REDBAND: My InfoComm 2013 Disappointments By Mike Brandes

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Last week, I wrote about the best things I saw at InfoComm 2013. Today, the subject are a few duds, for me at least. These products aren’t necessarily poor products, but products that either are not fully ready for market, or not quite ready for any application of mine. It’s a short list, but it represents multiple manufacturers and vendors.

1. Enterprise level wireless display streaming

There are more than a few companies, AV or otherwise, offering solutions for “enterprise level” wireless desktop display. Some of the true AV heavyweights all the way to 802.11 wireless companies are offering software and hardware designed to allow users to wirelessly display their device (desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone etc) to projectors and flat panel displays. Obviously this represents a huge need in the AV market, specifically for me in Higher Education. Wireless display would be a huge boost for my conference rooms and boardrooms, since often these rooms don’t have any technology built into the existing tables. Unfortunately, the downside is these devices aren’t capable of handling high frame rate. Static content looks great, simple PowerPoint, SpreadSheets, word documents are exceptional. However, animation in powerpoint, youtube videos etc are all lacking at this time.

Exception: Barco Clickshare- Barco’s solution is great, it works well, handles higher frame rate than competitors; the only downside is for me it’s cost prohibited at an advertised price of $4900.00 per location.

2. Lampless Projectors

Managing technology in 100+ rooms across three campuses isn’t incredibly easy. Especially when dealing with projectors that are unmonitored, meaning they aren’t capable of reporting status or information back. I was really excited to see the evolution of lampless projection, this year, in hopes I could ditch my supply of extra lamps in favor of quality laser projectors. However, while there were more manufacturers and options this year for lampless projection, I was still incredibly underwhelmed. Great strides are being made in projectors to accommodate more ANSI lumen capabilities in a small chassis, however, the lampless projectors all seemed dim dull and lacking color profiles necessary to be useful in my applications. I’m really hoping to be able to migrate to lampless projectors one day, I’m just waiting for them to have more robust color, higher brightness and contrast and have crisper images.

What did you think?

Were there any products or ideas that stood out at this year’s InfoComm that might not be “completely ready”

Mike Brandes

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Mike is an experienced audio video and information technology specialist, with 5 years experience in AV/IT, and previous experience in Pro Audio including full time touring experience. Mike is active in InfoComm, the Audiovisual Industry Association, and serves on the Technology Managers Council. Check out Mike’swebsite http://mikebrandesav.com/ and Follow him on Twitter.

Check out my #infocomm13 Day 2 report Update

The second half of my Infocomm 2013 report has been added to the corporate TD website. 20 products that caught my eye.

Check out the link here:

Infocomm2013_day2

http://corporatetechdecisions.com/article/one_ctss_perspective_infocomm_2013

REDBAND: Infocomm 2013 Winners by Mike Brandes

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InfoComm this year was a blur. Last year I did UBTech and InfoComm and felt like I had way too much free time. This year, to correct this, I decided to load up on meetings and stay as busy as possible to make the most of the InfoComm experience. I wrote a little, last week  about my time in the CTS prep class and subsequent test; and the inherent value of continuing education. I feel the best approach to the InfoComm experience is to balance a little better between the Show Floor Only mentality, and the Load Up on Meetings stance. This year’s InfoComm was the largest show on the east coast, and it was massive to say the least. Here are my top winners from this years’ show, in no particular order.

  1. 4K
    We all remember the incredible consumer demand centered around the introduction of 3d displays and projectors a few years back; this year’s big staple for all manufacturers was 4k. Unlike 3d, I think 4K/8K will enjoy far more stable demand in both the consumer and professional AV markets, especially once content beyond digital signage and computer generated signals become more prevalent. The caveat is, if this content doesn’t become readily available, 4k/8k will wind up serving a very niche market. In my opinion, the two winners for 4K at this years’ show was LG’s 84″ 4K monitor, and Christie’s 4k 60hz projector. I would love to own both these pieces, but have to wait until the cost comes down.
  2. MS Lync Integration
    Shortly before last year’s show in Las Vegas we began implementing Microsoft Lync; and I went to InfoComm looking for all the AV I could possibly integrate with Lync to enable it to be a full UCS for our campus. I was incredibly disappointed, and almost frustrated to find out there were no real AV appliances ready to integrate with Lync. Around that time, Vaddio released the Easy USB line of professional USB peripherals for computer based web conferencing: Webex, Skype, Google +, MS Lync etc. This product line represented a solution to a few of our problems at an affordable price point. This year, however, I was blown out of the water by Vaddio’s Huddle Station and Group Station integrated approach to computer based Web Meetings. I look forward to implementing this product line to address a number of needs we have in conference room video conferencing capabilities.Additionally, Crestron was a big winner in this space. They debuted the Crestron RL system designed to integrate Lync for professional Video conferencing. With solutions for single and multiple displays, and system control and automation, Crestron as made incredible strides to reaching the those using Lync. I’m really interested in seeing this product in action in a live demo.
  3. Cloud Conferencing 
    Two years ago I was hopping on an elevator in my hotel to head to my room after a long day at the show; I noticed the group standing next to me all had red badge holders (exhibitors) and saw them eyeing my green badge holder (education customer) and my heart sank. I really didn’t know if I could handle another sales pitch, especially on an elevator with no escape or distraction. As it turned out these fine people were from a startup called Blue Jeans Networks, allowing users of different VTC systems to meet seamlessly in the cloud. Cloud Interoperability Providers represent a tremendous benefit for organizations with different methods of VTC to be able to connect with each other. This year there were several other key companies in this market. I look forward to seeing how cloud interoperability grows and becomes more affordable.

There were lots of other great things that I would love to buy and use, but aren’t great fits for my particular application requirements: Projection/Display mapping technologieswaterproof speakersspeakers that looked more like art than actual speakers and a host of fantastic other products. Sometimes I wish I could win some sort of AV lottery and just have all this great technology.

What were the three best things you saw at InfoComm?

Mike

 

Check out this post on Mike’s Blog by clicking the link Below:

http://mikebrandesav.com/2013/06/17/my-take-infocomms-big-winners/

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Mike is an experienced audio video and information technology specialist, with 5 years experience in AV/IT, and previous experience in Pro Audio including full time touring experience. Mike is active in InfoComm, the Audiovisual Industry Association, and serves on the Technology Managers Council. Check out Mike’s website http://mikebrandesav.com/ and Follow him on Twitter.

Check out the Infocomm Today: Day 2 podcast from #Infocomm13

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While at Infocomm 2013 AV Helpdesk Inc. , the company I work for,  was asked to appear on the  The Infocomm Today Podcast , the official podcast of Infocomm 2013.  Steve Grace, Principal at AV Helpdesk Inc.,  and I where both interviewed on the show.

Thank you for having us on.

Chris

Check out the show by Clicking the image above or the link below…

http://www.infocomm.org/cps/rde/xchg/infocomm/hs.xsl/37129.htm

REDBAND: My Magical Twitter Wish By Mark Coxon

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My Magical Twitter Wish By Mark Coxon

It was awesome to be able to go to the AVNation TweetUp, and finally put some faces to the Twitter handles I see every day on my feed.  I met quite a few of the people that I follow, and was amazed that not one disappointed in person.  In fact, the personalities were amazing, and I found myself thinking that I wish Twitter could magically relate some of their qualities in more than text.  Based on that thought, I thought I’d list some AVTweeps I met, and what unique qualities they showed that I wished could come through in a written 140 words.

1)      @chris_neto- Chris Neto- Demeanor.  Reading Chris’s blogs and tweets you know he was a subversive streak, and a no nonsense style.  You also know he has an affinity for some aggressive an dark music, and used to work the night club scene.  All this combined to create an image of Chris that was much like a lovable but rowdy insomniac.  Not even close.  Chris is the epitome of Bruce Lee’s method of staying relaxed all the way until the point of impact.  He is low key and collected.  He blogs first, drinks later and goes to bed at a reasonable hour.  Beware however, because he could clinch his literary fist at any time with a pinpoint devastating RedBand blow to the solar plexus that leaves you breathless.

2)      @tuckertues- George Tucker- Contrast.  Reading George’s Tweets, you KNOW he has been around the AV Block.  His commentary can be very technical, or he can boil his analysis down using analogies that are easy to understand but not oversimplified.  This comes through in all of his online conduits, from Twitter, to AVNation podcasts, to his Tucker Tuesday and Tech Decisions blogs.  What I found out about meeting George in person though, is that he is an artist.  We have all seen those black and white pictures where the black forms an obvious image, but if you shift your eyes slightly, you notice that the white space makes a completely different image as well.  George does this with words.  If you speak to him in person, listen closely, as he will tell you just as much in his pauses and white spaces as he does in his spoken commentary.  It is genius, as it allows him to say whatever he wants, without ever speaking it, and without ever being guilty of it if accused.  He is a prime student of Polonius’ advice in Hamlet- “By indirections we find directions out.”

3)      @WomeninAV- Jennifer Willard- Accent.  You may have seen Jennifer’s stand on booth babes at electronics shows or her back and forth taunting of me about kicking my butt in #TheGame4 at InfoComm on Twitter.  To survive and prosper as a woman in the Y chromosome saturated world of AV takes guts and tenacity, so that has always come through in her online persona.  However, when I first heard Jennifer speak at the WAVE reception Wednesday night, I heard he Boston accent, and it all came rushing in.  Being cheeky and voracious is one thing, but hearing it come from a northeasterner breaks you down in a whole new way.  I read a few of her taunts again on Twitter, and suddenly realized I could not hold my own with this lady.  I was running fairly even in our exchange in my head, but the accent closed the deal.  Anyone who already knew Jennifer knew I had NO chance.  I love it!

4)      @TheAVPro- Phil Cordell- Southern Charm.  HiPhi didn’t actually come to the TweetUp that I saw, but I did see him on the floor, and met him last year as well.  If you’ve heard his album or seen his infamous “AV Professional” YouTube video you might get the impression that Phil could become funny to a fault, and may even be a little too much for some in person.  Nothing is farther from the truth.  Phil’s Tennessee charm, (I’m very familiar as my mom is from there) is the first thing you will notice when you meet him.  He is very warm and gracious.  He is extremely polite and humble, and dresses in a way that makes you want to put on some matching jeans, loafers, and a button down shirt and grab a sweet tea and some chicken and dumplings for Supper after church.  Phil is too classy to rock a mullet haircut, but I think he embodies that attitude of “Business in the front, and party in the back.”  Great balance!

5)      @mikebrandesAV- Mike Brandes- Wisdom.  OK, so that may first be thought of as a slam on Mike but it is not.  His tweets are always funny and smart, and you can tell that he is a real “connector”.   His subjects range from AV to jokes to politics and he a very active supporter of many on this list already.  In meeting Mike though, I found him to have a professorial quality that gives him a dignified presence.  Maybe it’s his dress or the manly beard, (a good beard like his can always evoke some of these impressions), but when he talks, you want to listen, because you feel like you are going to learn something new.  It is fitting that he is in the higher education space professionally.  His personality is a great bridge between the quirky and sometimes ragtag world of AV professionals and the collegiate Deans of the world.  I really enjoyed meeting you Mike!

I wish I had time enough to have had conversations with every single one of the over 100 #AVTweeps that made the #TweetUp.  I know that I would have been equally impressed with unique qualities of each of them.  Oh well, there is always next year!  See you then AVTweeps!

Mark C

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Mark has been in the IT & AV field for over 12 years. He currently works as an Account manager with  Horizon Display and is a contributor with various AV industry publications. You can follow Mark on Twitter @AVPhenom.  The expressed opinions are his own…You have been warned!

Check out My #infocomm13 Day 1 Show Report

Infocomm 2013 Day 1

I’m at Infocomm this week running around looking at all the great products our industry has to offer. Here is my Show report that I provided for CorporateTD. Click the image above or the Link below:

http://www.corporatetechdecisions.com/article/one_ctss_perspective_infocomm_2013_day_one

Thoughts? Feedback?

 

Chris

 

#Infocomm13: I’ll be there

Just wanted to get this info out to those of you who are attending the Infocomm show in Orlando. Here is a quick run down of what i have going on over the next few days…

  • I will be heading to Orlando this Tuesday with the AV Helpdesk team in search of the latest and greatest that our industry has to offer. I will be there from Tuesday to Friday Evening. I fully expect to be on the show floor all 3 days. Like many of you I too have Infocomm meetings and scheduled booth visits to attend to throughout the day.
  • As I did last year I will be sporting a Press badge while at the show. I will be providing daily show reports for Corporate TechDecisions.  Aside from my press duties I will also be active in various social media channels while at the event. You can find my profiles Here:
  • AV Helpdesk is one of the co-sponsors of the Infocomm 2013 #AVtweeps #AVtweetup on Thursday June 13th at 5pm. The event will be hosted at the AV Nation Booth (Located adjacent to Hall E)  in room 232A. You can RSVP for the event  Here. Stop by for some refreshments and prizes provided by the event sponsors. The following day I will be back at the AV Nation Booth as a guest on their AV Week podcast.

Please do not hesitate to give me a call or email me while at the show even if it’s a quick meet to  say Hi.  I’m easily reached on email or through the social media channels above…trust me my phone will keep zapping me. I look forward catching up with fellow AV professionals and to see all the new technology.

Travel Safe and I’ll See You in Orlando!

Chris

 

 

 

 

The Social Media Event of #Infocomm13: The #AVtweeps #AVtweetup hosted by AV Nation

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AV Nation hosts The Social Media Event of  Infocomm 2013!

Click the Banner to register or follow the Link Below:

http://infocomm13tweetup.eventbrite.com/

A Huge Thanks goes out to the Event Sponsors:

Vaddio

www.vaddio.com

Sennheiser

www.sennheiserusa.com

Premier Mounts

www.mounts.com

Listen Technologies

www.listentech.com

AV Helpdesk Inc.

www.avhelpdesk.com

LifeSize

www.lifesize.com

Draper

www.draperinc.com

Marketing Matters

www.marketingmatters.net

Chauvet

www.chauvetlighting.com

Chief

www.chiefmfg.com

The Source Home Theater

www.thesourcehometheater.com

Check out my latest Article: Game Changers at #Infocomm13

As June approaches so does the buzz about this year’s InfoComm Show. Every year A/V Professionals flock to the InfoComm event in search of the latest and greatest in A/V Technology products. Not ones to disappoint, many of today’s top manufacturers will debut some great new products at the show that will surely please many A/V professionals. As an attendee the anticipation of what products will debut is intoxicating. In the weeks prior to the show many of us daydream of that “perfect” product that will come and save the day. It’s the A/V version of Christmas sugar plums dancing in our heads, but in reality many professionals are just hoping for improvements and new features to many of the products we currently use.

Many of us deal in A/V reality on a daily basis, but after the designs are done and the systems are approved many of us love to talk “shop.” One topic that comes into conversation quite often is the “what’s next” topic. Maybe it’s in our “BIOS” to wonder what may be coming down the digital highway. Is there a new technology out there that can “make some noise” in our industry? So let’s speculate. What’s out there? What’s next? Will it buzz at InfoComm this year?  Or will we have to wait?

One product that I feel confident about making an impact in our industry is the Microsoft Lync Room System. This product is available today with working demos being scheduled as I write. The Lync Room System (LRS) is Microsoft’s answer to a Lync-based videoconferencing experience that goes beyond laptops and mobile devices. Currently many companies use Microsoft Lync as a means of collaboration. This is done today using Lync software on laptops and mobile devices. The Lync room system now takes the Lync client and integrates it into conference room setting. In other words its prime objective is to be used by a group of people instead of a single user sitting at a PC….

To Continue reading Click the link below:

CorporateTD

http://www.corporatetechdecisions.com/article/game_changers_at_infocomm_2013

Heading to Infocomm 2013? Grab the official #infocomm13 show app!

 

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If  you’re an android or iPhone user make sure to grab the official Infocomm 2013 app  before heading to the show. The app does a great job of keeping everything “infocomm” in one place…Wayfinder, Map, Transportation info, my schedule, events, sessions, exhibitors, speakers and even the official twitter feed for the Show (#infocomm13 is the official hashtag)

Here is the link to the Google Playstore for the Free App:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.coreapps.android.followme.infocomm11

See you there,

Chris