Welcome to the AUGUST ISSUE of
7/16/21 1:14 PM
Easily Scale and Present Up to Four 4K/60 Sources on a Single Display When a high-end presentation environment or live event requires a scaling multiviewer with full 4K/60 and HDCP 2.3 compliance, there’s no better choice than the Extron MGP 641. Four scalable HDMI inputs, one HDMI background input, and locally stored image files provide flexibility when presenting content. Extensive windowing options enable side-by-side, overlap, and picture-in-picture positioning of live sources and available graphics, and layouts can easily be stored and recalled from an external control system.
Features: • Full 4K/60, 4:4:4 support on all inputs and outputs • HDMI and DTP2 4K/60 outputs deliver duplicate signals to local and remote displays • Cascade multiple MGP 641 processors to present up to 16 windows on a single screen • 128 customizable presets allow quick saving and recall of window layouts • Auto-layout mode configures window layout based on which inputs have an active signal • Source and output rotation • Video and logo keying
Animated Transitions The window arrangement and background can be stored as a preset and later recalled using a hard cut or animated transition. An animated transition dynamically resizes and repositions the four windows to the location determined by the new preset, with an adjustable duration of 0 to 5 seconds.
• Audio de-embedding
800.633.9876 • extron.com/mgp641
SCN332.AD_.indd scn_2021.indd 3 5
7/13/21 10:10 10:04 AM AM 3/11/21
YOUR INSIDER BUSINESS RESOURCE FOR MORE THAN 25 YEARS
DESIGNING AV FOR UX
Ensuring Your Design Is Engaging and User-Friendly LEVIATHAN
20 The Way They See It
Joe King discusses the evolution of the PPDS brand in North America.
22 Executive Q&A
D&H’s Peter Hurley talks about driving new opportunities in pro AV.
Luke Jordan wonders if company culture is the result of strategy.
We Have the Right Processor We Have the Right Processor for Your Video Wall
for Your Video Wall
4K Compatible, Multi-Wall Configurable, Built-in Switching
4K Compatible, Multi-Wall Configurable, Built-in Switching
(510) 814-7000 rgb.com
(510) 814-7000 rgb.com
7/16/21 12:39 PM
Designing AV for UX SCN sits down with a number of UX experts who work in several different
markets to discuss the importance of UX in AV design. By Carolyn Heinze
28 Locking Down As networks grow more complex and devices more
32 CEDIA Expo Preview
sophisticated, vigilance in the fundamentals of
Ahead of the 2021 show,
network security will be more important than ever.
manufacturers gave SCN a
By Jim Beaugez
sneak peek at the resimercial products they’ll be
30 Preserving History with AV The Tennessee State Museum deployed SDVoE
demonstrating on the show floor. By Megan A. Dutta
technology to showcase the state’s rich history
34 Exploring Kiosks
through visual storytelling.
In an ever-evolving consumer landscape, kiosks are
By SCN Staff
helping to ensure efficiency, security, and even safety
People 20 The Way They See It Joe King of PPDS discusses the evolution of the
during the ongoing pandemic. By Ledetta Asfa-Wossen
company’s brand in North America.
42 Culture vs. Strategy
By Katie Makal
It’s been said that culture eats strategy for
22 Executive Q&A D&H’s Peter Hurley talks about driving new opportunities in pro AV through collaboration and correlation. By Megan A. Dutta
breakfast—but is company culture actually the result of strategy? By Luke Jordan, CTS-D, PMP
Departments 18 ASSOCIATION NEWS 24 PEOPLE NEWS 36 PRODUCTS
Vol. 28 No. 8 August 2021 Systems Contractor News (ISSN 1078-4993) is published monthly by Future US, Inc., 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, New York, NY 10036-8002. Periodical postage paid at New York, NY and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: send address changes to: SYSTEMS CONTRACTOR NEWS, P.O. Box 1051, Lowell, MA 01853. Subscribe online at www.MySCNews.com. Please allow 6-8 weeks for address changes to take effect. ©Copyright 2021 by Future US, Inc. PRINTED IN U.S.A.
SCN // August 2021 // avnetwork.com
Software-Defined AV Distribution
The Future of AV Distribution DisplayNet® delivers the performance of traditional matrix switchers, with the future readiness of AV over IP. By leveraging cutting edge SDVoE technology, DisplayNet offers 4K/60 (4:4:4) video distribution with limitless scalability, zero-frame latency and zero image artifacts. DisplayNet provides unique features such as Software-Defined MultiViewer and Advanced Video Wall that enable a wide range of applications without the expense of ancillary products. Silent operation, powerful Network Security features, versatile KVM Routing and support for Dante® digital audio provide system designers with exceptional versatility. A highly intuitive web-based UI and API greatly simplifies setup and installation, as well as integration into third-party control systems. Contact us today to learn how DisplayNet can make your next AV system future ready.
ZERO COMPROMISE – INFINITE POSSIBILITIES Powered by email@example.com | (888) 463-9927 | www.displaynet.com Dante® is a registered trademark of Audinate Pty Ltd.
© 2021 DVIGear, Inc.
AUGUST 2021 VOL. 28 NO. 8 CONTENT
VP/Content Creation Anthony Savona Content Director Megan A. Dutta, firstname.lastname@example.org Content Manager Katie Makal Contributors Ledetta Asfa-Woosen, Jim Beaugez, Carolyn Heinze, Luke Jordan Group Art Director Nicole Cobban Art Editor Rob Crossland Production Managers Nicole Schilling, Heather Tatrow A DV E R T I S I N G S A L E S
Vice President, AV/Consumer Electronics & Pro Audio Adam Goldstein, email@example.com, 212-378-0465 Sales John Casey, firstname.lastname@example.org, 845-678-3839 Janis Crowley, email@example.com, 845-414-6791 Debbie Rosenthal, firstname.lastname@example.org, 212-378-0468 Zahra Majma, email@example.com, 845-678-3752 Andi Tureson firstname.lastname@example.org SUBSCRIBER CUSTOMER SERVICE
The Healing Power of Sound
MEGAN A. DUTTA Content Director
this trip, I decided to be semi-technology-free and stress-free, meaning I didn’t take I thought it would be a difficult task for me. Despite my anti-rise-and-grind tweets, I do
tend to be a workaholic (shhhhh … don’t tell anyone I said that!). Instead, I found the silence and alone time comforting. On my trip, I scheduled just two things: dinner with a friend on my last night and a sound bath. For those of you unfamiliar with sound baths, it is a meditative experience where those in attendance are “bathed” in sound waves. It might sound a bit hippie, but, working
SCN is available for licensing. Contact the Licensing team to discuss partnership opportunities. Head of Print Licensing Rachel Shaw email@example.com
recently took a solo vacation to California for a few days of self-care in the sun. On my laptop and didn’t check in at work.
To subscribe, change your address, or check on your current account status, go to avnetwork.com and click on About Us, email futureplc@computerfulfillment. com, call 888-266-5828, or write P.O. Box 1051, Lowell, MA 01853.
in the audiovisual field, I suspect most of you understand the healing power of audio.
M A N AG E M E N T
Senior Vice President, B2B Rick Stamberger Vice President, Sales & Publishing, B2B Aaron Kern Vice President, B2B Tech Group Carmel King Vice President, Sales, B2B Tech Group Adam Goldstein Head of Production US & UK Mark Constance Head of Design Rodney Dive FUTURE US, INC.
11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor New York, NY 10036
So I headed to the Integratron in Landers, CA, on a Thursday afternoon. Built in 1954 by George Van Tassel, the structure is based on the design of Moses’ Tabernacle, the writings of Nikola Tesla, and—according to Van Tassel—telepathic directions from
TWITTER twitter.com/scnmag twitter.com/meganadutta TWEET US Has audio helped heal you in some way?
extraterrestrials. After we got a brief history of the building, my group and I headed up to the structure’s second floor. The acoustics in the building are fascinating. I could hear perfectly what the people on the other side of the Integratron directly across from me were whispering. When I whispered notes of gratitude from a square in the center of the room, the entire group could hear my words. The actual sound bath consisted of 35 minutes of 20 quartz crystal singing bowls being played live. According to the musician, the sound levels reached 100 dB, but the noise wasn’t ever overwhelming in the deeply resonant, multi-wave sound chamber. Instead, it was comforting and relaxing. As the sound waves washed over me, I felt completely at
All contents ©2021 Future US, Inc. or published under licence. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used, stored, transmitted or reproduced in any way without the prior written permission of the publisher. Future Publishing Limited (company number 2008885) is registered in England and Wales. Registered office: Quay House, The Ambury, Bath BA1 1UA. All information contained in this publication is for information only and is, as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Future cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such information. You are advised to contact manufacturers and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/services referred to in this publication. Apps and websites mentioned in this publication are not under our control. We are not responsible for their contents or any other changes or updates to them. This magazine is fully independent and not affiliated in any way with the companies mentioned herein. If you submit material to us, you warrant that you own the material and/or have the necessary rights/ permissions to supply the material and you automatically grant Future and its licensees a licence to publish your submission in whole or in part in any/all issues and/or editions of publications, in any format published worldwide and on associated websites, social media channels and associated products. Any material you submit is sent at your own risk and, although every care is taken, neither Future nor its employees, agents, subcontractors or licensees shall be liable for loss or damage. We assume all unsolicited material is for publication unless otherwise stated, and reserve the right to edit, amend, adapt all submissions. Please Recycle. We are committed to only using magazine paper which is derived from responsibly managed, certified forestry and chlorine-free manufacture. The paper in this magazine was sourced and produced from sustainable managed forests, conforming to strict environmental and socioeconomic standards. The manufacturing paper mill and printer hold full FSC and PEFC certification and accreditation.
peace. After the musician stopped playing, we all laid on our mats for a bit to relax to the sound of ambient music in the chamber. Leaving the sound bath, I felt completely refreshed and recharged. It was the perfect ending to my vacation, all thanks to the healing power of audio. Future plc is a public company quoted on the London Stock Exchange (symbol: FUTR)
6 SCN // August 2021 // avnetwork.com
Chief executive Zillah Byng-Thorne Non-executive chairman Richard Huntingford Chief financial officer Rachel Addison Tel +44 (0)1225 442 244
YOUR INSIDE LOOK AT INFOCOMM 2021 Join AVIXA, InfoComm Show Daily, and Systems Contractor News for a virtual preview of InfoComm 2021. During this single-day event, attendees will get a sneak peek of InfoComm education sessions, the hottest technology on the show floor, and have the ability to network with other InfoComm attendees ahead of the show. Register FREE online today. I N F O CO M M S N E A K P E E K .CO M
Brought to you by
7/15/21 6:59 AM
Marshall Cameras Enhance Kent State’s Esports Livestreams
kent, oh—Looking to enhance the university’s live esports broadcasts by capturing athlete reactions and interactions with players and team members, Jason Forbes, broadcast engineer at Kent State University Teleproductions, turned to miniature CV503 POV cameras and full-featured CV730 PTZ cameras from Marshall Electronics. Kent State’s 12-seat V-style arena gaming space was designed and integrated in-house, with an assist from Heartland Video, which provided most of the video production gear. Deploying Marshall’s ultra-compact cameras allowed the production team to enhance its livestreams to
Twitch without distracting the players or interfering with their gameplay.
Top 5 Stories on avnetwork.com 5. The AV Gig Economy 4. AV Chicago Teams Up with Chop Shop to Create Ultimate Streaming Studio 3. How to Build a Killer Conference Room 2. Biamp Acquires Neets 1. CCS Presentation Systems Turns 30
POPULAR POSTS Why Pronouns Are Important
The Nutsedge Effect
BY JOÉ LLOYD If you recognize your
BY HENRY CLIFFORD If your company
privilege, you recognize there are doors you
has grown beyond relying on the owner’s
The Return to a Hybrid Kind of Normal with Streaming BY MARC RISBY It’s been said that the
have never had to open and doors you have never even
cell phone to take business calls, chances are there’s a
COVID-19 pandemic has driven seven years of digital
seen. You also have an understanding of those who
member of your office staff answering the phone.
transformation in less than a year. If only a small
have had to knock the loudest to be heard. Asking,
Their specialty might be accounting or administrative
percentage of organizations embrace hybrid working,
knowing, and using someone’s gender pronouns is a
tasks, not dialing in an AVR. How much do they know
it is still a huge opportunity for the AV industry. Video
positive way to support and respect those around you,
about our industry? Have you trained them, or are you
streaming will lead the way, and there are rewards for
and it takes nothing more than the time to ask the
just hoping for the best?
all who embrace it.
question and listen for an answer.
SCN // August 2021 // avnetwork.com
CCS Presentation Systems Turns 30 founder and CEO John Godbout. “This is a relationship
business—not just between you and your employees
high school students to become installation
but among other companies, between manufacturing
technicians. Courses are taught by CCS Integration
partners. Your relationships with those people are
staff. Candidates receive a job offer after successful
completion of the program.
CCS Through the Years
business we continue to grow and thrive,” said CCS
CCS unveils CCS University, an internship program that encourages
CCS builds the CCS Manufacturer Product Showcase, which allows
CCS makes $59,000 in revenue its first
customers to see and interact with AV solutions prior
year and, against the odds, keeps pushing
to purchase. This initiative sets a standard for how
into 1992. Annual revenue across the CCS group now
CCS displays new AV products to educators,
tops $160 million.
businesses, and other clients.
CCS opens its first partner office in Texas. Today, the company has grown to
CCS rolls out a series of AV designs aimed at small business so even those
The original CCS Presentation Systems partners.
11 regional partners with 28 offices, covering 40
just starting out can afford practical solutions that
enhance collaboration, sales, and productivity.
SCN Top 50 list, turns 30 years old on June
25. Beginning as a two-person operation
with demand and reach more customers across the
education customers the option to split their overall
in 1991, CCS now has more than 350 employees
payments over multiple years. The program allows
nationwide, and annual revenue across the CCS
CS Presentation Systems, No. 7 on the 2020
group tops $160 million.
CCS launches its online division, ProjectorSuperstore.com, to keep up
CCS announces Tech Now, Pay Later, a privately financed program that gives
A strong advocate for education, CCS
schools to focus on increasing student engagement
initiates a contest with Proxima that
rather than finding ways to pay for it.
IBM, John Godbout and his wife Beth decided in 1991
effectively into their classrooms. Seventy applicants
that they wanted to set down roots in Phoenix, AZ.
and four winners later, CCS continues to support
benefit of local customer service. CCS vets all
That decision laid the foundation for a small
prospective partners for six months, and once the
audiovisual company that eventually become one of
Recognizing the need for full-service
process is complete and they are deemed a good fit,
design and installation, CCS creates an
support is given to the newest partner with the
After moving nine times for his previous job with
the top AV integrators in the nation.
awards local educators who integrate technology
“We are thrilled that after so many years in integration division, CIS. The company currently 1_3p loop.qxp_WIRE BUSHINGS 1 4 pg 7 09 7/13/21 12:05 PM Page 1 manages more than 50
Made in USA
F O R CO M M U N I C AT I O N S C A B L E
S AT SEE U
A CEDI36 #34
TL50 for a 5" diameter bundle
confidence that they will return on that investment and grow the brand.
and more than 100 installation technicians
500,000 votes are collected in six weeks from people
across the state hoping their school will win a
contest for Arizona schools. More than
high-tech classroom fitted with the latest AV
products and services.
subsequently the CCS
Mobile Training Center, a
able to continue servicing its customers when
44-foot converted racecar
hundreds of other businesses shut down.
Training Center model and
CCS is considered an essential business during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is
hauler that travels to schools to train educators across the country.
Below CCS Presentation Systems partners in 2021.
The 2.5" TL25 holds the same amount of cable as a J-hook at HALF the COST!
Listed for Air Handling Spaces Patented
800/233-4717 • www.arlingtonlowvoltage.com 800/233-4717 • www.arlingtonlowvoltage.com SCN // August 2021 // avnetwork.com
CCS hosts the VT3 back-to-school
Flexible and non-metallic, The LOOP™ holds a 2" to 5" diameter bundle of CAT 5 or fiber optic cable without sagging, bending or damaging the cable!
it a national footprint, but with the
design and field engineers
CCS’ approach to partnership now gives
SCN // June 2021 // avnetwork.com
SnapAV Rebrands as Snap One
broadest portfolio of best-in-class products; the one
comes on the heels of several major corporate
shopping experience that can be done online or
developments, including the acquisition of
in-store; and the one partner that professionals can
networking provider Access Networks and a
depend on when installing and supporting the
significant investment in remote support solutions
amazing experiences that their customers desire.”
provider Parasol. Established in 2005 and based in Charlotte, NC,
The new name also signifies a unified company
that includes legacy SnapAV and Control4
Snap One designs, manufactures, and distributes
organizations following their merger in 2019.
smart solutions for homes and businesses to make
“Together, now as Snap One, the company can serve
life more enjoyable, connected, and secure. The
napAV CEO John Heyman announced
as the industry’s central source for everything needed
company’s product platform includes more than
a corporate rebranding in July to more
to succeed, today and in the future,” Heyman said.
4,300 proprietary SKUs in entertainment,
accurately indicate the scope of the
“The name Snap One emphasizes our desire to be the
connectivity, and infrastructure, along with two
one-stop-source for the solutions that integrators
software platforms (OvrC and Control4 OS3) that
need—including control—whether it’s with our own
provide broad interoperability with thousands of
solutions or third-party products.”
third-party products from hundreds of vendors.
company’s business. SnapAV is now Snap One. Heyman said that the new name reflects the company’s goal of being the leading provider of solutions, services, and platforms for custom
Snap One partners may shop online or in one of 27
Later this year, Snap One will unveil a unified
installation integrators whose businesses have grown
portal that will allow integrators to research, quote,
brick-and-mortar stores for Snap One value-added
well beyond AV products.
and purchase any products from a single location. The
tools, training, and support processes that drive
company will also offer a single, streamlined loyalty
business efficiencies that enable integrators to
we are or our aspirations for the future,” Heyman
program. “Our goal has always been to offer great
be more successful, according to the company.
said. “We kept the name ‘Snap’ because of our
products and top-tier services that simplify the
ongoing mission to make our partners’ lives easier.
integrator’s life and support their business,” Heyman
Snap One builds on this legacy and reinforces our
added. “Our new platforms and services are designed
aspiration to be the integrator’s most valued and most
to do just that.”
“The name SnapAV no longer fully represents who
trusted partner. We want to be the one place with the
The announcement of a new company name
Secure ofSystems Systems Fiber or CATx SecureKVM-over-IP KVM-over-IP Control Control of viavia Fiber or CATx
Take control of remote systems simply by moving the cursor to the desired window
Take control of remote systems simply by moving the cursor to the desired window Standard 1 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) network
Multi-headed computers supported
Excellent responsiveness a LAN or WAN Standard 1 Gigabit Ethernetover (GbE) network
Secure, encryptedcomputers transmissions Multi-headed supported
One-to-one to many-to-many Excellent responsiveness overconfigurations a LAN or WAN
Single keyboard/mouse for multiple computers Secure, encrypted transmissions
Operator stations with up to 4 single-view or 2 multi-view monitors
One-to-one to many-to-many configurations
Single keyboard/mouse for multiple computers
Operator stations with up to 4 single-view or 2 multi-view monitors
avnetwork.com // August 2021 // SCN
7/16/21 12:42 PM
Workers Aren’t Ready to Return to the Office
Bridging the Gap Between Decision-Makers and Employees
meeting (26 percent) and missing out on critical information (21 percent), while a further 17 percent say that they appear unprofessional because of poor sound experiences. The experience issue extends to
fter 15 months of working from home as a
As lockdowns begin to ease and signs of normal life
collaboration tools used, with 16 percent reporting
result of the pandemic, companies in the
return, many decision-makers are anticipating the
that the equipment they use is “not fit for purpose,”
United States are hoping to establish an
advantages of a genuinely hybrid model for the
while 13 percent report having difficulties seeing
equilibrium this fall that hinges on bringing workers
workplace. However, there are notable differences of
details shared on screen.
back to offices. But recent research from EPOS finds
opinion between decision-makers and employees
that there is a notable divergence in the expectations
regarding the return to work.
of decision-makers and employees regarding the
This disparity is present globally, with the widest
Over time these negative experiences can affect employees’ ability to focus, engage, and actively contribute. Fortunately, decision-makers are
return to work: 56 percent of global business decision-
gulf in the United States, where 74 percent of
recognizing the impact that bad audio can have on
makers expect an increase in employee time spent at
employers expect workforces to return to the
their business and employee wellbeing: 88 percent
the office, while only 26 percent of employees expect
workplace, compared to just 29 percent of employees
accept that technology shortcomings have caused
surveyed. These results suggest that on a global level,
problems over the past year. A further 77 percent
decision-makers need to engage and align with their
believe that the right technology can overcome
globally, with employees scattered across cities and
employees to better understand their expectations.
collaboration experience issues and are prepared to
countries, audio and videoconferencing tools proved
By understanding and meeting employee needs,
make necessary investments in equipment and
essential for keeping in touch. The new research,
business leaders create a strong hybrid working
infrastructure. Solving technology problems could also
commissioned by EPOS and conducted by Ipsos, finds
model that will in turn help secure future talent.
go far in persuading employees that virtual meetings
As hybrid working patterns begin to take shape
that professionals today spend an average of seven
Forward-thinking sectors are already recognizing
can be just as good as in-person ones going forward.
hours a week in virtual meetings—an increase of two
an opportunity to fully support remote work
hours a week in just the last year.
programs to tap into a vast and global talent pool,
be defined by their ability to support employees with
thereby creating greater business agility while
the right technology solutions, tailored to needs and
gaining significant cost savings.
expectations. Technology offers a clear way to bridge
In a world rebounding from a pandemic, progressive businesses need to embrace the best of both worlds. The benefits of virtual working are now
Successful businesses in the hybrid workplace will
the gap between differing expectations and priorities:
well known, and employees are keen to preserve some
Alleviating the Pain Points of Bad Audio
of the convenience, flexibility, and adaptability that
For employees across all markets, critical challenges
the potential to bring the best of both worlds to
remote work promises. Though they may hope to
in the hybrid working setup stem from bad audio or
post-pandemic work. Moreover, in helping to
bring employees back to the office, 99 percent of
video experiences, with close to all (89 percent) end
eliminate distractions, collaboration technology both
workplace decision-makers still see the advantage of
users currently experiencing difficulties in virtual
enhances human interaction and increases
virtual meetings, which deliver time and cost savings,
meetings. The most common experience issues
professionalism, helping businesses to reach a gold
and enable meetings to take place seamlessly across
include misunderstanding what’s being said in a
standard for the hybrid workplace.
high-quality, integrated audiovisual solutions have
Genelec Debuts G Innovation Lab, Seeks Engineering Talent Professional loudspeaker manufacturer Genelec
office park, the G Innovation Lab will welcome
The interaction gives candidates the opportunity to
has established the first branch of its new G
talented individuals with varying skill sets but with
learn more about Genelec while the show the
Innovation Lab in Kuopio, Finland, with the goal of
a strong interest in the audio industry starting this
panel how their ideas and talents can enrich
nurturing creativity and entrepreneurship in the
fall. The lab’s location was selected in hopes that it
Genelec and the pro audio industry in general.
Savilahti region of the country, and attracting
would facilitate even closer cooperation with
imaginative professionals to the area.
regional universities and educational institutions, a
technology, industries and audio community is
goal Genelec has long valued.
profound and extremely exciting,” said Siamäk
The company has launched the Discovery Event Pitch Challenge, an initiative Genelec expects will
Kickstarting the recruitment process for the G
“The ongoing transformation in our society,
Naghian, managing director, Genelec. “Our own
help it recruit a team of “startup-minded”
Innovation Lab is the Discovery Event Pitch
success as a company has always been fueled by
individuals that will help it further develop the
Challenge on Aug. 23 and 24. In this hybrid live/
individuals determined to push the boundaries of
“innovative thinking that has helped inspire the
online event organized in conjunction with Finnish
their imagination, and we see the G Innovation Lab
company’s developments over the last four
“talent pond” experts Pondi, career seekers and
as an essential vehicle for unleashing the hidden
entrepreneurs will be given a chance to present
creative potential existing in our local community
their ideas to a panel of senior figures at Genelec.
and attracting new talent to the region.”
Located in Kuopio’s KPY Novapolis Microkatu
SCN // August 2021 // avnetwork.com
ADI Mobile App Streamlines Services for Dealers
he new app from ADI Global Distribution offers
reorder past shipments, and make product lists by project or
dealers a fast and easy way to shop at ADI from their
mobile device. Dealers can search for products,
“The release of our new app is the next step in our
check pricing and availability, place orders, and manage
strategy to transform the customer’s digital experience at
their ADI account while they’re away from the office.
ADI. And to help us get it right, we incorporated feedback
The app makes it easy to access ADI’s wide selection of
from customers across the entire design and testing process
security, AV, and other low-voltage products. While users
to improve the connected customer journey,” said Laura
may always log in with a password, the app supports facial
Phelan, global vice president of digital experience and digital
and fingerprint authentication so users can get what they
branch at ADI. “The ADI app gives our customers a fast and
need quickly and reliably. Customers can expect faster
convenient way to access the products, support, and services
loading times, improved navigation, clear messaging and
they rely on from ADI.”
product organization, and an updated navigation bar with links to products and services.
In addition to ADI’s complete product portfolio, the mobile app provides access to ADI’s deals centers, monthly
With the app’s integrated barcode scanning
sales flyers, training and events, value-added services, and
functionality, customers can find detailed product
more. ADI says it will continue to add new features and
information and check pricing and inventory levels faster.
functionality to the app, and make it easier for dealers to
The streamlined checkout process allows users to choose
shop at ADI.
local branch pickup or select the shipping option that fits
The app is currently available for U.S. customers and can
their project timeline and budgets. Via the app, customers
be searched as ADI US Mobile in the App Store and Google
can manage their ADI account, check order status, easily
Adaptive speaker wall & ceiling mounts. We’re America’s top producer of pre-engineered standard and custom speaker mounts
©2021 All Rights Reserved. Adaptive Technologies Group.
rchitects, consultants, and integrators have come to rely on Adaptive’s off-the-shelf and custom wall, ceiling, and pole mount solutions for their applications worldwide. Call or email us today. Let Adaptive help you win additional bids and make projects more profitable. Contact an Application Specialist weekdays, from 7 AM to 4 PM PST.
www.AdaptiveTechnologiesGroup.com Phone 562.270.3760
avnetwork.com // August 2021 // SCN
NEWS cape canaveral, fl—tvONE’s ONErack universal powered mounting system has taken on one of its most mission-critical applications to date after being installed at America’s United Launch Alliance (ULA) sites, which provide rocket launch services for NASA spacecraft. At Perseverance’s launch in July 2020, United Launch Alliance’s sites at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and California’s Vandenberg Space Force Base had more than 30 of tvONE’s ONErack units installed and in play. All of ULA’s recent launches for NASA have relied on ONErack as an anchor in their intricate, demanding, and future-looking technology systems and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future, according to tvONE.
Kramer Acquires Wow Vision
ACT Entertainment Unifies ACT Brands
Kramer Electronics has acquired Wow Vision, a wireless collaboration software development
CT Lighting announced the launch of ACT
support they need to enhance their, and their clients’,
company, through the purchase of the
Entertainment, a corporate entity formed
creative visions. ACT Entertainment enhances live
remaining 50 percent of the outstanding shares
by bringing together the brands of the ACT
experiences by discovering, developing, and
of the company.
Lighting and RHC Holdings family of companies. The brands include MA Lighting, Ayrton, Robert Juliat, Luxibel, ProCo, RapcoHorizon, Lava Cable, RAT,
delivering products that create value for our
“We are incredibly excited that Wow Vision
customers while supporting our products with
and its talented team of software engineers
industry-leading service and education.”
have joined the Kramer family,” said Gilad Yron,
AC Power Distribution, Zactrack, MDG, and
Dale Williams, president and COO of ACT
ChainMaster. Headquartered in Jackson,
Entertainment, added, “Given the
MO, ACT Entertainment will operate
challenges faced by the
CEO of Kramer. “This acquisition will strengthen our R&D capacity and enable us to continue accelerating Kramer’s growth, especially in the
from its facilities in New York, Los
entertainment industry in the
strategic areas of networked software-based
Angeles, Toronto, Texas, and
past year, it was clear to us that
solutions, collaboration, unified communication,
we needed to be a more unified
and cloud technologies. It also demonstrates
and efficient organization, a
our ongoing commitment to investing in
Massachusetts. The value offered by ACT Entertainment is more than
more nimble and agile entity that
the sum of its parts, according
works more effectively together.
to the company: “The new ACT is
The need for internal change grew
a streamlined organization that takes a holistic approach to the industries
organically as our industries evolved and changed. By unifying all of our companies into a
innovative technologies that offer our customers and partners better and smarter automated solutions to collaborate, share, and communicate in hybrid working and learning environments.” “Kramer’s growth is fueled by innovation and
it serves, curating critical entertainment technologies
single solution, ACT Entertainment positions us to
and bringing leading products and services to its
better service each of our markets as their industries
our ability to develop the best solutions in the
clients across multiple distinct markets.”
market,” added Yuval Cohen, managing partner
Ben Saltzman, CEO of ACT Entertainment, said,
“As ACT Entertainment, we will be better able to
of Fortissimo Capital and chairman of the board
“Offering exceptional products and services, ACT
match our product brands with customer needs while
of Kramer. “Kramer continues to invest in
Entertainment gives the most exciting and valuable
servicing each end market in the way that makes
technologies that will further enhance its
entertainment technologies in the world a single
sense to them,” added Saltzman. “We’re building
leadership in providing solutions for the rapidly
home in North America We are exclusively focused on
something bigger to universally address the
changing environment for how people
empowering our customers with the tools and
entertainment industry in a new and exciting way.”
communicate, work, and study.”
Tim Kuschel Forms T3 Academy
V professional Tim Kuschel has formed
gathering en masse is once again allowed for
T3 Academy, we want to provide access to refresher
T3 Academy, a nonprofit training resource
meetings and live events, technicians will be
information, as well as new subjects that expanded
for the live events and audiovisual
returning from a long hiatus,” said Kuschel. “The
during the pandemic such virtual and hybrid events.”
communities. By working with manufacturers, industry groups, and production companies, T3’s goal is to make product training accessible across regions and help broaden the understanding of emerging technologies related to live events. “As the pandemic winds down and
SCN // August 2021 // avnetwork.com
shuttering of entertainment and live events for more than a year has forced many technicians to pivot to other occupations. Those who remain are returning with financial and emotional
T3’s board of directors includes Kuschel; Robert Murdock; Erik Iversen, PMP; Meg Sciarini-Smith, CTS; Ken Freeman; and Chrissy Sara, CTS-I. .
stresses and perhaps some job fade. At For more information on the organization, visit t3.academy
NEWS cologne, germany—The LED displays deployed at Lanxess Arena for EuroLeague’s recent Final Four matchups featured show control by Christie Pandoras Box v8 and video processing by Christie Spyder X80. Spanish company Laser AV was commissioned to handle the integration and technical execution of AV for the event, which included live broadcasting, signal distribution throughout the stadium, signal management of the screens, and signal relay via fiber optic cable.
Digital Signage Expo to Return in 2022
edge to edge TVBU810_lvdr2_EMT 6X9.5.qxp_Layout 1 7/13/21 12:00 PM Page 1
VERTICAL OR HORIZONTAL • RETROFIT & NEW WORK
Non-Metallic 8X10 TV SE E U
Arlington’s TVBU810 TV Box™ delivers the ultimate in versatility for installing TVs in new and retrofit projects. There's more room in the box for wires and it installs horizontally or vertically to properly position low voltage connections behind the TV.
next year, March 21-23, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The trade show, which
was acquired by Questex earlier this year, will take place concurrently with the Bar & Restaurant Expo, “Our research shows that the industry strongly desires an event that brings digital signage suppliers
the exhibitor list will expand beyond digital signage equipment providers to those who use digital
© 2012 Arlington Industries, Inc.
and stakeholders in a wide range of adjacent and vertical
focused on innovative applications and outcomes, while
NEW work Mounts to stud
• Brackets for neater cables, 1-1/2" knockout for ENT and other low voltage wiring
and solution providers together with designers, buyers,
designed to attract and engage a broader audience,
• Ideal for multiple connections for sound systems, satellite TV, CATV, DVRs
formerly known as Nightclub & Bar Show.
market leader, DSE. “The conference program will be
P ER F ECT FOR HOM E TH EATER SYSTEMS
A C E DI36 #34
igital Signage Expo (DSE) is set to return
markets,” said Marian Sandberg, vice president and
Made in USA
• Mounts to stud in new work; in retrofit, mounting wing screws secure box in wall
TVBU810 8X10 TV BOX™
Secure installation in RETROFIT
Includes box, trim plate, duplex receptacle, line voltage box, wall plates, cable entry device, knockout plugs
Lots of space for multiple low voltage connections
technology to design and implement experiences that
800/233-4717 • www.arlingtonlowvoltage.com
attract, inform, educate, and entertain.” “Our goal is to design an event that becomes the foundation for a digital community platform and
calendar of events that encompass the interests and goals of a broad community interested in how digital media technology can enhance lives and experiences in the physical world,” she added.
BUSHINGS COMBO BOX
E C O N O M I C A L C A B L E P R OT E C T I O N
Questex will draw on the expertise of digital signage industry veteran Brad Gleeson, co-founder
• Easy press-on installation
and managing partner of TargetPath, to relaunch the
• Holds tight as cables are pulled
event. Gleeson is a veteran of the world of tech startups. He has written for Digital Signage Magazine and has been involved in initiatives that helped build the foundation of the digital signage industry. Questex’s DSE planning process will involve consulting with an advisory board whose members will share expertise and insights about technology, digital-out-of-home, and experiential events. In addition to Gleeson, the advisory board includes Rich Ventura of Sony, Laura Davis-Taylor of InReality, Nick Belcore of Peerless-AV, and Stephanie Gutnik of Verizon.
• Protects cable from abrasion • Less expensive alternative to costly fittings when used just for wire
The box adjusts to fit wall thicknesses from 1/4" to 1-1/2". Mounting wing screws hold it securely in place.
• Meets NEC requirements (2020) for 300.15 Listed for protection. Air Handling Spaces Per NEC 300.22(c)
Multiple sizes for 1/2" to 4"
800/233-4717 • www.arlingtonlowvoltage.com 15
FOR R ETROF IT P ROJ EC TS This convenient combo box has power and low voltage openings in the same box for a neat, time-saving installation.
- EMT - Rigid - PVC
avnetwork.com // August 2021 // SCN
2-HOUR RATING • POWER & LOW VOLTAGE
Installed NM cable connector
• 2-Hour Fire Rating
Made in USA
• Low voltage side has combo 1/2" and 3/4" KO for raceway • Power side includes NM cable connector
NEWS san diego, ca—To create an optimum acoustical listening environment that can be fine-tuned for various performances, a Meyer Sound Constellation acoustic system has been installed inside the Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, making it the first Constellation system designed for stage acoustics in an outdoor venue.
Black Box Inks Distributor Agreement with ScanSource
PAMA Leads Industry Initiative on Neutral Nomenclature
Black Box has finalized a partner agreement
with ScanSource that calls for ScanSource to distribute Black Box AV, IoT, networking, cabling, infrastructure, and KVM product solutions.
he Professional Audio Manufacturers
organizations for the implementation of unified
Alliance (PAMA) is working with its
terminology across the industry in the spirit of
members and industry trade organizations
inclusivity and consistency,” explained PAMA
ScanSource will tap new opportunities in North
to address outdated language and terminology
Board chair-elect and Inclusion Committee
America within the networking, security, and
issues increasingly identified as discouraging a
member Karam Kaul of Harman. “It comes down
pro AV markets.
spirit of inclusivity within the professional audio
to treating each other with respect. PAMA is
working in collaboration with Audinate and a few
“With offices across North America and a portfolio now including the Black Box line of AV,
“The goal of this project is to introduce and
other member organizations, using an Audinate
networking, cabling, and KVM products,
create normalcy around neutral language in the
framework as a starting point, with additional
ScanSource is better positioned to supply
audio industry,” said PAMA Inclusion Committee
added elements such as addressing the
solutions with the features, flexibility, and
member Dawn Birr of Sennheiser. “As we all strive
replacement of gender identification of connectors
reliability essential to mission-critical
for continuous improvement in our work, personal
with the neutral designations ‘plug/socket.’”
applications,” said Jason Fulford, director of
lives, and society, often it’s the small steps that
channel sales at Black Box. “We’re pleased to be
get us to our goals. We hope that by taking these
working with ScanSource to address these key
actions, we can begin making meaningful change
customer requirements across multiple verticals.”
happen over time.”
“We’re excited to add Black Box’ portfolio of
PAMA circulated a survey to PAMA membership
The result is a list of suggested terms to replace current terminology. The PAMA document “PAMA Recommendations for Neutral Nomenclature in Pro Audio” can be downloaded at tinyurl.com/PAMA-NN-Guide.
peripheral solutions to our current line card of
companies to gather feedback regarding
This is a living document that will continue to
services and solutions,” said Brian Cuppett,
problematic language (e.g., master/slave in
evolve with ongoing input from the industry
senior vice president, supplier organization,
clocking references and eliminating male/female
ScanSource. “The addition of Black Box’s
in reference to connector topology) and soliciting
product offerings will enable ScanSource to
input on alternate, neutral terminology.
to seeing this initiative through in their individual
“The intent is for PAMA members to
documentation and communication, thoughtfully
provide more complete solutions to our partners.”
recommend adopting a framework within their
Reflect Systems Launches Ovation
companies in our industry for years, we felt it was time to accelerate this effort and bring more packaged resources and structure to our
“PAMA member companies have committed
applying these guidelines,” said Kaul.
CTI Opens Seattle Office
program,” said Lee Summers, CEO at
Conference Technologies Inc. (CTI) has opened a
Reflect. “With the growing
new office in Seattle, WA, to provide a more
eflect Systems has launched a new partner
importance and increased complexity of enterprise
accessible location for its clients and employees.
program called Ovation. The program allows
digital signage initiatives, effective partnering is
CTI says the new office will allow the company to
hardware and service providers to better
absolutely essential to helping our clients achieve
better serve customers and offer an improved
work environment for its staff members.
leverage the company’s offerings by providing a wide range of tools and support including
“The incentive program is a great way to reward
“We are excited about our new office in
installation and use training, joint marketing
our partners for connecting Reflect with companies
Seattle, and we’re ready to enhance our offerings
programs, and consulting and creative assistance.
needing digital signage,” said Mark Daniel, vice
to the Northwest,” said John Laughlin, CTI’s
As an added benefit, eligible partners will receive
president of partner development at Reflect. “When
president and CEO.
a referral incentive on all Reflect software sold to
Reflect and our partners work together, we are able to
The new office is located at 1455 NW Leary
customers the partner introduces to Reflect.
further deliver compelling solutions that drive great
Way, Suite 400, Seattle, WA.
“Though we have been partnering with other
SCN // August 2021 // avnetwork.com
business outcomes for everyone involved.”
Earn 5.5 AVIXA CTS RUs at the 2021 AV/ IT Summit
Cindy Davis to Lead AV Technology Future, the global platform for specialist media, has appointed Cindy Davis as the content and brand director for AV Technology. Since 2015, Davis has been a contributing editor to Future’s AV
he 2021 AV/IT Summit, taking place virtually on Aug. 5, has been approved
Technology (AVT) magazine, writing in-depth features and the Manager’s
by the AVIXA independent Certification Renewal Committee to provide
Guide series, as well as contributing articles to sister publications Systems
learning opportunities for CTS holders and others for their continued
Contractor News (SCN) and Sound & Video Contractor (SVC). She helped
professional development. The event is worth 5.5 AVIXA Renewal Units (RUs) for
launch the AV/IT Summit in 2016, and she recently developed and moderated
CTS, CTS-D, and CTS-I holders.
the New Era AV/IT webcast series.
“We are committed to providing quality education to the pro AV community,
“It’s an honor to join Future officially, but, to be honest, I’ve felt part of this
and the number of CTS RUs available to our attendees drives that point home,” said
great team since 2015,” said Davis. “Whether in print, digital, video, online, or
Megan A. Dutta, content director, Systems Contractor News. “We’ve gathered an
virtual or live events, the Future team has always worked together with the
incredible collection of speakers who are ready to help attendees learn in a fun and
common goal to deliver outstanding content to its audiences and value to its
sponsors. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to continue with them as I
“It’s so important to continue to hone your skills throughout your career. Learning new methods and sharing experiences with peers drives your professional
help the AV Technology brand evolve.” “AVT set the standard and continues to be the leading forum for AV/IT
growth,” added David Labuskes, CEO of AVIXA . “We’re thrilled that Future, the
managers, an inﬂuential decision-making community. Cindy Davis is the
producer of the AV/IT Summit, has made the commitment to become a CTS RU
ideal leader to take AVT into the next decade,” added Adam Goldstein, vice
provider to support pro AV professionals’ education.”
president and market expert at Future.
For more information or to register for the event, visit avitsummit.com/2021.
7/16/21 12:40 PM
Tom LeBlanc to Lead NSCA into the Future
and to discuss the organization’s mission and ideals. At the annual NSCA member meeting during its Business and Leadership Conference (BLC) in February 2021, Wilson announced his intention to reduce his role at the organization so he could focus on the NSCA Education Foundation and Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS
om LeBlanc has been selected as the
group, which consists of Wilson and
K-12), in addition to other volunteer
next executive director of NSCA. LeBlanc
current and former NSCA board
replaced Chuck Wilson, the association's
members, created a plan for an
longtime leader, in the position. According to the organization, succession planning is among the many business challenges
After employee agreements were
orderly and logical leadership
reviewed and written in March,
LeBlanc assumed the executive
The LDC considered several
director role in May of this year.
NSCA helps members tackle. Most integrators are
factors—most importantly the needs
Wilson, who will remain CEO of NSCA,
extremely reliant on their principals, but those
of NSCA’s constituents—in its
will spend approximately 20 hours a
leaders eventually need to retire or take a step back
transition plan. A primary goal of the
week focused on the NSCA-related
from day-to-day operations. However, creating a
transition would be ensuring that the
activities where he can make the most
successful transition plan takes work.
organization could maintain its value
NSCA found itself in a similar
and relevance to
“I am proud to serve as NSCA’s
situation about two and a half years
members regardless of
ago. Wilson, whose industry
personnel, and with minimal
have a strong team led by director of operations
experience and expertise contributed
disruption to services or programs.
Teresa Solorio and director of business resources
to nearly all of NSCA’s deliverables,
In April of 2020, the LDC created a
executive director,” said LeBlanc. “We
Mike Abernathy. Our collective goal is to elevate
was eyeing a reduction in his work
shortlist of candidates for the
NSCA employees, the NSCA board, and NSCA’s
schedule. While he did not want to
executive director role and ultimately
committees and councils to raise the bar even higher
retire, he wanted a role that would
identified LeBlanc, then NSCA
when it comes to our industry-leading resources,
allow him to work fewer hours and
director of industry outreach, as their
consultation, business conferences, and advocacy.”
dedicate time to volunteer initiatives.
top pick to fill Wilson’s shoes.
Around the same time, NSCA
Throughout the fall of 2020,
launched the Leadership Development Council (LDC). The
“I’m not following in Chuck’s footsteps,” LeBlanc added. “Instead, as Chuck says, ‘We’ve
LeBlanc shadowed Wilson to learn
been working together for years—we might as well
about his day-to-day responsibilities
keep walking side by side for a few more.’”
CompTIA Members Offer Aid to Victims of Ransomware Attack
ompTIA announced several actions to
composed of internal and member resources that will
supply chain attack” by the Cybersecurity
help IT companies affected by the
help any IT firm that is the victim of a cyberattack,
Infrastructure and Security Agency and the FBI—was
ransomware attack that has impacted
regardless of whether they are a CompTIA member.
inevitable, especially for MSPs. A 2021 CompTIA
Additionally, the CompTIA ISAO is providing
survey found that 62 percent of MSPs were very
organizations worldwide. CompTIA member companies are providing
near-real-time updates on the attack in its Cyber
concerned and 30 percent somewhat concerned
immediate assistance and support to other IT
Forum, with the information available to the entire
about being targeted by cyberattacks.
companies, and through them to customers victimized
industry, not just ISAO members.
by the ransomware attack that occurred on July 2. “Within hours of the attack being discovered,
“This was a global attack impacting companies
The CompTIA ISAO works closely with public and private cybersecurity agencies and organizations to
around the world, reminding us that we face
help its members raise the cybersecurity awareness
more than three dozen members of the CompTIA
unprecedented threats from cyberattacks unlike any
of the global tech industry. The community of nearly
Information Sharing and Analysis Organization
threat we have collectively faced in the past,” Shoer
1,200 member companies shares best practices,
(ISAO) offered assistance, including driving or flying
said. “That is why it is critical that we engage in an
cyber threat intelligence, educational content, and
to impacted companies to provide additional boots on
active discourse that discourages “cyber-shaming”
more to help address these ever-evolving threats.
the ground, as well as sharing communications,
and encourages public and private organizations to
Communities like the CompTIA ISAO are critical to
incident response strategies, technical support and
come forward immediately and share as much threat
helping MSPs and MSSPs, large and small, to
other resources,” said MJ Shoer, senior vice president
intelligence as possible to limit the damage of these
understand the threat landscape and help them be
and executive director of the CompTIA ISAO.
attacks and to ward off future incursions.”
prepared for attacks, current and future. For
Building on this immediate effort of peer-to-peer help, CompTIA is forming a Rapid Response Team
SCN // August 2021 // avnetwork.com
Shoer noted that many industry professionals felt that this attack—classified as a “sophisticated
complete details on the CompTIA ISAO, visit www. comptiaisao.org.
responded to supply challenges, with
companies are struggling to transport what is being
43 percent reporting they’d passed
produced. On the employment side, companies are
price increases along to consumers
seeking to hire workers to meet spiking demand but
and 37 percent reporting they’d made
are struggling to do so as fast as they’d like.
early purchases. “Interestingly, our data show
Just as the AVI-S accelerated, so too did the AV employment index (AVI-E), which moved from 60.4
AV Sales Growth Soars to NearRecord High
that supply issues are not specifically a recent issue,”
in May to 62.8 in June. 62.8 is the highest level for the
said Peter Hansen, economic analyst, AVIXA. “In our
AVI-E since August of 2019. All the data AVIXA
May poll, more respondents reported that supply
analysts have collected since the start of the
issues peaked in 2020 than in spring of 2021. That’s
pandemic affirms that current staffing levels remain
certainly not what the headlines suggest. Why the
well below 2019 levels. That said, with all the hiring
discrepancy? We think it’s a sign of the growing
happening now both inside and outside of AV, supply
positivity. Sure, AV companies had supply issues last
is dwindling fast. Companies would be wise to hire
summer, but back then, those problems were dwarfed
sooner rather than later, as it will enable them to hire
n June, AV sales growth reached its second-
by missing sales. Supply problems are a genuine
quality candidates at reasonable salary levels, which
highest level in the nearly five-year life of
challenge—but that they are top of mind now is
may not be possible come fall.
AVIXA’s Pro AV Business Index. At 69.6, the June
another indicator about how the worst of the
AV Sales Index (AVI-S) comes in 5.9 points higher than May. A telling sign of the industry’s growing
pandemic has passed.” The accelerating growth seen in the AV industry is
U.S. employment data shows signs of the future for our industry. In June, the U.S. economy added a massive 850,000 jobs. To facilitate these hires,
health is that this month was the first time since
a story being played out throughout the rest of the
companies were forced to raise wages, with average
the start of the pandemic that COVID-19 wasn’t by
economy. We are moving from a state of lower
hourly pay for hotel, restaurant, and entertainment
far the most cited negative business factor by survey
economic activity to one of higher economic activity,
venue employees jumping 2.3 percent in June and 6
and the speed of this transition is causing growing
percent total in the second quarter alone. A similar
pains. The impacts of this conversion are felt most
runup in wages is very possible for pro AV as the
comments, supply chain issues have taken primacy.
acutely in supply chains and employment. Producers
number of unemployed and underemployed AV
Respondents highlighted a number of ways they’ve
are struggling to ramp up production and shipping
While the pandemic did show up in many
K Plus Series · Pixel pitches of 2.5/3.9mm · Ultra lightweight and thin ( 2.46" and 24.3-18.7Ibs/panel) · Flexible and versatile Installation
N Plus Series · Pixel pitches of 1.8mm – 5.14mm · Light and Slim Design · Easy Installation and Maintenance
Museums, exhibition halls, transportation hubs all benefit from direct view LED solutions. Not do they serve as digital signage and wayfinding functions within the space, but they also can be used to display the very art that’s in the building. Let Absen LED the solution of choice for your digital signage needs.Contact your local Absen representative to learn more about our retail and digital signage solutions. Acclaim Plus Series · Pixel pitches of 1.27mm – 3.81mm · Standard 27.5’ Panel size · Easy Installation and Maintenance
avnetwork.com // August 2021 // SCN
PEOPLE THE WAY THEY SEE IT
Positive Changes Joe King Discusses the Evolution of the PPDS Brand in North America
By Katie Makal
done before—and I truly believe we are doing that.
Joe King Position: Vice President Company: PPDS
pandemic. JK: There is something of a stop-start history in the
: How so? : It’s been quite an eventful start to the year for
hospitality space for our company under its various
JK: Our focus is on truly understanding and
guises over the years. As PPDS, everything has now
PPDS in North America. As someone who has been
supporting the needs of the market—not only to
been put in place to meet the needs of our partners
with the company for a number of years, how do you
solve their existing and future challenges, but to help
and end customers; this wasn’t a kneejerk reaction.
view the evolution?
maximize their investments. That may sound
We’ve assembled a highly knowledgeable and
JOE KING: I’m actually entering my sixth year with
obvious, like I’m reciting good PR talk, but it’s how we
experienced team, and have launched what we truly
the company and 34th year representing the Philips
operate, from the first meeting where an idea is
consider to be the most complete hospitality TV
brand, which I can hardly believe.
discussed to the moment product solutions are
available anywhere in the current market. The value
installed … and even beyond that. Also, unlike some,
of Philips MediaSuite to the hotelier and to the hotel
quite significantly in order to keep pace with the ever-
we don’t build hardware and then decide which
guest is vast. Our strategy to offer long-term value
changing needs of the market and, of course,
market it should be sold into. Being part of the
aligns perfectly with the needs of the hotel industry
advancements in technologies. PPDS, which
world’s biggest provider of consumer displays and
during these challenging times, while MediaSuite’s
rebranded from Philips Professional Display
monitors, coupled with an enviable and unmatched
technical capabilities ensures guests have a TV
Solutions in February, is a really exciting company to
R&D team, each of our products is built to even the
experience comparable to or better than the one they
be a part of, perhaps more so now than ever before.
smallest detail to meet the needs of a specific vertical.
have at home.
To answer your question, things have evolved
We have seen some incredible global growth and positive changes, not just in terms of products and
: Can you provide some examples?
: What is Philips MediaSuite and why do you
solutions, but in the overall value we provide to our
JK: We recently introduced our T-Line interactive
consider it to be different?
partners and to end users.
multitouch displays. Producing best-in-class display
JK: That’s a short question with a long answer. In
technology is essential, and to do that, we listened to
terms of differentiation, the key thing to remember is
people who use these products in the field to make
that Philips MediaSuite is the first smart TV
sure even small details—such as the positioning of
specifically designed for a hotel room. Everything has
JK: We’ve always been strong in North America and
plug sockets and the number of HDMI, USB, and
been designed to create the best possible home-
responsible for a wide variety of fantastic projects and
USB-C ports—were designed appropriately.
away-from-home experience on the TV, whether it’s
: How would you describe PPDS in North
installations. You might say we’ve been performing
From a teaching and learning perspective, we’ve
for business or pleasure.
under the radar for a while, resisting the demand to
acted on feedback to combine hardware and software
communicate our successes. But as a business, both
that encourages greater engagement, collaboration,
hotels today are based on a consumer smart platform,
locally and globally, we’re expanding. We’re not just
and interaction between students—whether they are
not a commercial one. That’s hugely significant in
investing in our portfolio but in our people, too, and
physically in the room, studying remotely, or off sick.
terms of capability, usability, and the overall
attracting great talent.
Students can use their own device to view and control
experience. Feedback from our partners, which
content seen on the screen and share content. You
includes hotel owners and guests, shows that many of
retail, education, corporate, healthcare, food and
simply can’t do what T-Line does by taking a generic
the benefits of smart TVs are not getting used, so the
beverage, broadcast, public venues, and hospitality.
blank screen and loading a bit of educational software
expectations are low before the guest even enters the
We know we’re not alone in this, of course, with many
on it and calling it an education display.
room. That’s not right. But until now, that’s been the
We now cater to all major markets, including,
of our competitors claiming the same, but at PPDS we try to do things a little differently. Our intention when
Smart TVs are not new, but the ones found in
reality. : Why did you choose now to return to
We didn’t want to add another TV to the mix or
entering any market is to offer something new and to
hospitality? It’s arguably one of the toughest
adopt the common tactic of trying to surpass our
lead from the front rather than follow what’s been
periods in the industry’s history because of the
competitors by simply adding a brighter or bigger
“The launch into hospitality was a big announcement for us last month and will of course remain a key focus for us in 2021 and beyond, but that’s not taking anything away from our focus on other key industries, namely education, retail, corporate, and broadcast.” 20
SCN // August 2021 // avnetwork.com
THE WAY THEY SEE IT PEOPLE
few steps ahead to meet their needs, and offer them solutions that will support their business. To do that, we have to take an open approach by breaking the silos between hardware and software provision by encouraging full and easy integration with innovative third-party companies. This allows our customers to be truly creative with the solutions they add to our displays, and we make it our business to support them with our global trusted network of partners should they need them, while also enabling them with easy free rein development opportunities. : Could this strategy mean PPDS is moving away from Philips products? JK: PPDS will continue to proudly hold the exclusive global rights to Philips Professional TV and Digital Signage products, software, and innovations. What we are going to do is provide solutions to our SIs to help them serve their end customers in a more efficient way. In essence, we will be strengthening our ecosystem to better fulfill the needs of our end customers. That objective includes leading from the screen and a fancy new name. MediaSuite has been in
front around sustainability, which continues to be a
development since 2015. By taking a fresh and
subject of growing importance for businesses, and
modern approach, we’ve equipped it to overcome the
historical frustrations of hotel TVs and address the : Your new branding comes with a new tagline,
modern needs and requirements, both for the hotelier and their guests. When a guest enters the room, the
“Powering Evolution.” Can you explain what this
TV must at the very least match their expectations
and the capabilities they use at home, if not improve
JK: For us, evolution is a constant act, and every
organization must ensure they keep pace with the world around them. That ties in with our strategy for
: Due to the pandemic, 2020 was a tough year
open platform technologies, making our hardware
for many in the industry. How was it for PPDS?
(the display) just the beginning. With total solutions
JK: 2020 was a challenging year for everyone, and for
and create solutions relevant to this very
and a full display range for the B2B sector enabling
many, the impact of the market conditions will
unprecedented and unforeseen environment.
audience engagement for our customers, we can help
continue to be felt throughout 2021, too. With the
The market changed, customer needs changed, so
power their evolution.
various lockdowns and restrictions, it has been
we had to change, too … and fast! 2020 really showed
difficult for the market, but I’m incredibly proud of
what we were capable of as a business, and proved
within our sector, to support the industry as a whole
Equally, we recognize the need for evolution
how we have responded to the conditions, and of the
that our focus is fully on supporting our customers
through these more challenging times, and also to be
decisions we have made to not only support and
and being proactive about providing them with
more globally aware.
protect our own staff, but our partners, too.
solutions as and when they need them most. : What else can we expect to see from PPDS in
: What have you done?
: As you mentioned earlier, the company
JK: The big thing is, we didn’t cut any staff and we
recently rebranded from Philips Professional
JK: We still have some important launch plans for
didn’t put anyone on furlough. In fact, the team, both
Display Solutions to PPDS. Why is that important?
2021, but we’re not quite ready to talk about them yet,
here in North America and across the globe, actually
JK: We’ve been moving toward this point for a while,
so stay tuned! Our business in North America, is
using Philips PDS (Professional Display Solutions)
growing at a pace we’re comfortable with and we
and then PPDS progressively over the last couple of
don’t want to risk that. The launch into hospitality
health—of our staff was and continues to be
years. This change isn’t just about a shorter name and
was a big announcement for us last month and will of
paramount, so remote working has been in place for
a fresh new look, though. It’s a mark in the ground for
course remain a key focus for us in 2021 and beyond,
more than a year. Thankfully, the way the business
us, a pivot to a more total solutions strategy. We want
but that’s not taking anything away from our focus on
has been set up, we are able to continue to operate
to offer not just a piece of hardware but the whole
other key industries, namely education, retail,
with some form of normality—juggling work with
corporate, and broadcast. As I said, we’re growing at a
The health and safety—including mental
pace we’re comfortable with, and one that ensures
family life, while communicating not just with our teams in North America but across the world. Daily
: Why did you feel this was needed?
our customers always get the best service. We won’t
video calls and constant communications with our
JK: The industry is evolving. Needs and demands
launch into new areas if it risks compromising or
colleagues, partners, and R&D teams have allowed us
from our partners and their customers are always
diluting other areas. We’re not here to make up the
to respond to the conditions, to continue to innovate
changing, and we have to move with them, think a
avnetwork.com // August 2021 // SCN
PEOPLE EXECUTIVE Q&A
Collaboration and Correlation D&H's Peter Hurley Discusses Driving New Opportunities
Peter Hurley Position: Director – Pro AV Practice Company: D&H Distributing Overtime: Hurley enjoys spending time with his three kids, wife, extended family, and friends. He is a passionate sports fan and enjoys running, biking, golf, and good bourbon.
By Megan A. Dutta
Long-term, we will leverage new investments D&H has made—especially over the past 18 months— such as adding experienced sales, solution architect,
our partners as a total communication solution from
vendor management, and purchasing talent. These
one trusted distributor, enhancing productivity and
What are your responsibilities?
investments become a catalyst, helping us meet
the customer experience. We will increase partner
PETER HURLEY: I am the director of D&H’s pro AV
expanded opportunities head-on in categories like
profitability through turnkey offerings incorporating
and collaboration business unit. My primary
collaboration, digital signage, video walls, audio, AV
hardware, software licenses, content management,
responsibility is to lead a team that includes sales,
distribution, and wireless/touchless communication
and professional services like BOM creation, site
vendor management, purchasing, marketing, and
across building and campus environments. D&H also
surveys, and installation.
solution architects. Furthermore, I work with the
has a specialized focus on SMB and mid-market
leaders of our professional services, UC, and cloud
partners, including outstanding offerings for the
cloud business units will create a wider opportunity
teams to develop best practices and identify areas
to drive sales of personal collaboration equipment
: What is your position, and what does it entail?
of opportunity and growth for our partners and vendors.
The correlation between our established AV and
in both the business and education verticals. The : What is the greatest challenge you face?
move to software and collaboration in these sectors
PH: I like to view them as opportunities rather than
has propelled sales of AV hardware such as
challenges. We have a major opportunity to
professional cameras, audio technology, and
PH: I’ve been at D&H for three years, but I’ve spent
evangelize pro AV as a viable and profitable addition
wireless equipment, which can be complemented
more than 20 years in the field of AV, and 30 years in
to our partners’ businesses. Another opportunity is
with a collaboration platform such as Zoom or
the IT/AV industry overall.
meeting the demand of businesses returning to places
: How long have you been in this position?
We will help partners profit from the continued momentum of dvLED video wall kits from major
“We have a major opportunity to evangelize pro AV as a viable and profitable addition to our partners’ businesses.”
display vendors in our portfolio. We can help partners choose the correct vendor and display size (whether a 100-inch or 210-inch-plus), register the project, complete the site survey, and install with our Professional Services team. These impressive formats and sophisticated technologies empower partners to meet the growing demand across a range of vertical markets. Specific to outdoor experiences, we are working
: How has your background prepared you for your role?
of work, school, and worship, both full-time on-
with our resellers and vendor territory sales managers
premises and in hybrid environments.
on projects that include outdoor video walls for
PH: My history has included leadership roles in areas including IT/AV distribution, display, digital
messaging and entertainment, and weatherproof : Where do you see the pro AV market heading?
audio. These projects enable a unified experience that
marketing, multinational telecommunications, and
PH: It’s going “up, up, and away!” Users who are
incorporates audio, video, collaboration, wireless,
with global reseller firms. Working with this mix of
returning to work environments recognize that they
signal management, and furniture technologies for
organizations has enabled me to develop the skills to
need to upgrade the equipment that was purchased in
indoor and outdoor installations.
build businesses from their infancy into self-
a rush during the pandemic. This includes
sufficient organizations. I have worked for leaders
sophisticated technology to support their evolving
who have challenged, supported, and guided me
requirements in remote and hybrid settings. D&H’s
themselves to profit from products and/or services
during my career.
professional services and vendor line card
you have to offer?
accommodates this shift in the economy. In addition,
PH: Systems contractors should look for partners with
we see an increased focus at D&H’s solutions-based
the resources and expertise to expand and augment
PH: My short-term goal is to build out D&H’s pro AV
strategy with our cloud practice, dvLED video wall
their own offerings. D&H maintains an extensive line
practice by offering enhanced integrator, reseller,
installations, and outdoor solutions.
card, an experienced sales and solution architect
: What are your short- and long-term goals?
manufacturer, and internal co-owner engagements programs, including through cloud-based solutions
: How can systems contractors better position
team, and relationships with a roster of best-in-class : Are there new initiatives we are likely to see
AV and IT manufacturers. A wealth of helpful content
that leverage the as-a-service model, which is driving
is listed on our pro AV mini site at DandH.com/ProAV.
PH: We will deliver our suite of integrated products to
For more information, email ProAV@DandH.com.
SCN // August 2021 // avnetwork.com
systems integration strategies
KLEIN is set
that bring the company’s core
to retire from
broadcast, digital signage, and
electronic business and
consumer operations closer
than 30 years
together. Korte will also drive
appointed BENCSIK ASSOCIATES as its manufacturer’s representative firm for Florida.
technology and service
company. DANIEL FELDSTEIN, current chairman and
innovations that enhance USSI Global’s value as a
AURORA MULTIMEDIA has engaged with Jim
COO and the son of Crestron founder George
turnkey project management company.
Bowles of ETICKET AV to represent the company in the Southwest U.S., including
Feldstein, will assume the role of president and CEO.
Arizona, Nevada, and Southern California.
Daniel Feldstein has been with Crestron for more
than 25 years. With a background in computer
has hired BRANDON CREEL,
engineering, Feldstein spent the first decade of his
CTS-D, to run its U.S. office.
B-TECH AV MOUNTS has signed on seven
Crestron career in R&D, playing a role in designing a
Creel has a master’s degree in
regional manufacturer’s representative firms
number of the technologies Crestron still employs
mathematics and broad
to help extend the B-Tech brand to new and
today. Since then, he has been working in operations
experience across multiple
existing customers: AUDIO GEER, THE FARM
sectors. According to the
AV, HWPCO, MAINLINE MARKETING,
alongside Klein and the company’s late CTO, Fred
company, he has a particularly strong track record in
MOMENTUM GROUP, PRO VIDEO AND
the performing arts and theater sector, where his
SOUND, and VISITEC.
ETCP CR-T and CEE certifications are critical. LENCORE ACOUSTICS has expanded the
PAUL LAMARRE has joined
territory of CARDONE & SOLOMON
SYMETRIX as regional sales
ASSOCIATES into the Mid-Atlantic, which
manager for the eastern United
includes Delaware, Maryland, Washington,
States. In this role, he will be
D.C., and Northern Virginia.
working with Symetrix’s
professional services team as directors of sales and
partners to identify their specific
business development. Godfrey and Zaeefjou will be
responsible for new business development
technical and service teams to support them.
needs and coordinate Symetrix’s DAVID JOHNSON has joined ACT
opportunities and partnerships across the professional
ENTERTAINMENT as senior vice
services portfolio, which will be expanding to
ASI AUDIO has hired industry
president of sales. He will be
encompass a broader range of vertical markets
technical sales professional
responsible for the entire sales
including government and large-scale attractions.
PEDRO ROCHA as field service
team as they integrate the
engineer to introduce the
multiple disciplines of the
BRIAN SCHUMACKER has
company’s 3DME in-ear
joined HALL TECHNOLOGIES as
monitoring and hearing protection
sales opportunities. Johnson will liaise with top live
system to the pro audio
designers to help them realize their creative visions,
company and identify cross-
regional sales manager.
Schumacker will lead sales for
community. Over his 20-year career, Rocha’s roles have
and will work with the entire ACT team to identify and
the company in the central
spanned sales and sales management, marketing,
execute long-term goals to better serve the market
region, covering Utah, Colorado,
business development management, and education.
and grow the business.
Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa,
Missouri, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota,
MSE AUDIO, parent company of
OLEKSANDR ANTONENKO has
Illinois, and Wisconsin.
seven pro and residential audio
been hired by ELEVEN
brands, has appointed JIM
LATIMER to the position of
research and development
regional sales manager, northern
design team. Antonenko has a
U.S. Latimer brings of 24 years of
including ADAM Audio, Symetrix, and Sonic Foundry
to this role.
experience with companies
B.S. degree in electrical Oleksandr Antonenko
engineering from the University of Alberta. PEBBLE has appointed TANYA
ZUNIGA and JOAN IEM. As Eastern U.S. inside sales
ATLONA has appointed industry
RAI to the newly created position
rep, Zuniga will focus on generating sales and
veteran RENE YZAGUIRRE
of marketing and
coordinating with partners in the Midwest,
regional sales manager, south
communications manager. Rai
Northeast, and Southeast. Iem has assumed the
central U.S. With consideration to
will help develop a consistently
position of Western U.S. inside sales representative.
his commercial AV experience,
engaging voice for the brand
Atlona has extended Yzaguirre’s
south central territory beyond the
content, and will support the team in multiple
across all channels and types of
TED KORTE has joined the executive team at USSI
GLOBAL as vice president of programs and innovation
TOLA region (Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas)
marcoms activities as Pebble embarks on the next
lab. Korte will focus on technology development and
to Mississippi and the metropolitan Memphis area.
phase of its expansion plans.
SCN // August 2021 // avnetwork.com
AV for UX BUSINESS Moment Factory devised a site-specific show called Lumina Night Walks that transforms outdoor sites into illuminated journeys, creating moments that invite people to safely reconnect in public. These enchanting, revenue-generating experiences increase a site’s visitorship and engagement, while contributing to helping local and regional economies. Pictured is Alta Lumina, the 12th night walk of Moment Factory’s Lumina series and their first collaboration with Les Gets ski resort. Alta Lumina is a year-round experience designed to diversify Les Gets ski resort’s range of activities.
Designing AV for UX By Carolyn Heinze
enlists user panels—in essence, focus groups— during the conception phase of a project to gain an
Accessible UX in UIs
understanding of how people from different
when AV designers don’t consider UX, their systems
experience in Asia, the cultural point of view is very
is ensuring that the UI can be accessed easily by
won’t meet desired adoption goals. But achieving
different from North America,” and the team adjusts
people with disabilities. “This includes making
good UX isn’t easy, given the diversity of AV proj-
the perspective accordingly.
sure buttons, backgrounds, and text all provide
t’s safe to say that good AV systems prioritize
demographics (such as age, gender, cultural
user experience, and that good AV designers
background/nationality) will react to the experience.
place UX above all else. It’s also safe to say that
“Our projects are so diverse. If we’re creating an
One key element to good user interface design
sufficient contrast against each other,” said
ects, the number of stakeholders involved in them,
Prior to joining Moment Factory, Mornet worked
and, of course, the users themselves. Recently, SCN
in the web industry, where she says solid UX is easier
Audrey Bryson, a user experience researcher
sat down with a number of UX experts who work in
to achieve because projects are limited to a screen. In
and designer with a background in AV. Web-
several different markets to discuss the importance
her current position, the canvas may extend to built
based products, for example, should support
of UX in AV design.
environments, and sometimes the great outdoors.
screen readers, while systems in a built
“You don’t react to an experience in the forest in the
environment need to be mounted at
headquartered in Montreal, QC, that specializes in the
same way as you would in an indoor space,” she said.
appropriate heights. “In all products, there are
creation of immersive environments, the focus is on
“We have to anticipate people’s behavior in the space
usually text elements for which designers might
storytelling and emotion. “The user is really the
that we’re using, and how they will interact together.
play a role in the type of language incorporated
starting point, and then we explore how we can tell
For example, are they going to be alone, or are they
into the final design. Simplifying instructions
the story to make them feel certain emotions,”
coming with their family?” These are all
and using plain language can go a long way in
explained Céline Mornet, production manager and
considerations that Mornet and her team must take
improving readability and understandability.”
innovation lead at the firm. In many cases, the firm
into account while conceptualizing, mocking up, and
At Moment Factory, a multimedia studio
avnetwork.com // August 2021 // SCN
BUSINESS AV for UX LEVIATHAN
The experiential design elements that creative agency Leviathan devised for the McDonald’s corporate headquarters in Chicago range from simple welcome boards to details promoting corporate initiatives to profiles of donors to the Ronald McDonald House. On the second floor, Leviathan's largest interactive experience greets Hamburger University management trainees. Responding to motion and touch, and capable of accommodating scores of interactions simultaneously, this powerful experience engine educates through an elegant use of interactive timelines and an expansive video archive, inviting users to engage directly with the brand's far-reaching legacy. The brand experience is presented on a 30-foot interactive touch display.
testing the experiences they create. Leviathan is an experiential design agency based
experience researcher and designer with a
interaction with a projector, audio system,
background in AV, said that user experience
in Chicago, IL, that creates experiences for branded
designers often overlook the fact that in order to
environments, themed entertainment spaces, public
reach their end goal, users must interact with a
intuitive products throughout their journey, but more
“Ideally the end user experiences consistency and
spaces, and live events. Chad Hutson, co-founder and
multitude of systems. She cites an office building as
often than not these systems are installed in an
CEO, explains that the project stakeholders he works
an example: A visitor enters the lobby and must
inconsistent and piecemeal fashion, which can easily
with are varied, ranging from C-suite executives,
interact with a display to learn the location of their
cause frustration for the user and the overall
marketing and technology directors, and sales
meeting; when they get to the room, they may be
experience to suffer,” Bryson said.
enablement personnel, to architects, AV firms, and
prompted by the digital signage at the door. Once
other agencies. Still, he estimates that the discovery
inside the meeting room, they may then interact
in this environment is designing a system that will
process his company follows at the outset of a project
with the control system to launch a
provide a good experience for different types of users,
is pretty standard.
videoconference, which may in turn require some
including administrators, IT professionals, less
Bryson acknowledges that a significant challenge
“Our strategy and discovery conversation is probably no different than what an AV firm might ask: What’s the end goal here? Who is using these systems? What type of work do they perform in these spaces? How many different applications may need to be used? What are the stories that are being told?” Hutson said. Some experiences may have an educational goal, while others are more focused on emotion and engagement. “Thinking about those kinds of experiences requires us to ask all of the technology questions, but then to also ask, What do we want
them to feel? What do we want them to take away from this? What is it that we want them to transact with?” It’s also necessary to consider if users are simply interacting with an experience of their own accord, or if it’s something they’re being guided through by someone else, he added. Of course, UX considerations shouldn’t be reserved for immersive, experiential design. If users in the enterprise, higher education, and government markets are to adopt the technologies that AV integrators deploy, UX should be the priority. Audrey Bryson, a Morrisville, NC-based user
SCN // August 2021 // avnetwork.com
The Museum of Science, Boston, invited Moment Factory to collaborate on the development of the permanent exhibit Arctic Adventure: An Immersive Exhibition. Moment Factory delivered engaging exhibit experiences with generative content and interactive tools, pushing the boundaries of exhibit design with augmented learning.
AV for UX BUSINESS
Chicago’s United Center serves as the home stadium of the Chicago Bulls (NBA) and Chicago Blackhawks (NHL). Fans visiting the facility can learn about the history of the championship teams through several interactive installations conceived, created, and programmed by creative agency Leviathan. One such installation, Interactive Timeline, is an immersive video presentation appearing on a 10-foot-wide interactive monitor that allows multiple users to simultaneously explore the evolution of basketball and hockey over the years.
technical users … and yes, even integrators. “There needs to be a clear objective in terms of which persona should be prioritized, and care should be taken to create the best experience possible for all types of users, despite the fact that they likely have very different expectations and understanding of the technology,” she said. Adam Banks is co-founder of UX-Study in London. UX-Study builds and supports UX labs, which
For the annual Tanween conference, Moment Factory created Play2, an exhibit that highlights their mission of bringing people together by taking games out of screens and into the physical world. In this exhibit, four interactive games projected on one surface allowed visitors to play collectively within an immersive environment.
often include an AV element, for brands across the globe. Prior to co-founding the company, Banks spent
meetings differ when you’re meeting with people
those terms to find out what they need, and then you
10 years at Google, first working in AV design before
physically versus virtually? What about when you’re
can narrow it down.”
moving into research space design and then UX
meeting in hybrid format? Broad concepts rather than
research at the company. Before joining Google, he
specifics, he said, are the best starting point.
worked in AV design and integration at a global
For Banks, the most important ingredient in a good UX design process is iteration. “I’m not just
“What you don’t do—what you never, ever do—is
going to talk [to the users] once, design something,
financial firm and with the British government. He
ask them what they need,” Banks said. “They’ll tell
then walk away,” he said. “I’m going to go through an
said he’s also worked at an AV integration firm.
you, they’ll give you an answer, and they will be wrong
iterative process of designing things, testing them,
because people don’t know what they need.”
prototyping—constantly going round and round the
In approaching the design of a meeting space, for example, Banks emphasized that he would talk to
What users do know are the goals they’re setting
iterative circle until I’m happy with what I’ve got.
users about how they use technology in the
out to achieve, he said. “The meeting is never the
Then I’ll deploy it. Then I’ll test it again.”
workplace—but not about what they need (or think
goal; the goal is something else. The goal is to get a
Carolyn Heinze is a freelance writer/editor.
they need) out of a meeting room. “Because it might
new client, or impress
be that we don’t need meeting rooms. We’ve already
someone, or grow their
jumped to the assumption that we’ve got to build
business. There are
some meeting rooms, but maybe we don’t need to,”
these different layers of
goals in a kind of inverse
Instead, he argues that these questions would
pyramid, and nowhere in
eventually lead to a better solution: When you have
that pyramid is ‘use a
meetings with people, what are they for? What are
piece of technology.’ You
you trying to achieve? How do they work? How do your
need to talk to people in
Custom Wall Plate Design Design and quote custom wall plates and panels from anywhere you have Internet access using Covid’s Panel Spec software.
Pandemic-Driven UX Chad Hutson, co-founder and CEO of Leviathan, says that his firm has been working with gesture technology for the last decade. He notes an increased potential for interest in this technology in the wake of the pandemic, provided that it’s user-friendly. “There’s not a universal language [that says] raising your hand this way means X,” Hutson said. If systems require users to spend too much time learning how to interact with them, the experience is compromised. “Gesture technology can be very daunting in that you don’t have the time to teach someone how to do all of these complex forms of interaction. If we are going to use gesture technology—if we want it to be a seamless user experience—it has to be very intuitive: right hand to forward the content, left to reverse content. Simpler is better when it comes to those kinds of technologies.”
800.638.6104 avnetwork.com // August 2021 // SCN
BUSINESS NETWORK SECURITY GETTY IMAGES/TEERA KONAKAN
The potential for third-party peripherals to compromise an organization’s network is the single biggest security issue integrators are dealing with heading into late 2021 and 2022, according to Tim Albright.
Locking Down Post-COVID, It’s a Brave New World for IoT and Network Security
office environments after a year or more of working at home, they may bring devices with them that have not been vetted by IT staff. Tim Albright, chief marketing officer at Conference Technologies Inc. (CTI) and CEO of AVNation, said that the potential for third-party peripherals to compromise an organization’s network is the single biggest security
By Jim Beaugez
because the host neglected to use safety protocols
issue integrators are dealing with heading into late
such as requiring a password, or because they didn't
2021 and 2022.
sequester attendees in a queue so they could be
“Up until a year and a half ago, the IT department
f the many cultural buzzwords coined
verified before being allowed into the meeting.
was also the procurement department for everything
during the COVID-19 pandemic, the
Sophisticated hackers can mimic profiles of actual
that was on the network,” said Albright. “Now, a year
term “Zoom bombing” may be the most
guests, making it harder for the host to kick them out
and a half later, folks have gotten equipment on their
of the call.
own to make their work-from-home [situations]
memorable. Early in 2020, celebrities like Kristen Bell and
“The best way is to have at least one step of
Conan O’Brien popularized the practice of surprising
authorization, but two steps can ensure that there
online videoconference attendees by joining their
isn’t a breach or someone who is not authorized
work. That stuff is going to start finding its way to the office and onto the office network.” Organizations have ways of locating unapproved
meetings unannounced. As charming as that
in the meeting,” said Steve Greenblatt,
peripherals, such as by deploying tools that
may be, not all Zoom bombings are
CTS, president and founder of Control
continually scan the network for known and unknown
innocuous. Bad actors use these virtual
Concepts. “A lot of these steps take time
MAC addresses and can alert IT or the AV integrator
break-ins to secretly snoop on corporations
and effort, make conferences less
when an unauthorized device is connected. But those
and organizations. They may also share
convenient, or make more work for people,
measures are purely reactive. Greenblatt says
inappropriate images and videos meant to
but they will result in a more secure
proactive maintenance can prevent security threats
disrupt the proceedings.
outcome and allow hosts to avoid those
Like other computer and network
types of embarrassments, as well as
hackers, Zoom bombers rely on human
potential security breaches.”
fallibility and poor judgment to gain
Zoom bombing is just the tip of the
access. The most common entrance is right through the front door, either
SCN // August 2021 // avnetwork.com
from infiltrating the network in the first place. “Vulnerabilities are happening all the time, and computers these days are getting updates and security patches to address new threats,” he said. “It’s very
proverbial iceberg of new network
possible that becomes part of a maintenance
security threats. As workers return to
agreement. In my business, for example, we have
NETWORK SECURITY BUSINESS
somebody who looks at our website every month to
can also help prevent network hacks. It’s
make sure we don’t have vulnerabilities, that we’re
relatively easy for a hacker to match default
network vulnerability. “You’re talking about yet
updating our software to make sure that somebody
IDs to Wi-Fi routers and other connected
another entry point that could be a vulnerability,
can’t come in and hack our website. If we apply that
devices, and AV systems are particularly
and if it happens that an [Amazon] Echo or
idea to an AV system, you look at the devices or the
susceptible to distributed denial of service
another type of voice interface is listening, then
setup [and determine if] they need to be better
(DDoS) attacks in which vast numbers of
secured. What was in place when the system was
devices across many networks are
and be able to track what is happening,”
turned over may not be as effective now because of
added Greenblatt. “As we try to make
new vulnerabilities or issues that may have been identified since then.” In addition to regular audits and multifactor
internet-connected smart devices create more
[hackers] can know what you’re talking about
These “zombie attacks” can be large in scale, and costly to fix. A
systems intelligent, we have to be concerned about them having access to
well-known example in 2016 took
information that gives them more power
authentication, integrators can set up a VLAN, or
down Netflix and many other networks along the East
virtual local area network, to help protect against
Coast. In the mix of devices exploited in the attack,
security threats. VLANs allow partitioning of a server
Albright noticed something troubling to the AV
sophisticated, vigilance in the fundamentals of
so that different classes of connected devices can be
business: zombie web cameras and network-
network security will be more important than ever.
grouped together. “The challenge with that, though,
compromised speakers. “When I saw that, it’s like,
is that there are still some ports that need to be open”
yes, the AV industry certainly has an issue with this,”
that you’re only as strong as your weakest link,”
to allow certain local devices to be able to access the
he said. “We have an issue because our devices are
concluded Greenblatt. “We do a good job of having
internet, Greenblatt said. “There are also AV over IP
being put on the network more frequently, which
technicians [pull wiring], and we have experts who
devices that need to be able to traverse the network to
means we need to make sure we’re doing the simple
know how to set up products and make sure an image
be effective, so while VLAN can be very powerful,
things, such as changing the login and password.
looks good and the room sounds good, but we should
there’s always going to be a need to open up access
You’ve got folks who can take control of these
also have an IT or cybersecurity specialist who can
outside of it.”
because they’re public-facing, on the network, on the
give our clients confidence because they know
they’ve brought somebody in who’s going to protect
Simple practices many people ignore, like changing devices’ default usernames and passwords,
On the horizon, the increasing numbers of
Whatever your conferencing challenge, MAXHUB is the solution. MAXHUB’s collaboration ecosystem enables your business to realize the full potential of UCC technology that are optimized for use in conference and education.
than we know.” As networks grow more complex and devices more
“The rule of thumb I think everybody goes with is
Irvine, California (949)-270-5325 www.maxhub.com/en firstname.lastname@example.org
BUSINESS TN STATE MUSEUM
Preserving History with AV Tennessee State Museum Deploys SDVoE Technology to Showcase the State’s Rich History By SCN Staff
common areas that host events, lectures, panel
in the museum field; and Northern Light
discussions, and film screenings.
Productions, creators of transformative experiences
“Particularly exciting is the way we tell these
for brands, museums and public venues. Sue Lepp, senior vice president at D&P, is gratified
he Tennessee State Museum, which opened
stories through sophisticated AV presentations,” said
in October 2018 on the corner of Rosa L.
Ashley Howell, executive director of the Tennessee
by visitors’ enthusiasm and critical acclaim the
Parks Boulevard and Jefferson Street in
State Museum. “Each visitor learns differently—
institution has received. She sees the facility as the
Nashville, has already become a must-see attrac-
through seeing, hearing, and touching—and our
blueprint for the modern museum.
tion. Tracing its roots back to a museum opened by
audio-video presentations bring all of their senses
a portrait artist on the Nashville public square in
into play as they explore artifacts and images, view
administration and the layout of the facility,
1817 and later to a state museum that consolidated
documentaries and films, or interact with
combined with the important history-telling
World War I mementoes and other collections
mission, made this a particularly rewarding project to
from the state, the Tennessee Historical Society
The museum won an Excellence in Development
“The vision of the Tennessee State Museum’s
work on,” said Lepp. “A museum experience should
and other groups, the current iteration of the
Award from the Nashville Chapter of the Urban
be entertaining as well as educational in order to draw
Tennessee State Museum charges no admission
Land Institute in September 2020 for its “design
repeat visitors and keep the interest of today’s
fee and has become an important catalyst for the
and construction, catalytic effect, standard of
educational and cultural enrichment of Tennesse-
industry excellence, and environmental
ans and tourists alike.
stewardship.” In addition to the museum’s
Associates, pointed out that this ambitious project
Greg Matty, project executive at Gallagher &
executive team, the award recognized the efforts of
was executed under a tight deadline, which made
interpret objects that relate to the social, political,
the larger group responsible for the success,
efficient teamwork essential.
economic, and cultural history of Tennessee and
including Design & Production Inc. (D&P), a design,
Tennesseans. One of the largest museums in
project management, and technology system
new building with state-of-the-art AV-driven
Nashville, it spans 137,000 square feet and has hosted
integration firm for the museum market that was
exhibits—was only three years from start to finish,
hundreds of thousands of visitors since it opened.
responsible for system fabrication; and Gallagher &
which was quite ambitious,” said Matty. “All parties
A key component of the Tennessee State
Associates, a museum planning and design
pulled together to contribute value and deliver the
Museum is a flexible and feature-rich AV system
company that created all of the interpretive
world-class exhibits for visitors to enjoy and learn
that brings to life the history and stories it shares
exhibits, graphics, and donor recognition efforts,
from for years to come.”
throughout its seven permanent exhibits and a
and concepted all of the audio-visual experiences.
rotating roster of temporary and seasonal exhibits.
Exhibit software at the Tennessee State Museum
The museum additionally features a 200-seat
was developed by Cortina Productions, a creative
Next-Gen Exhibits Require HighPerforming and Cost-Effective AV
Digital Learning and Outreach Center, and several
media design and production company specializing
Examples of the museum’s many interactive and
Its mission is to procure, preserve, exhibit, and
“The timeframe for this project—to outfit a huge
visually engaging installations include the Tennessee Time Tunnel exhibit, which serves as the backbone for the entire permanent gallery. Its aim is to provide visitors a multi-layered experience with engaging media and thought-provoking interactive displays. As visitors enter the Civil War and Reconstruction exhibit, they watch a five-minute video that sets the tone of the times before they are plunged into an immersive experience that includes projected text and imagery, as well as transporting soundscapes. An interactive touch table with a map of Tennessee lets visitors access information and stories from the battlefield and beyond from each of the state’s 95 counties. In the Tennessee Transforms exhibit, another interactive map enables visitors to learn about influences that have formed and continue to form the state’s cultural identity and people’s impression of the state. A theater within the museum hosts an Visitors to the Tennessee State Museum explore artifacts and images with touchscreen displays.
SCN // August 2021 // avnetwork.com
interactive touch table and three large wall screens on which visitors can explore more than 100 cultural topics. The Digital Learning and Outreach Center
TN STATE MUSEUM BUSINESS A video wall takes museum visitors to the Trail of Tears, where they join Cherokee people removed from their homeland in what is now Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee and forced to migrate west to designated Indian Territory in 1838–39.
touchscreens, Dell computers, and BrightSign video players have been standardized across the various subsystems. A fiber backbone was implemented to distribute AV signals throughout the facility. Ancillary equipment for custom touch tables included PQ Labs touch frames with Panasonic video wall displays for interactivity. All source and signal distribution equipment is located in Middle Atlantic equipment racks. ZeeVee encoders and decoders extend signals to more than 20 individual exhibit locations, many with multiple synced sources and displays. The entire system is networked via Juniper Networks EX4550 Ethernet switches. The user interface and unifying control system was custom programmed by D&P using Medialon Manager by 7thSense. Of great importance to any public venue is the reliability and ease of maintenance in support of the visitor programs. The networked and digital character of the selected equipment provides a reliable and maintainable system that is able to operate year round on an automated schedule, with options to support special events after hours. Component
provides presentation space and remote access to other museums, colleges, schools, and scholars. To provide the necessary level of technical performance for these exhibits, the museum’s technical team chose a ZeeVee and Juniper Networksdriven Software Defined Video over Ethernet (SDVoE) AVoIP solution to distribute the wide array of AV content throughout the facility. For starters, the SDVoE AVoIP network is able to deliver high image quality with near-zero latency, which was essential for the interactive exhibits. The technology also gives the museum the flexibility to quickly scale to deliver content to additional endpoints as permanent and temporary exhibits call for more sources or displays to be connected. Ambient sound is served to theaters and specialized exhibit subsystems via QSC’s Q-SYS Core 510 processor. Panasonic projectors and displays, 3M
“Our partners on this project brought great enthusiasm along with impressive skill sets to create a dynamic AV system that enabled us to meet our goal.” —Ashley Howell
The Tennessee State Museum chose a ZeeVee and Juniper Networks-driven SDVoE AVoIP solution to distribute AV content throughout the facility.
failures can’t always be prevented, but the ability to troubleshoot remotely via the Medialon control system and network access to the Juniper, ZeeVee, and Q-SYS signal distribution systems lessens the burden on the educators and museum staff. The Tennessee State Museum’s administrators, staff, and sponsors have all been impressed by the widespread positive attention the institution has generated and credit the role technology has played. “We wanted to elevate the exhibits from passive to active experiences that highlight the eras, individuals, and artists who have contributed to the development of Tennessee’s identity within the state, and its role on the national and international stage,” said Howell. “Our partners on this project brought great enthusiasm along with impressive skill sets to create a dynamic AV system that enabled us to meet our goal.”
Visitors entering the Civil War and Reconstruction exhibit watch a five-minute video that sets the tone of the times before they are plunged into an immersive experience that includes projected text and imagery, as well as transporting soundscapes.
avnetwork.com // August 2021 // SCN
TECHNOLOGY CEDIA EXPO
CEDIA Expo Preview Exploring the 2021 Show By Megan A. Dutta
Resimercial Innovations at CEDIA Expo 2021
2. Draper Acumen Recharge
Ahead of the show, manufacturers gave us a sneak peek
projection screen engineered to meet the demands of
ith the COVID-19 pandemic bring-
at the resimercial products they’ll be demonstrating on
heavy use, yet still look elegant in modern interiors.
ing about a renaissance in residential
the show floor. Read on to learn more.
The smooth, curved aluminum fascia fits in with any
audiovisual solutions, the term “resi-
mercial” may be more important now than ever to
commercial integration firms.
Acumen Recharge is a wireless wall-mounted
design aesthetic. The screen’s motor is powered by a lithium ion battery that runs for about 500 cycles before needing to be recharged. Tensioned and
On Sept. 1–3, audiovisual professionals will
non-tensioned versions can also be PoE and can
gather in Indianapolis, IN, for the 2021 CEDIA
integrate into home control systems. Draper
Expo—the first major in-person AV
Acumen is backed by a seven-year warranty. Booth #2212
tradeshow in over 18 months. Event organizers plan to bring more than
3. Middle Atlantic C3
10,000 home technology design and construction attendees together with
Middle Atlantic continues to
300+ exhibitors at one of the first
enhance the C3 series credenza with
in-person events in 2021 supporting the
a wide variety of available finishes to
match surrounding décor. High-
“We’re all eager to connect again on a human
pressure laminate (HPL) is a durable material used on
level and get back to face-to-face events as we
many furniture products that has a dimensional
celebrate everything we value as a community,” said
behavior similar to wood, meaning it will expand and
Jason McGraw, Emerald Group vice president, CEDIA Expo and KBIS. To increase the resimercial emphasis at CEDIA,
1. Crestron Home Audio Conferencing System
contract with humidity. HPL is recommended for any application in which durability and impact resistance
Home offices remain viable alternatives to the
are concerns, may be used for both vertical and
event organizers have added the Innovation Hub,
corporate office as long as they have the appropriate
horizontal surfaces. All of the HPL colors available
which will review data from research on cross-over
technology infrastructure to re-create the office
from Middle Atlantic are from the design portfolio of
and resimercial shifts. The Innovation Hub gives
experience. The Crestron UC-MM30-R tabletop
leading HPL manufacturers.
brands that have had success penetrating new market
conference device is designed to be a perfect solution
segments the opportunity to share insights and
for such home office applications. The system pairs
an enterprise-grade speakerphone, 7-inch touchscreen, and single-wire installation with native
4. Netgear M4250 AV Line of Network Switches
IMCCA will assist CEDIA Expo with the development,
Crestron Home integration to provide a convenient
Built from the ground up for 1G AV over IP, the
organization, and moderation of content session
conferencing and whole-house control companion in
Netgear M4250 switches simplify multicast audio and
discussions on unified communications and work-
a sleek form factor.
video deployments. A new AV-centric user interface
enables speedy configuration changes. Models with
Additionally, UC and collaboration association
SCN // August 2021 // avnetwork.com
CEDIA EXPO TECHNOLOGY
PoE+ and Ultra 90 PoE++ allow powering of AV endpoints and other devices. They are built with Netgear IGMP Plus, Auto-LAG, and AutoTrunk for true out-of-the-box functionality, even with multiple switches. These switches come with a limited lifetime warranty and access to the company’s Pro AV Engineering Services team.
high performance are
8. Terra LuminSound TrLs50
Audio adds ambiance to walkways, patios, entrances,
speakers in the StingRay
and other outdoor areas of commercial environments
line are available in
including restaurants, hotels, and recreational
matte black and matte
facilities. Lighting also enhances the atmosphere. The
Planar DirectLight Ultra Series LED
white, or they can be
handcrafted Terra LuminSound TrLs50 speaker from
video wall displays offer always-on,
special ordered and
Leon Speakers combines the two features in one
custom painted to
stylish device. Available in six designer colors and with
5. Planar DirectLight Ultra Series
display experiences with pixel pitches ranging from
match any décor.
a ring of LED lighting around its perimeter, the
0.6 to 0.9 mm for mission-critical and resolution-
slender, 13-inch tall, IP67-rated aluminum speaker
dependent applications. It presents several display
cabinet blends in with a variety of regional landscapes.
technology advancements that, in combination,
7. SurgeX UPS + Isolation Transformer
deliver big performance. Planar DirectLight Ultra
The SurgeX UPS + Isolation Transformer is a complete
Series features models with microLEDs, off-board
power management solution featuring continuous
power supply, proprietary alignment technology, and
power supply, line interactive technology, and power
9. Vanco Certified Ultra High Speed HDMI Cable
the Planar WallDirector Video Controller (VC), with its
conditioning. Available in three models, the compact
Whether on a lobby video wall or home theater
corresponding video wall management software.
solution brings all the benefits of a large-format UPS
screen, content is king. Vanco’s Ultra High Speed
to the rack, combined with a low-impedance isolation
HDMI Cables support resolutions of up to 8K @ 60 Hz
transformer to constantly filter and condition power.
and 4K @ 120 Hz with a 4:4:4 bit depth and both static
The device prevents electrical noise from affecting
and dynamic HDR formats. With features supporting
The StingRay speaker family is completely sealed,
performance, delivering clean power to the source
widescreen 21:9 aspect ratios; VRR, ALLM, and QFT for
with no exposed grilles or drivers to corrode or break
and stopping harmful harmonics from reaching
next-gen gaming; and multiple immersive audio
down. The SR6, SR8, or SR430 speakers are at home in
formats, Vanco’s Certified Ultra High Speed HDMI
nearly any outdoor environment where durability and
Cables can deliver the content for any cutting-edge
6. Stealth Acoustics StingRay Speaker
video application, according to the company.
avnetwork.com // August 2021 // SCN
Exploring Kiosks Additionally, with organizations that are using digital By Ledetta Asfa-Woosen
signage, we have seen improved analytics that are allowing businesses to mine and evaluate historical customer data to deliver effective and targeted
personalized content,” said Rob Meiner, CTS,
offerings run the gamut to cover most use cases and
With pandemic considerations making users
settings, from all-in-one models to modular sys-
uncomfortable about using touch interactive displays,
tems. Tech innovations include screens with anti-
the industry is also becoming more reliant on
microbial coating and shatterproof film, contactless
autonomous AI to help with the execution of
ordering, and improved payment capabilities.
functions and tasks, noted Meiner.
n an ever-evolving consumer landscape, kiosks are helping to ensure efficiency, security, and even safety during the ongoing pandemic. Kiosk
“The pandemic has absolutely changed the use of
technical sales engineer, Peerless-AV.
“Retailers, QSRs [quick service restaurants],
digital signage, with the most significant change
hospitality businesses, and others have integrated
being the uptick in use of videoconferencing. With
mobile connectivity into their signage solutions,
our inability to travel, network in person, and keep in
allowing people to interact with the information and
contact with customers, peers, family, and friends,
data displayed on a display” via their personal mobile
videoconferencing via FaceTime, Zoom, WebEx, and
device, Meiner explained.
other platforms has become commonplace.
Luke Westin, senior product manager at Chief, also has some thoughts on the pandemic’s impact
in self-service kiosks that allow customers to have
and suggested it has only heightened the need for
one-on-one conversations with off-site customer
kiosks. “Digital signage is definitely expanding—
both indoor and outdoor. The need to elegantly
percent of shoppers said long lines were the most
whether it be advertising, menu boards, automation,
irritating part of shopping,” Meiner said. “That beat
virtual reception, or wayfinding. All these
out high prices (66 percent) and inventory being out
applications will grow to accommodate communities
of stock (65 percent). Eighty-four percent of those
that are now more acutely aware of health, safety, and
customers said watching digital displays helped them
security in public spaces. Importantly, digital signage
pass the time while they waited. With self-service,
can help make these spaces comfortable and
businesses can offer lower perceived wait times. Long
convenient for everyone to navigate again.”
lines are enough reason to leave a business or investing in points of sale or offering self-checkout—
anything to keep long lines from chasing off customers. People have a much easier time waiting in
a multitude of reasons, including ease of use,
line when there’s something to take their mind off
adaptability, and their role in perfecting the customer
the actual wait.”
experience for various industries,” added Mark
Some airlines are already using this technology,
Quiroz, vice president of marketing, Display Division,
giving travelers the option of videoconferencing with
Samsung Electronics America. “The challenges of a
a representative rather than using chat, email, or a
distanced world have certainly fueled our design
telephone call to solve a problem, Meiner noted.
efforts to introduce products that are safe, secure, and
“The best part of a solution like this is that it
easy to use. The digitization of the retail world and
allows customers to help themselves. Studies of
other industries continues to inspire and motivate us
customer feedback show that customers prefer
to think outside the box and to explore not simply
self-service over working with an employee. In
what kiosks should be but what they can do. Creativity
addition, self-service is the fastest and most cost-
in this sector will be the key to developing products
effective way to customer support,” he said. “Digital
that stand the test of time and pave the way for more
signage engages customers without requiring
employee interaction. As a result, customers get the
SCN // August 2021 // avnetwork.com
establishment. Therefore, any businesses should be
pushing some manufacturers to amplify the customer “Kiosks will continue to increase in popularity for
“According to a recent study on checkout lines, 69
enclose display technology is only going to grow,
Social distancing and changing levels of use are
The Chief Impact Landscape On-Wall Kiosk extends the display from the wall, providing easier access for service and maintenance.
Peerless-AV KIP522 Landscape/Portrait Kiosk models deliver a display signage solution that’s easy to install and maintain.
information they need to make a purchasing decision,” and employees’ time is freed up to focus on
Peerless-AV’s Meiner shared some recent
helping in situations where a customer service agent
observations and trends. One is the notable increase
can make the most impact.
AI continues to be another game-changer. “With
gender and age, emotional sentiment, recurring
the use of AI, display content can be changed at a
visitors, content touches, football traffic, and heat
moment’s notice, creating a completely new
innovation for kiosk usage. With networked digital
Meiner warns that even with increasing
signage, content in numerous stores located
availability of self-service kiosks, there will always be
throughout the country can all be changed at the
a subset of customers who prefer to work directly,
same time from a single remote location,” he said. “If
face-to-face, with a human. “This desire for human
a business wants to advertise a new product or
interaction will continue to exist, especially for small
announce an upcoming sale, they can create an ad and
and medium-sized businesses,” he said.
deploy it across all locations at the same time. While one of the benefits of digital signage is the capability
to quickly implement new sales, offers, and products,
What does the future hold for kiosks? And how will
it’s also the best way to keep brand messaging
they evolve over the next few years?
consistent across locations. The concept works in
“Kiosks need to look great and seamlessly blend
reverse, too. Operators can quickly pull offers
into a variety of environments. The ability to respond
completely or retool their marketing efforts without
to customizations is key when it comes to aesthetics
going through the lengthy and costly process of
and other features,” said Chief’s Westin. “Beyond
removing printed material and creating new material
aesthetics, I see innovation from manufacturers that
to replace it.”
have thought through the installation and servicing
Meiner believes that analytics will continue to
process. Quick installation for large roll-outs,
play a large role in kiosk innovation. For example, a
servicing or troubleshooting are important value-add
display that allows shoppers to check inventory can
features that continue to save time and money beyond
increase engagement and deliver analytics about
the initial purchase. As far as outdoor goes, there will
which products are searched for the most. If sales
be major innovations taking place with displays and
numbers aren’t consistent with this interest, it might
media players. We are also seeing outdoor displays
be time to lower the price or otherwise improve a
migrating toward System on Chip [SoC] and Smart
product’s perceived value. Without customer data
Signage Wi-Fi options, reducing the need for climate
gathered by kiosks or other interactive signage,
control of media players. As the need to support more
interest in a product would not be apparent if
signage outdoors increases, so too will the demand for
further integration of accessories like cameras, card
customers left the store without buying it.
outdoor-rated media player devices.”
readers, speakers, and microphones.
“Displays can now be outfitted with video cameras
As well as growing use in an increasing number of
The Samsung KM24A kiosk provides modular functionality to support a range of payment options.
“Technology will continue to advance in outdoor
that report a whole host of metrics,” said Meiner.
applications, especially in the outdoor space, Westin
rating of kiosks,” he concluded. “Direct view LED is
“These can include people count (or impressions),
anticipates that display technology will become even
another technology that can be applied in kiosk and
dwell time, interaction time, demographics such as
less dependent on media players and expects to see
avnetwork.com // August 2021 // SCN
TECHNOLOGY NEW PRODUCTS
features standard PoE on each of its ports (excluding the uplink and SFP ports), providing combined power, data, and control for Q-SYS devices. Two NS Series Gen 2 models support PoE++ for use with Q-SYS devices that carry greater power requirements. This eliminates the need for PoE injectors and external power supplies and greatly simplifies the wiring process. The NS Series offers features that automatically manage multicast traffic on the network, with integrated Netgear IGMP Plus to provide multicast data management between multiple NS Series switches. Additionally, an optional built-in DHCP server is preconfigured, enabling automated connectivity for independently administered AV systems. THE BOTTOM LINE: The Q-SYS NS Series Gen 2 switches provide an out-of-box solution for faster, more reliable deployment of standalone AV networks.
Maxhub Raptor Series LED Displays THE WHAT: The Raptor Series of integrated LED wall displays includes seven models ranging
Planar CarbonLight VX Series LEDs
from 120 to 220 inches
THE WHAT: Planar’s new CarbonLight VX Series is a line of LED display solutions
diagonal with features
optimized to meet the needs of the virtual production (VP) and extended reality
that enable participants
(XR) markets. Featuring a lightweight carbon fiber construction, CarbonLight VX
and presenters alike to
models are deployed indoors to form a fine-pitch LED video wall, ceiling, or floor
interact more naturally.
that provides realistic backgrounds for VP, XR, and broadcast applications
Among the product
including film and television sets, broadcast studios, entertainment venues, and
highlights are speakers
education and corporate facilities.
that enhance voice
THE WHAT ELSE: Introduced as part of the Planar Studios initiative, the Planar CarbonLight VX Series delivers the performance and capabilities today’s VP and XR professionals need to create realistic on-screen content. Developed with input
intelligibility and three HDMI inputs, increasing the number of devices that can feed content to the display. THE WHAT ELSE: The Raptor Series features high-fidelity integrated speakers
from VP industry experts, the CarbonLight VX Series consists of two LED display
that enhance voice intelligibility, enabling meeting participants to hear clearly and
lines: the Planar CarbonLight CLI VX Series and Planar CarbonLight CLF VX Series.
be more engaged. The displays also offer SPDIF audio output capability, making it
The Planar CarbonLight CLI VX Series supports hanging, wall-mounted,
easier to interface the audio with consumer-grade loudspeaker systems. In
freestanding, and curved LED video wall installations, in addition to other shapes
addition to three HDMI inputs, models in the line provide USB 3.0 input
that help smaller stages appear larger. Beveled edges on VX Series models support
connectivity, facilitating increased data transfer speeds for connected equipment.
90-degree corners. The CLI VX Series also allows customers to remove and install
With the inclusion of Maxhub’s enhanced video processor, the Raptor Series is
cabinets anywhere within the video wall without disrupting the overall layout.
capable of PBP (Picture By Picture) functionality, which separates the screen in
Available in 1.9 and 2.6 mm pixel pitches, the CLI VX Series features models with
half, displaying output from two different source devices simultaneously on the
Brompton and Colorlight VP controllers.
left and right sides of the screen. PIP (Picture in Picture) is also available.
The CarbonLight CLF VX Series LED flooring features a 2.6 mm pixel pitch. It
Raptor’s Android v9.0 operating system supports LAN screen sharing for up to
can be used to create a high-resolution, continuous canvas for on-camera scenes,
four windows, in addition to low-latency stable mirroring support. This capability
virtually expanding physical environments.
provides enhanced BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) content sharing, resulting in
THE BOTTOM LINE: Building on the success of the Planar CarbonLight LED Displays portfolio, the Planar CarbonLight VX Series offers VP and XR customers LED solutions that support a range of studio sizes and configurations for outstanding flexibility in studio setup and configuration.
THE BOTTOM LINE: With improved centralized network control connectivity designed to keep meeting attendees more focused.
THE WHAT: QSC has introduced Q-SYS NS Series Gen 2 enterprise-grade, Netgearmanufactured AV network switches preconfigured to meet the requirements of the Q-SYS audio, video, and control platform. THE WHAT ELSE: These network switches provide real-time transport of Q-LAN, AES67, and Dante audio streams, in addition to Q-LAN video streaming and distribution, simultaneously within the same VLAN without the need to manually configure or adapt QoS settings. Each Q-SYS NS Series Gen 2 network switch
SCN // August 2021 // avnetwork.com
capability of 2.4G and 5G dual network duplex. and support for LAN/RS232/485 connectivity, Maxhub Raptor Series displays are
QSC NS Series Gen 2 Network Switches
greater flexibility for meeting attendees. Raptor displays offer upgraded Wi-Fi
Sony PTZ Cameras v3.0 Update THE WHAT: The version 3.0 update for Sony Electronics’ BRC-X400, SRG-X400, and SRG-X120 PTZ cameras adds support for SRT and RTMP/RTMPS. SRT brings high-quality transmission with low latency, while RTMP/ RTMPS allows the cameras to stream live
NEW PRODUCTS TECHNOLOGY
videos directly to social media platforms.
When enabled with Solstice Conference, Solstice enhances meeting collaboration
THE WHAT ELSE: SRT, or Secure Reliable Transport, is an open-source protocol from the SRT Alliance that combines encryption, packet loss recovery, and jitter
by adding rich content sharing along with agnostic room support for any PC-based videoconferencing application. THE WHAT ELSE: Yamaha’s ADECIA ceiling solution family of communication
prevention technologies to preserve video stream quality and integrity. SRT harnesses the latest developments in real-time IP communications, enhancing
products works seamlessly together to provide a complete and customizable audio
conventional network error recovery methods to deliver stable, low-latency media
solution for any meeting or learning space. It includes the multi-beamforming
streams. Additionally, this software update supports Sony’s Adaptive Rate Control function, designed to provide a
Plas TV Box SCN.qxp_Layout 1 7/13/21 11:48 AM Page 1
more stable connection, optimized for the network
F O R F LU S H -TO -T H E - WA L L M O U N T I N G O F L E D , H I - D E F T V s
environment and available bandwidth by controlling bit rate based on fluctuation of bandwidth.
SE E U
A C E DI36 #34
This update also supports RTMP/RTMPS (Real-Time Messaging Protocol), enabling the cameras to stream live videos directly to social media platforms such as YouTube and Facebook.
PLASTIC TV BOX
R E C E S S E D P O W E R / LO W V O LTA G E C O M B O B O X E S
THE BOTTOM LINE: With support for SRT, Sony’s PTZ cameras are well suited for use in a wide range of applications including remote production, seminars, live events, education, and faith, among others.
HuddleCamHD SimplTrack2 and HuddleView Updates
THE WHAT: HuddlecamHD has added Network Device Interface (NDI) technology to its SimplTrack2 and HuddleView cameras, which provide auto-tracking and
for NEW WORK or RETROFIT
auto-framing of subjects, respectively. THE WHAT ELSE: A firmware update released in June brings NDI HX capabilities to the SimplTrack2 and HuddleView cameras. The update empowers large-campus LISTED POWER/LOW VOLTAGE BOX
applications to make more efficient use of video resources. In
TVBU505 with CED130 CABLE ENTRY DEVICE
addition to NDI discovery and
CED130 with slotted cover REVERSED for RECESSED LOOK
CED135 with brush cover
distribution, the update includes automatic multicast IP address assignment,
Arlington’s PLASTIC TV BOX™ recessed combination power/low voltage boxes offer the secure, easy way to mount TVs flush against a wall.
eliminating the need for a media server to broadcast over a multicast-capable network. Users can also define
The job looks great. Plugs and connectors stay inside these Listed boxes without extending past the wall. Available in 2-, 3- and 4-gang styles for retrofit or new work. Each offers power and/or low voltage in one or more of the other openings. There’s a box to fit nearly any application!
NDI discovery servers to handle all NDI cameras and products, reducing overall traffic load, and segregate and hide cameras in virtual groups. THE BOTTOM LINE: Current owners can download and install the latest control software from the the cameras will instantly be discoverable as NDI devices. Users will need to obtain an NDI HX license from Vizrt Group for each device for full functionality. Pre-licensed NDI SimplTrack2 and HuddleView cameras are slated to begin shipping early next year.
Yamaha UC and Mersive BYOM Room System THE WHAT: Yamaha UC has a touchless Bring Your Own
© 2008-2014 Arlington Industries, Inc.
HuddleCamHD website. Once the firmware is installed,
And a cable entry device with slotted or brush cover to organize your low voltage cable bundle. • RETROFIT Mounting wing screws pull box against wall NEW WORK Box screw-mounts to stud • Non-metallic box with paintable white trim plate, optional covers available
Meeting room solution that pairs Yamaha’s ADECIA ceiling microphone and speaker solution and Mersive Technologies’ Solstice wireless collaboration system.
2-GANG TVBU505 Patented. Other patents pending.
avnetwork.com // August 2021 // SCN
Made in USA
www.aifittings.com Scranton, PA 18517 800/233-4717
TECHNOLOGY NEW PRODUCTS
THE BOTTOM LINE: The new offerings are available and can be ordered immediately from the Bolin and Patton websites. While Patton and Bolin are the first manufacturers to bring Dante AV products to market, there are many more manufacturers licensing the technology and actively developing products to add to the interoperable Dante AV ecosystem.
Epson EB-PU1000 Series and EB-PU2010 Pro Series Laser Projectors THE WHAT: Epson is shipping seven new compact laser projectors designed for large-venue applications, including what the company claims are the world’s smallest and lightest 10,000-lumen projectors. The new Pro L-Series comprises six WUXGA projectors ranging from 12,000 to 15,000 lumens and one SXGA+ resolution projector with 15,000 lumens. THE WHAT ELSE: Joining Epson’s existing line of Pro Series interchangeablelens projectors, the new solutions pair with Epson’s lens family. The new models RM-CG ceiling microphone and RM-CR audio processor, as well as Yamaha’s PoE
offer advanced installation features, 3-chip 3LCD for high color brightness, and
switches and VXL Series line array speakers. Yamaha’s ADECIA ceiling solution
WUXGA resolution with 4K Enhancement Technology.
clearly picks up several people speaking at the same time and ensures that voices, not noises, are captured in enclosed or open conference spaces of varying sizes. The complete solution immediately detects all components of the system and
For simplified installation, the new models offer built-in edge blending, image warping, and direct content playback with shape overlay tools from USB storage media.
optimizes them for the room environment, accounting for the location of speakers and microphones, reverberation and echo behavior. With USB, Bluetooth, Dante and analog connections, this flexible system can fit a variety of meeting spaces. Mersive Solstice is a software-based, cloud-enabled team space collaboration platform optimized for both on-site and remote participants. Multiple participants can share, control, and mark up content from any device. Solstice features agnostic room support for all major conferencing services with touchless, one-step start from the meeting host’s laptop. It seamlessly and wirelessly integrates Yamaha ADECIA audio solutions into a videoconference. In addition, it is built with enterprise-grade security and is fully IT compliant. THE BOTTOM LINE: This solution results in more collaborative meeting and learning experiences between on-site and remote participants.
Audinate Dante AV
The EB-PU1000 Series and EB-PU2010 are compatible with Epson’s range of
THE WHAT: Audinate’s Dante AV is now available as part of new solutions from Bolin Technology and Patton Electronics. These new products are the first commercially available offerings in
no angle of view adjustment and gives integrators access to automated tools including auto color calibration, screen matching of multiple projectors, tiling
the Dante AV video-over-IP networking
assist for edge blends, and the stacking assist function. Geometry correction for
platform, a new video connectivity standard
stacking can be performed without an external router or PC.
that uses 1 Gbps networks. Dante AV allows
These projectors are equipped with NFC to reduce setup time when
manufacturers to add networked video to the
commissioning a large number of projectors. With NFC technology, users can read
Dante audio-over-IP platform. It is designed to
and write setting information using Epson’s mobile app, Epson Projector Config
provide the same ease of use, multivendor interoperability, and integrated control experience of Dante’s audio solution. THE WHAT ELSE: Now available from Bolin Technology are D-series PTZ cameras featuring Dante AV. Available in both HD and 4K resolutions, D-series cameras are well suited for use in live production, houses of worship, corporate conferencing, higher education, and broadcast. Bolin is also introducing a Dante AV decoder that enables many types of AV devices to work with a Dante AV network. Patton Electronics, a U.S. manufacturer and OEM/ ODM supplier of networking and connectivity
Tool. Users can also control and monitor projectors via the Epson Projector Management application for Windows or set up multiple projectors in a single large space via the Epson Projector Professional Tool (EPPT) application for macOS and Windows. THE BOTTOM LINE: The lightweight, compact EB-PU1000 Series and EBPU2010 are designed for discreet placement in installations to maximize space without compromising quality or sacrificing brightness. They are suited for use in higher education, corporate, visitor attractions, and signage markets. The white EB-PU1006W, EB-PU1007W, EB-PU1008W, and EB-PU2010W and black EBPU1007B, EB-PU1008B, and EB-PU2010B are available now and can be purchased through authorized resellers.
solutions for pro AV and telephony, is now
PPDS Digital Display Air Quality Sensor
shipping its FPX6000 series of Dante AV-
THE WHAT: The PPDS Air Quality Sensor measures room temperature, humidity,
enabled encoders and decoders. The products
carbon dioxide, and particulate matter to help provide safer and cleaner
bring network gateways to non-networked AV
environments for schools and businesses. The sensor is powered by a single USB-A
products such as cameras, monitors, and video editing stations.
optional powered lenses. Epson’s new clip-on optional external camera requires
SCN // August 2021 // avnetwork.com
cable and is compatible with PPDS’ latest Philips Professional TVs, digital signage and interactive displays including MediaSuite, T-Line, C-Line, and B-Line.
NEW PRODUCTS TECHNOLOGY
THE WHAT ELSE: Live data, whether collected from one PPDS Air Quality Sensor in a single room or building or multiple sensors installed across multiple sites, is analyzed, translated, and displayed in real time via an easily digestible dashboard and app. The live data is available anywhere and at any time; an archive of historical data is saved for extensive reporting and data analytics. When indoor air quality falls below a safe threshold, alerts are automatically sounded, sent, and displayed, allowing building managers to take action immediately. The app is able to offer tailored recommendations to improve environmental conditions based on sensor readings, whether that’s something as simple as opening doors and windows, turning on air purifiers (if available), adjusting room temperature, or even requesting that staff temporarily relocate to other areas of the building or be sent home. THE BOTTOM LINE: This plug-and-play solution features sensors for temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide, and particulate matter and monitor air quality 24/7. Small in size, PPDS Air Quality Sensor can be easily and neatly installed/ attached to Philips professional displays in any environment using a specially designed bracket and assembly kit, which is supplied in the box.
CLASSIFIEDS EQUIPMENT FOR SALE
MODULAR FLOOR BOXES
IPTV VIDEO DELIVERY
FLYPACKS & ROAD CASES
You won’t need this... WE SUPPORT CATCH-UP TV AND VOD FOR SMALL & MID-SIZE IPTV DEPLOYMENTS
II Distribu�on Server: IPTV Media distribu�on server designed for both live and stored (VOD) applica�ons
… when you use quiet cooling products from Active Thermal Management
Inbound Protocols: Mul�-bitrate File, RTMP, RTSP, MPEG-TS, HLS Outbound Protocols: HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) RTMP, MPEG-DASH, MPEG-TS Converts unicast streams to mul�cast streams
Cool off at www.activethermal.com
STAY ONE STEP AHEAD
with Future’s FREE Electronic Newsletters ONE-STOP SHOPPING: Simply visit www.avnetwork.com/page/ subscribe and click on the “Email Newsletters” link. Then choose as many newsletters you need.
Sign-up today by visiting
To Advertise in the SYSTEMS CONTRACTOR NEWS CLASSIFIEDS, Contact Zahra Majma at email@example.com
Culture vs. Strategy GETTY IMAGES/SEKSAN MONGKHONKHAMSAO
By Luke Jordan, PMP, CTS-I
ulture eats strategy for breakfast, or so I’ve been told. But what if culture is the result of strategy? Every company is going to have a
different mood around the workplace, and leadership is ultimately responsible for how that turns out. It may be the result of intentional, careful planning, or it may change with staff turnover a few times a year. Two factors—job demands and resources—have a huge impact on a team’s engagement and effectiveness. Understanding how to balance these factors as a leader is paramount in creating a culture where people want to show up each day ready to make an impact in their community without sacrificing their physical or mental wellbeing. Deciding what is appropriate as an employee is equally important in
stress and frustration will always lead to burnout.
order to communicate expectations and define
Employers need to recognize when these conditions
resources and direction from management but few
boundaries so that everybody can win.
exist and should seek to solve the problem
expectations or demands, a problem still exists.
The JD-R model of work engagement that outlines
On the other hand, when there are plenty of
immediately by adding resources or lowering the
Humans look to their vocation to challenge them
the relationship between job demands and resources
expectations on that role appropriate to the amount
mentally and physically. A good manager will use
applies to parenting, leadership, and pretty much any
of resources available.
one-on-one meetings to set growth goals for their
other arena where performance is expected. The first quadrant of the model represents low
For example, if somebody quits or is let go and is
team members. Employees who are not occasionally
not replaced in the corporate hierarchy, somebody
being pushed outside of their comfort zones will not
demands and few resources, resulting in low strain
has to pick up the additional work. The unfortunate
grow and will likely not become more capable. A lack
and average motivation. Another way to look at this is
soul who is tasked to do so will be left with an
of promotion and advancement hurts the individual
that not much is expected from tasks in this quadrant,
unsustainable workload. Good communication can
and the organization equally. A person with 10 years
so there’s little direction or encouragement from
of experience is better than a person with one year of
management. These tasks lead to high turnover
When management acknowledges the imbalance
experience 10 years in a row.
because they don’t tend to offer much personal
and agrees to find additional help, the situation can
satisfaction. The opportunity exists for somebody to
be sustained for a short time with the expectation
and management to take is to set high, demanding
set their own goals and outperform the low
that it will be temporary. It is not unusual for a season
expectations paired with plenty of encouragement,
expectations, but that is the result of individual
of hard work to occur, but when the unusually heavy
resources, and direction. The outcome will always be
achievement and would not be expected due to the
workload becomes the new normal with no end in
average strain and high motivation, benefitting
nature of the work.
sight, good people will start looking for a new
everyone involved. Folks who are challenged show up
opportunity every time. Responsibility also lies with
ready for battle, care about people, and learn
the employee to communicate what they are
willingly. In turn, they benefit from good role models
experiencing up the chain and seek help in identifying
and trust, and they almost always go on to lead teams
the factors that have caused the imbalance in order to
and become change-makers wherever they go.
The next two quadrants are not balanced and have their own challenges. When the expectations or demands for a role are high, but are paired with few resources and little encouragement, it is a recipe for disaster. The high levels of
put a permanent solution in place.
Without question, the best action for leadership
Culture can change with the tides, but a strategy to create a consistent culture of engaged producers
“Culture can change with the tides, but a strategy to create a consistent culture of engaged producers always breeds a culture that everyone wants to be a part of.” 42
SCN // August 2021 // avnetwork.com
always breeds a culture that everyone wants to be a part of. Luke Jordan, PMP, CTS-I, helps people communicate their passions by crafting AV solutions that create exceptional experiences. Jordan is vice president and co-steward at Electro Acoustics in Fort Worth, TX. He chairs also AVIXA’s Certification Committee and was featured in 2018’s SCN The Nine.