Report from InfoCOMM 2011 – AMX

This interview is part of AV-1′s Report from InfoCOMM 2011, in which we ask key industry insiders to share their views on the critical issues ahead. You can contribute your thoughts on this interview in the Comment Area below. AV-1 members may discuss this important topic in greater detail on the AV-1 List.

The AMX brand is as much about culture as it is about technology. Their big-as-Texas heart is evident in their customer commitment (think of all the organizations that still operate the old Axcess Controller card cages they installed 15-years ago), their sometimes cheeky-yet-endearing marketing approach (remember the “We were just kidding about that Panja thing” campaign?), and their blazing technology firsts (networked controls, asset management software, media server, and especially their advocacy for open standards-based platforms). It’s no wonder they’ve been named one of the top 25 Best Medium-size Companies to Work for in America four years in a row.

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Report from InfoCOMM 2011 – Extron

This interview is part of AV-1′s Report from InfoCOMM 2011, in which we ask key industry insiders to share their views on the critical issues ahead. You can contribute your thoughts on this interview in the Comment Area below. AV-1 members may discuss this important topic in greater detail on the AV-1 List.

Technology in learning would not be what it is today without Extron. When computer manufacturers needed a way to display a computer screen image on a 3-beam projector, Extron worked it out… a quarter of a century ago.

But just “working it out” has never been Extron’s style. In addition to designing cutting-edge components that play well with others, the company has amassed the most comprehensive open library of whitepapers and technical briefs serving to demystify the wild array of protocols and topologies that complicate our lives. Continue reading

Report from InfoCOMM 2011: Audio Visual Resources

This interview is part of AV-1′s Report from InfoCOMM 2011, in which we ask key industry insiders to share their views on the critical issues ahead. You can contribute your thoughts on this interview in the Comment Area below. AV-1 members may discuss this important topic in greater detail on the AV-1 List.

For more than three decades, Mario Maltese has been at the forefront of high-profile audio visual projects in the New York Tri-state area. A recipient of InfoCOMM’s prestigious Educator of the Year award and Fred Dixon Service in Education award, his portfolio includes sound systems for the New York State Assembly and the New York Stock Exchange’s Trading Floor.
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Report from InfoCOMM 2011: Tidebreak

This interview is part of AV-1′s Report from InfoCOMM 2011, in which we ask key industry insiders to share their views on the critical issues ahead. You can contribute your thoughts on this interview in the Comment Area below. AV-1 members may discuss this important topic in greater detail on the AV-1 List.

Andrew J. Milne, PhD, Tidebreak‘s CEO, lives and breathes collaborative learning. Since 2004, Tidebreak’s core products, TeamSpot and ClassSpot, have dominated a unique niche in active learning technologies by using lightweight networked apps (PC and MAC) to facilitate secure screen- and application-sharing. The outcome is that Tidebreak technology brings teachers and students closer together rather than creating (yet another) barrier to engagement.
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Survey Analysis: Analog-to-Digital Transition

In an ideal world, we might leap at the chance to dig into new technologies that promise breathtaking video resolution with minimal tweaking, however digital transitioning also brings the potential to disrupt and/or bankrupt services at a time when few operations have capacity to spare for a major overhaul of RGB-based analog video systems.

Recent discussions regarding the transition from analog to digital video transport suggest that many feel that they have little control over this technological sea-change. We conceived our Analog-to-Digital Transition survey in order to put a finer point on the current “state of digital”. This is the summary of what we learned. Continue reading

Survey: Analog-to-Digital Transition

Recent discussions regarding the transition from analog to digital video transport suggest that many feel that they have little control over this technological sea-change.

In an ideal world, we might leap at the chance to dig into new technologies that promise breathtaking video resolution with minimal tweaking, however transitioning also brings the potential to disrupt and/or bankrupt services at a time when few operations have capacity to spare for a major overhaul of RGB-based analog video systems.

Please take a moment to respond to the following eight questions so that we may will put a finer point on the “state of digital” — particularly as we approach summer upgrade season.

The Big Picture…

This survey departs from previous anonymous surveys by asking for your email address. We ask this in preparation for AV-1′s upcoming budget survey series in which we hope to gain a better understanding of prevailing budget and lifecycle practices. An undertaking of this magnitude will take more than six or eight questions, so rather than try your patience, we have devised a plan for a series of short-but-sweet surveys on key operational areas. We hope to use your email address as an internal “key field” to re-assemble your responses across multiple surveys so that we can begin to map data to institutional demographics (i.e. Midwest private liberal arts college with 10,000 enrolled). As always, your survey responses will remain anonymous.

Scott Tiner

Bates College

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The Final Yard

This is a reprint of an article posted in 2004 after the Red Sox won the World Series. -Editor

Our work is just like this: The last 5% of the job is tougher than the previousWork  95%.

This assertion is my attempt to break it to you gently; truth is, THE LAST 2% OF THE JOB IS TOUGHER THAN THE PREVIOUS 98%.

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Of Dance Hall Cuties and Well Endowed Colleges

Clarke County. I am finally home after a long, long evening. The sputtering gasps of Spring’s premature arrival are interrupted by a dreary mist. Everything’s grayscale. Think: London with a twang… in crocs… and canvas grocery bags.

Earlier today, I foolishly answered the phone (what on earth was I thinking!) and received an offer that I could not refuse. I became the unwitting victim of a southern belle’s cajoling, playing on my dreams and fears, low-blows and the promise of a free meal. I agreed to join my sister-in-law, Kammie, for supper followed by a girls-night-out of salsa dancing. Family can be that way sometimes. Continue reading

Hardware Store Homilies: The Three-Eighths Riddle

I love my father. He is a lifelong salesman of the highest order from whom I have learned many valuable life-lessons. For example, unlike many in his trade he would never be so foolish as to approach a customer and ask, “can I help you?” Unfit to be called salesmen, those guys, according to Pop, were nothing more than clerks.

Note that Pop used the term, clerk, as a derision — an epithet reserved for the lowest of the low masquerading as someone who almost cares.

Long before there were consultants, Pop believed that true-blue salesmanship had less to do with “closing” the deal and more to do with providing a consultation, that is, contributing to the greater good by getting to the bottom of what the customer (his client) really needed, not necessarily what they said they wanted. Continue reading

Return to the RS-232 Issue: Extron Chimes In

A recent survey on AV-1 questioned technology manager’s experiences with RS-232 control of their projectors. The results revealed widespread, intermittent RS-232 problems especially with serial-controlled projectors.

90% of survey respondents indicated that at least once a month their projectors have “locked up” and stopped responding to RS-232 commands. Ill-timed, random malfunctions of this sort can result in event interruptions and loss of end user confidence in presentation systems and support services.

Translation: This is a serious issue that must be resolved. Continue reading