Quick Shout: Free Webinar- CEDIA 2.0 – Februrary 8, 2012 (2pm EST.)


Featuring: Federico Bausone, Chairman, CEDIA; Michael Creeden, CEDIA Board Member, M+R Digital Innovations, Inc.; Ben Komar, CEDIA Education Volunteer, Komar Associates Inc.; Peter Shipp, CEDIA Board Member, ZIO Group, LLC.; Randy Stearns, Immediate Past Chairman, CEDIA
Moderator: Maureen Jenson, Editor in Chief, Custom Retailer
Duration: One hour
Cost: Free to register/attend

My article is ranked #2 in ProAV Today!


#2 You’re hired! by Christopher Neto, AV Technology

This summer, I was informed that my position was eliminated. And, with that, six years at a Fortune 500 company ended in a matter of minutes. In an instant I was a statistic and a product of today’s economy. Though I have always considered myself to be in the AV industry, the realization of being the “AV guy” in a non AV company came crashing down on me harder than a stack of VHS tapes. More»

Why This Matters:

When he lost his position as a Fortune 500 tech manager, Christopher Neto bounced back and reinvented himself as the “AV guy.” Neto’s diverse resume—”AV with a splash of IT”—helped him stay relevant in an evolving landscape. - Margot Douaihy, Managing Editor, AV Technology 




New Page Added: Audio Visual Career Training Links

Just added a new page to the site:

Audio Visual Career Training Links

From this page you will find links to Manufacturers, Associations, Consultants and their training pages on their websites. Let me know if this helps.



Check out my latest Article: The Unsolved Mysteries of AV Tech Managers

Here is my latest article in AV Technology Magazine:

The Unsolved Mysteries of AV Tech Managers by Christopher Neto.

I recently sat down with two friends for lunch. We are all in the AV business and each of us has spent some time working in the corporate AV support function. As we ordered our food we exchanged updates of “what happened to him” or “where did they end up?”. The conversation would eventually become centered on our corporate AV experiences and some of the issues we encountered. Each of us has a horror story of sorts but I find it odd that through all these years some of these issues are still unsolved mysteries. Fact is some of the most challenging issues facing corporate AV support teams are not technology related or entirely AV related. As you read through this article you will noticed that these issues revolve around ownership of responsibilities, funding and how corporate silos hinder progress.

One of the issues that have remained a problem for as long as I can remember is Room Classifications. This may appear to be an easy topic but for those in the day to day support role this can be a nightmare. Let me try to explain. There are Conference Rooms with Technology, Conference Rooms without Technology, Standalone Video Conference Rooms, Integrated Video Conference rooms and Specialized Rooms such as divisible spaces and Auditoriums. Then there are the subcategories such as Private, Public or Special (More of those Later). The issue at hand is usually who owns the room. The simple answer would be the AV group since we provide the in room support & setup. Where it gets ugly is when something breaks, reaches end of life, renovations, relocations, and Upgrades. All of these issues will require an AV budget. Most AV budgets are centered on maintenance, supplies and consumables such as lamps and cables. When an item breaks this causes a strain on the budget unless you plan for emergencies by setting aside a percentage for those moments. Renovations and Relocations pose their own set of Problems since these mandates usually will come from a group outside of AV or IT. In these instances a groups such as Facilities or Engineering will lead the projects and with that you would assume that the technology would be funded by them. Not necessarily the case, as all three of us can attest. Both Facilities and Engineering will argue why they will not pay for technology. In most instances they may purchase the Mounts, Floor boxes, data and electrical. Again the AV group is asked to help. Like one of my lunch buddies said “After a couple renovations we are scrambling around the site to reset the projectors to a low setting and hope the bulbs last”.

As we continued on with our Lunch and Stories another infamous corporate AV struggle raises its ugly head. The exact quote was “So have any of you solved the Private vs. Public Room dilemma?” Private vs. Public sounds more like a legal battle on Capitol Hill rather than an AV support problem. AV Support team will provide a service regardless if it’s private or public. Where this gets really tangled is when Space Planning and Facilities ask for you to “attend a meeting”. As I previously stated public and private are not a problem from the support side. Where it can become an issue is when a private room “owner” wants an upgrade. The “private” title becomes a gray area of sorts. Since it is “private” the room owner in most companies will fund the upgrade. A side effect of Private room renovations can be non-standard technology entering the company which will cause unplanned issues for the support team. Imagine being the technician who needs to replace a bulb and you discover a new projector & lamp that you don’t have in your immediate supply stock.

By the time dessert comes around we are now knee deep in new Monitor and Projector talk and what the Latest digital connector is this month. As we ordered our coffee and our talk shifted towards “let’s do this again” someone blurts out Digital Signage like it’s a dirty curse word. Let me start by stating that we all love Digital signage and the benefits it can bring to companies. In our experience Digital Signage requires “Top Down buy in”. It starts with a high level request and quickly moves downhill faster than an Olympic skier on ice. Along the way the request flies by the various IT groups that should be part of the decision. Chances are Facilities will not see if until the final person in the chain receives the request to have Monitors installed in areas where there isn’t any infrastructure i.e. outdoor signage.

In an ideal world a Group within IT would receive the request and prepare a team to handle the servers, connectivity and player units. While public/internal Communications would write, approve and develop the content with alongside a graphics group. AV support would assist with the Display maintenance and system display design and qualify the AV vendor’s installation work. But that’s an ideal situation. What we each have seen is various groups owning a piece of the pie but nothing is very clearly defined. User created material is posted, IT does not want to monitor the system, communications only gets involved for major announcements and no one has money for replacement parts or future expansion. So how does AV become the project lead? Simple AV vendors sell Digital signage but most of those sales happen without AV in the room. This is area where AV and IT do not converge. AV will now carry the responsibility to communicate to IT the project and IT will fight AV on Security issues and Bandwidth. Is there a Brightside to digital signage? I’m sure there is but it’s hard to see it during the initial rollout. If the company as a whole embraces the technology and makes a financial investment in the product then there is a very good chance of success.

So what’s the solution? Room Classifications are tough to solve. I guess accepting that there are many types of rooms is the first step and trying to find a single group to own the rooms and its technology would be a vast improvement. The group that makes the most sense would be Facilities but they have been down that road before with PCs and Telephones and those business machines are funded by IT. Maybe IT should own the technology in all Meeting spaces with or without technology since a projector could be used in a non tech room. This topic will continue to be debated for years to come. In Public vs. Private debate we feel it should be treated by corporation the same way a hotel treats its guest rooms. Essentially they are yours for the day, night, week, etc. You can sleep there but it is not your place of residence. It’s private since you own a key but you pay a price to have your bed made and the rooms vacuumed. If the TV does not work a maintenance person will come up to fix or replace the unit. The Hotel concept would also introduce a Hospitality software package and a Front desk to reserve spaces and better manage and control the rooms. The key is that rooms are the property of the corporation and Funding should come from them. The current situation would be like asking the hotel staff each fund a floor. Within months you would find differences just by taking the elevator and stopping on each floor. The best part is that software and solutions exist today that can help. It also helps that Hotels have been in business for years and the model works. Finally Digital Signage just needs a single owner who holds the budget and power to form a committee made up of various team members with the same goal in mind. That goal would be to maintain the existing and future deployments of the system, Develop fresh new content to engage the users, discover additional opportunities to increase the Return on Investment and keep an eye on the ever changing technology on the horizon.

In conclusion Lunch was great and we solved a few corporate issues along the way. I’ll save topics such as room scheduling issues, open space planning and how the “analog” sun is still at high noon instead of setting for some companies for another day.


Click the logo  below to view the original article posted in AV technology Online.


Quick Shout: 9 Simple Steps to Building Successful Video Walls

9 Simple Steps to Building Successful Video Walls


9 Simple Steps to Building Successful Video Walls

Sign-up for this free webinar and learn concrete lessons on how to design and execute video walls, a technology increasingly in demand by customers in every vertical market.

Event Date: February 15, 2012

 Start Time: 2:00 pm EDT
 Moderator: Tom LeBlanc, Editor-in-Chief, Commercial Integrator 
Panelist: Michael Ferrer, Senior Manager of Business Development for Solutions Sales, NEC Display Solutions
For More Info Click HERE

Quick Shout: Cisco Live! Virtual (Jan. 31st & Feb 1st)

Cisco Live!


Cisco Live London-Virtual Agenda

Learn more about the content and live engagements being offered during the virtual event taking place in conjunction with Cisco Live London 2012. All attendees are able to access the virtual event content and live engagements. These events are open to all customers and partners.

Click Here for for the Schedule.



Latest Edition of AV Shout! Weekly is out.

Read AV SHOUT Weekly! Audiovisual News ▸ today’s top stories


Quick Shout: CE Pro Presents- How to Sell Luxury High-Performance Video (Free Live Webinar)

Free Live Webinar

January 25, 2012, 2:00pm ET
Duration: 1 hr
Presented by: Jason Knott, Editor-in Chief, CE Pro
Panelists: George Walter, Digital Projection; Brandon Haggard, Dallas Extreme

Check it out & Sign Up  HERE

Quick Shout: Up Coming AV Industry Trainings

Cables To Go - Free Online AV Webinars

  • “Introduction to A/V Connectivity” Thursday, January 26 at 1:00pm EST SIGN UP HERE
  • “Understanding In-Person Sales Techniques” Thursday, March 29 at 1:00pm EST SIGN UP HERE

REVOLABS - Announce the launch of their Online Training Courses!

  • Learn more about Revolabs Academy HERE.

AVWeek Episode 24: Two Ton Tim

Back at it again. Check out AVweek Episode 24 by Clicking HERE