E4 Tour Kicks Off in Dallas

E4 Tour Kicks Off in Dallas

The E4 AV Tour stop at the Hyatt Reunion in downtown Dallas Sept. 13th saw a blend of education and new product demos.

Almo Professional AV kicked off the first of its new E4 AV Tour stops last Thursday at the Hyatt Reunion in downtown Dallas.

With a nice blend of education and new product demos, E4 features some top industry experts in a hands-on context. The event, which was the first of a series of E4 stops scheduled for 2012-2013 (the next stop will be in the New York area October 3rd), featured a variety of tabletop exhibitors showing display, mounting, projection, control, and other AV products, and an educational schedule that was broken down into the following three educational tracks: Emerging Technology, Technical Knowledge and Business Savvy.

  • Among the educational classes presented at E4 in Dallas (this is just a sampling):
  • Dave Gentile, Senior Field Sales Engineer, NEC Display Solutions of America, presented “Video Walls: A Start to Finish Guide for Success”
  • “Predicting AV Futures with Kayye’s Krystal Ball LIVE,” was presented by Gary Kayye
  • “Digital Signage Content Delivery Methods”. Presented by Brian Rhatigan, Business Development Manager, Almo Professional AV
  • “How Selling Configurable Room Control Solutions Can Increase Your Revenue & Margins.” Presented by Jay Jenkins, Distribution Account Manager, AMX

• “How to Play in the IT Sandbox with AV Installations,” was presented by Alan and Jonathan Brawn, Brawn Consulting

• “The Art of ‘Techorating’ with Displays for Commercial Applications,” was presented by Alan and Jonathan Brawn, Brawn Consulting

Jonathan Brawn presented the session “Interactive Display Tables with Natural Interfaces – The Future is Here” at E4 in Dallas, that focused on the new Samsung SUR40/Microsoft Surface experience featuring PixelSense technology, that “gives LCD panels the power to “see” without the use of cameras.”Sam Taylor, executive vice president and COO for Almo Professional AV, commented on trends he’s seeing in the industry–and how they’re honing E4 to address these trends.

“We’re seeing continued growth in digital signage,” said Taylor in an interview with AVNetwork.com Thursday morning at the event. “Also, a resurgence of the video wall. In addition to the better, more affordable processing integrators can bring to video walls, the displays and mounts are now more modular. And for displays themselves, we’re seeing a trend up in sizes. 70, 80, and 90 inch screens being used where 50, 60, or 70 were being spec’ed before.”

There are a lot of changes going on, on the control side of AV. To put it simply: whereas as few years ago programming sophisticated AMX and Crestron control systems for a boardroom or classroom for example, was very time consuming, we’re now seeing the emergence of “configurable control”, from those same kind of equipment providers. While there was good revenue for integrators from heavy programming time (i.e billable hours) using the older generation tools– it was inevitable that the market would demand–and those manufacturers would provide– new control systems that don’t require so much heavy custom programming. Enter the configurable control products we’re now seeing from AMX, Crestron, Kramer, and others.

“From a control standpoint, as a distributor, our focus is on AMX,” said Sam Taylor. “The new configurable ones, not much programming is needed. Sure, a lot of integrators like the heavy programming because they charge big money for it. But the new configurable stuff from AMX lets you do more for less.”

For many of these new configurable systems, the user interface is probably a tablet. And when we say “tablet” in this context, we’re talking Apple. The inroads made by Android tablets in these kinds of applications are minimal at this point.

Among the gear on view at the Tabletop exhibits at E4 in Dallas:

• NanoLumens: NanoFlex 112-inch display and a NanoSlim 114-inch display in portrait mode. Almo has been distributing NanoLumens (exclusively) for about 6 months. Nanolumens has made something of a splash in the AV world, with their no-fan construction, no heat output, and light weight.

• Samsung Professional: 22-inch tile product, the UD22B square type narrow bezel display and NL22 transparent cube for retail display. We first saw these at InfoComm in June.

• Sharp AQUOS: 90-inch full array LED TV with built-in WiFi (LC-90LE745U)

• Sharp Professional: 90-inch commercial grade portrait monitor

• Samsung Consumer: 75-inch ES9000 SMART LED TV with built-in WiFi and web camera

• Samsung Professional: 65- and 75-inch ME65B/ME75B LED monitors

• LG: RVF550 multi-point video teleconferencing system

• NEC: E463 new professional LED display

• AMX: DVX-2150/2155HD Enova all-in-one presentation switcher, a solution including control, multi-format inputs, video switching, transcoding and scaling, local and remote distribution, plus audio mixing, and amplification.

Also exhibiting in Dallas: outdoor LCD panels from SunBright; video wall products from Planar; Hitachi interactive displays; and the Microsoft Surface table.

And to round out the day at E4 Dallas, Women in AV (WAVE), a group seeking to educate, support and inspire women in AV through collaborating, mentoring and networking opportunities, did some outreach and informal education. And WAVE founder Jennifer Willard conducted a class on “What is Mentoring and Why It’s Important to You”.

The E4 AV tour is a free, full-day program with an educational focus that allows partners to earn InfoComm International CTS RUs while networking with top manufacturers. The next stop on the E4 tour will be the New York/New Jersey area, on October 3rd.

Registration: almoproav.com/Events/e4/

David Keene is a publishing executive and editorial leader with extensive business development and content marketing experience for top industry players on all sides of the media divide: publishers, brands, and service providers. Keene is the former content director of Digital Signage Magazine.