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:
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:
Handling delays in projects can be a real headache. Even if it’s a personal project, say remodeling your kitchen, any delay can be frustrating. Another week of take-out sounds great, unless you’ve been living on take-out for the past six weeks. It’s even worse when it impacts your business and your clients. We all put together detailed plans, drawings, and timelines for our clients and projects. While things do come up, we stick to these documents and commitments. But sometimes things happen that are out of our control that require us to adjust on the fly.
My company has been working on a very large renovation with a client combining three apartments into one enormous home in Manhattan. This is one of the largest non-theater projects we have ever undertaken and required a lot of time and commitment from me, my techs, installers, and project manager. All of the pre-wire went off without a hitch, and we were all set to start rough-in last week. We’d checked with the contractor a week before our scheduled date, and we were still on track. Surprising on such a large project, but the contractor is great and is on top of things.
When I told my family that I was taking a yearlong remote job in Qatar, they all thought I was heading into a war zone. While its neighbor Bahrain may have started the Arab Spring, Qatar is very much a growing and fostering country. To put a better perspective on things, you need to look at Doha as if Singapore had moved to the desert. Most of the population is a mix of Filipino, Arab, Indian, Western expats and Bangladeshi. The amount of foreign nationals are so great that the native Qatari people appear to be the minority in their own country. Having that in mind will give you a feel for how the city lives and breathes.
As an AV guy living in one of the richest countries in the world, one would expect that there is nothing but big screens and a digital playgrounds all around. At least that is what I would have thought based on my perception of Doha’s “gulf cousin” Dubai. Both are expanding their city skylines and prepping for bigger and better things. However in Doha’s case, there is still a bit of groundwork to be done.
In terms of displays, digital signage and use of technology: Look towards the malls. In Doha there are two major malls that seem to draw the fine citizens by the droves. In both cases, if there is a large emphasis on service. The Qtel stores are all lined with commercial grade Samsun Samsung and NEC Displays in 3×3 video walls… of course they should be. Qtel is the government run phone company. The only other service provider is Vodafone, whose coverage makes Sprint seem far and wide. But it is the Qatari government is spending all the money to push for 4G coverage and updated technology in the city. Along with the 4G implementation, the push for digital displays and modern AV are also coming from the government. In fact one of the best examples of their push into the digital age, and a site to see, is the Aspire Tower. The entire tower is a hotel that is lined with large-scale LED panels, turning the tower itself into a 360 degree electronic sign. The topper is that during Ramadan, the tower transforms into a digital torch, with an active flame coming from the top of the tower. The entire area is in a state of preparation for the future, but it is tempered with a mindset from the 90′s. It’s an Ironic mix of high-tech coupled with Zack Morris Cell phones. Still you can feel the buzz in the air of whats to come. And for all the better reason in that they are hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Already I have seen the beginnings of the infrastructure updates and the birth new stadiums to support this landmark event. This will be the first time a country in the Middle East will host the World Cup.
There are a number of things that this AV tech From Jersey has to get used to. The movie theaters do not have Fandango or online reservations. But when you get your tickets you do reserve you seats in the theater. Belive it or not there are things like IMAX and 3D movies out here, however because of Sharia law most movies are heavily edited for content. In a way I’d be amazed if any Tarentino films will ever make a profit out here after being edited. Technology aside there are a few thing that I miss from home. Simple pleasures such as the local newsstand, a real 24 hour diner, local theater shows and cookouts with neighbors. It’s the little things, like bacon cheeseburgers, that seem to matter most when you’re a stranger in a strange land.
Until next time,
Check out Dealerscope’s June 2013 Edition on PAGE 48 to see Todd’s Profile by clicking the image above or the link Below:
Congrats Again on this wonderful achievement!
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.
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 technologies, waterproof speakers, speakers 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?
Check out this post on Mike’s Blog by clicking the link Below:
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.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may remember that several months ago I was invited to a neighbor’s house for dinner. He didn’t know what I did for a living and he was raving about his Sonos system and Harmony remote. I promised to write again when I had them over to our house. Well, now that I’ve fully installed my Crestron system, had all the bells and whistles programmed in by industry veteran Richard Fregosa, and have installed all of my floorstanding, in-wall, in-ceiling, and invisible speakers, I was ready to have them over.
Needless to say, from the moment they came in, I had the full-on effect going. The Stealth Acoustics speakers in the entry hall were softly playing music and the entry keypad had a welcome message for them. While it didn’t yet seem to sink in, I knew that over the course of the evening they would see some of the subtle, but impactful touches.
The first “wow” moment was when we stepped into the family room for a pre-dinner drink. I touched the “cocktail” mode on the in-wall touchpanel and the lights dimmed, the shades dropped to half closed, and music started playing through the speakers. That’s when the conversation started with a, “How did you do that?” After that, he couldn’t get enough of the amazing things we could do, from seeing who was at the front door, to controlling music and video in every room through a matrix switch, to checking out the rack that ran it all…
Continue Reading the post at the link Below:
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.
Check out the show by Clicking the image above or the link below…
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 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!
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:
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…
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!