owner of a small AV integration firm or a manager at a large national integrator chances are you are faced with the same struggle of finding the time to attend training for yourself or send your employees for training. Often this can be costly and read more
A Behind-the-Scenes Interview with Gary Bailer, Director of Product Management, Sharp Ahh, spring is definitely in the air! The snow is melting, the birds are singing, we’ve changed the clocks and have more afternoon daylight…oh, and the Almo E4 AV Tour is on the road! read more
Almo Hospitality will unveil the latest technology trends and teach valuable skills to help resellers grow their business in 2017. Hospitality Conference at E4 (March 21st) includes a full-day of hospitality-dedicated agenda with opening presentation by Samsung’s read more
Each Spring and Fall Almo’s E4 Tour swings through two major cities and brings along with it an entire day’s worth of CTS accredited educational courses and gets roughly 40 of the top manufacturers in the professional audio video industry all in one room showcasing their newest product offerings.
As a technology professional and a self-proclaimed “AV Geek” these events are always exciting to me as I am often one of the first people to see new and emerging technology. Sometimes it’s electronics, or perhaps software, or even bent metal making the installation of said technology easier and more efficient. There were a handful of stand-out products that were featured at our Fall shows this year that are worth checking out.
1.) ATEN VM3909H – 9×9 HDMI HDBaseT-Lite Matrix Switch: Remember way back when where the number of hot dogs in a package did not always match the number of buns in a package? I realize it is a silly reference, but try doing a 3×3 video wall with an 8×8 matrix switch. The folks at ATEN were mindful of this when they introduced this 9×9 HDMI matrix switch earlier this year. An addition to the 9 HDMI outputs it has 9 HDBaseT Lite outputs allowing the switch to be located up to 70m away from the video wall using the appropriate HDBaseT receivers. A simple front panel control and GUI interface to create simple video wall layouts round out the feature set of this Red Dot Award winning product.
2.) Chief SYS Projector Mount System Series: The engineers at Chief really did their homework on this one keeping the installer in mind with features not found in other mounting systems. This system not only saves time on the install but is aesthetically pleasing. Installers will love the fact that the mount and column come pre-assembled and even the box is designed so that the parts needed first are packaged on top. Micro adjustments for perfect alignment can be made without any tools and the 0”-12” adjustable column has separate cable management channels for both high and low voltage cabling.
3.) tvONE ONErack – Universal Rack Mounting System for Small Devices: While small devices such as HDBaseT transmitters, format converters, small audio products and more are convenient because of their size they can quickly make a mess of your equipment rack since in many cases they are not specifically designed to be mounted or secured into a traditional 19” rack space. Not only that, but they also generally have large wall-wart type power supplies which can clutter power distribution units within the rack. Available in 4RU, 5RU, and 6RU chassis models, this system converts randomly sized small AV devices into slide-in modules while consolidating power for all devices within the system. An optional active cooling system is available for situations where you are populating a large number of devices.
4.) Atlona AT-UHD-HDVS-300-KIT – Soft Codec Conferencing System: As more and more companies adopt PC-based conferencing codecs like Skype, WebEx, & GoToMeeting in place of traditional hardware based codecs for smaller conference rooms and huddle spaces the need for external USB microphones and cameras has increased with the desire for quality meetings. In order to accomplish this typical systems require AV extenders, USB extenders, USB hubs, multiple remotes, plus all of the required cables. Atlona’s system accomplishes this with just two devices and a single category cable. This unit also is a 4 input auto sensing AV switcher and provides automatic display control via CEC, IP, and RS-232 allowing users to start meetings quickly and easily.
5.) Almo CONTROL – Control System & DSP Programming Services: Almo got into offering services two years ago with the introduction of digital signage content creation and since then have added services for installation as well as telecom services. Almo CONTROL is the most recent introduction and was launched at the E4 Fall tour this year. With Almo CONTROL integrators can potentially take on more projects with access to additional programming resources, or where they have expertise in one system but need resources for another. Our programmers have been providing outstanding control system programming and system commissioning support services since the year 2000.
With all of the changes in our industry and constantly evolving technology I look forward to see what lies ahead in 2017.
I’m going to be perfectly honest with you and say I’m a little glad the E4 events have wrapped up. It has been a busy year for the Almo team and we are all ready for a breather. Not so fast – Chicago is March 22nd and San Jose is April 19th (deep cleansing breathe). It’s time to reflect on the top 5 moments of the E4 2016 tour:
Top Moments of 2016 E4 AV Tour
We wrapped up 2016 with a bang by becoming the first AV distributor to live stream a CTS RU certified course on Facebook. With over 100 online attendees, we were excited to extend the education of the E4 beyond the Dallas, TX area to the whole world.
2. Almo Services Offering Launches
Although we introduced Almo Connect in late 2015, the first time Almo customers got to really learn about it was at the E4 in Atlanta. In talking about the bandwidth needs in the 4K keynote, it was a perfect foray into conversations about reselling Almo Connect services. Next we launched Almo Control at the Boston event, our new control systems programming.
3. E4 Experience Launches
We take feedback from the tour very seriously. One aspect that was missing from E4 was a more hands-on approach to product learning. So we launched the E4 Experience with two “experience rooms” – Design a Huddle Space and Create & Publish Digital Signage Content. Each experience was sold out for every event.
4. World’s First Keynote in True 4K
Last year Gary Kayye came to me and said he had a “killer” keynote idea. To present the keynote about 4K IN 4K! We did it with some magic from Barco in Atlanta and rocked the house. I’ve never had so many comments about an E4 keynote about how much they learned about 4K and all the myths dispelled.
While in the middle of planning two E4 events, we were also gearing up for the acquisition of IAVI in April and announced the news to our vendors at what they thought was an appreciation event but ended up being more of a press conference. Surprise – we just doubled in size! Very exciting times!
Just because the tour is over doesn’t mean the learning has to stop! Check out our recorded classes, including Gary’s Keynote where you can STILL earn CTS RU’s, our videos, blogs and photos.
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.
Recently, I was fortunate enough to visit the LG Business Innovation Center (BIC) outside of Chicago at LG’s corporate headquarters. It was quite an experience where all of LG’s newest innovations and product verticals are on display to see and feel. You really get a chance to experience everything that LG has on their commercial display product roadmap, and it’s there specifically for customers and end users to absorb and engage in the future of their technologies.
For every vertical market there was an LG display suited perfectly for it. Whatever the application, the LG BIC has the full array of products for Hospitality, Healthcare, QSR (Quick Serve Restaurants), Transportation scheduling, Museums/Art Galleries, Indoor/Outdoor Digital Signage, Video Walls, Open-frame OLED technology, LED lighting…it’s all here for the taking. They’ve even created a new market for “digital décor” which stems from their uniquely designed 86-inch Ultra-Stretch 4K model that is ideal for art galleries, museums and the high-end digital signage projects.
Most notable was the new OLED display technology that LG recently unveiled. They showcase a cutting-edge 55-inch OLED 4K UHD Wallpaper display that is absolutely unreal! (see Front View) Everyone at the meeting was completely blown away. No one could believe their eyes when they saw how thin this unit actually is. This amazing display is literally thinner than a credit card (see side view). And, not only was it a gorgeous image, but at less than 4 pounds, this stunning display was installed using Velcro (you can also use magnets)!
LG’s 55-inch OLED 4K UHD Wallpaper Display (Front View):
Yes, I said Velcro! That was not a typo.
You also may notice a black plastic frame behind the actual display (see side view image), but this is not part of the actual OLED display portion and is required for structural stability due to the extremely thin, flexible OLED layer in front of it. This model is truly going to be a game-changer for the industry. Get ready for a groundbreaking 2016 with LG’s sights set on the future of OLED technology, and the technical developments and advancements that result from those efforts.
LG’s 55-inch OLED 4K UHD Display (side view):
So next time you are in the Chicago (or Atlanta) area and looking to see the latest and greatest that LG Electronics offers, make the trip to their Business Innovation Center. It will be well worth it, I promise!
For more information on LG’s latest products, please do not hesitate to contact me, Eric Olson, via phone at (888) 420-2566 ext. 4082 or via email at email@example.com.