Sony’s InfoComm Video Wall Is So Good It Got Joel Rollins to Stop Talking (By Taking His Breath Away)

Editor’s note: Joel didn’t write the title of this column.

I have always laughed at marketing “buzz terms” as used in our industry. In fact, I once devoted an entire column to them (Buzzards in the AV Industry, July 2010).

Except today, I am going to use one myself: Breathtaking.

It is simply the only term I can think of to describe Sony’s STUNNING Crystal LED video wall. And I use the term literally. I have never heard a group of cynical, experienced techs gasp when they saw a display before, but that was the reaction people were having to the sight of this thing. I stood before it for nearly 45 minutes, listening to one video wall technician after another (many of whom I knew) describe it, almost universally, as the best large display they have ever seen.

Now, let’s be fair – the approximate price of this wall was quoted several times as being in the cool two million dollar neighborhood and the material being shown was shot by the world’s leading broadcast video camera manufacturer. But I still found myself talking one of my current consulting and design clients into flying in from NYC to look at it, because I think they will dig deep to find the money. It’s THAT good. (Click here to watch Gary Kayye interview Sander Phipps from Sony, where they talk about the LED wall.)

Now I will use another buzz term: innovative.

It is how I feel about Epson’s new LightScene line of architectural laser projectors, which begins with their model EV-100. The LightScene projectors are laser projectors that look like track lighting fixtures, allowing you to use them easily for scenic, branding and digital signage projection in facilities where you don’t have room for traditional projectors and especially in facilities where you want to use them in combination with scenic lighting. Very cool.

Anyway, most of my night last night was spent working on a really cool experimental VR project, and this morning I am off to complete it and to try really hard NOT to go back and stand in front of the Sony video wall again.



Peerless-AV Debuts SEAMLESS

Peerless-AV will be rolling out SEAMLESS at InfoComm. Peerless-AV says SEAMLESS is a bespoke program for LED video walls and offers an all-encompassing support system for Peerless-AV’s partners and customers. Key elements of the program include:

  • Expert Engineering and Design: Experienced engineers and support staff collaborate in a think-tank style environment, creating new and effective solutions.
  • Custom Project Managers: A single point of contact from the SEAMLESS LED Solutions Team is provided to oversee every step of a project, ensuring an ideal solution and timely delivery.
  • Full Installation Services: The team supports the installation, maintenance, troubleshooting and even post-installation services.
  • Dedicated LED Mounting Solutions: Peerless-AV offers an innovative approach to all services, both indoors and out. Specializing in custom LED solutions, the company strives to stay on the cutting edge of what the industry has to offer. Peerless-AV is equipped to work in a variety of markets and environments, giving customers endless design options.

At InfoComm, Peerless-AV will also be showcasing the newest edition to its SEAMLESS by Peerless-AV program — its LED Video Wall Configurator. Going live in mid-June, the configurator allows users to simply and easily design an LED video wall and request a quote within minutes. The online configurator streamlines the process for Peerless-AV’s customers and speeds up the mount development and delivery time. The ultra-useful configuration tool provides additional critical information, such as mount weight, video wall power consumption and display resolution. This innovative technology is easy to use and sets a new standard for the LED video wall market.

Go here for all the details.

LG Launches New Color Transparent LED at InfoComm

LG Electronics USA Business Solutions is unveiling a new LED display — the LG Transparent Color LED film display. Making its introduction for the first time in the United States this week at InfoComm 2018, the revolutionary display has the ability to turn any window or glass surface into a customizable digital canvas.
The new Transparent Color LED film (LAT240DT1) display offers more than 1,000 nits of brightness, with each 668×480 mm panel containing 560 LED pixels that support a wide range of color while maintaining a high transparency ratio that displays compelling content in vivid colors while still showcasing what’s behind the glass. 
At just 1.5 millimeters thick, the LG Transparent Color LED film delivers a wide range of colors on the 24 mm pixel pitch display. It is easy to install (requiring minimal construction) on any existing glass surface using its self-adhesive transparent film. While maintaining high transparency, the LED film can display pictures, animation and videos with various color combinations, making it ideal for indoor and window-facing areas with large glass surfaces such as retail storefront windows.
Other applications include mass transit rail platforms and safety barriers, where LG Transparent Color LED film can display digital content and information, and lobbies and large public areas where it can convert ordinary glass into digital signage displays. Even tall glass elevator shafts can be transformed into stunning pillars of graphics and light. The flexible display also works on a wide range of curved glass and window surfaces with curved format support up to 1,100R concave and in parallel to the bezel, can be cut to size, converting any area of ordinary glass into a digital display.
All the details are here.

Pipe & Base 2.0(tm) expands European market in 2017

2017 is starting off with some exciting news for our European market expansion. All-Areas has been added to our growing list of Authorized dealers. Headquartered in the Netherlands, All-Areas serves the events industry throughout the EU with sales and rental of Pipe & Drape 2.0. Versatop looks forward to working with All-Areas to bring the Pipe & Base 2.0(tm) technology to more companies across Europe.

All Areas also has a German based sales office:

The Global LED Display Market Now $5.4 Billion Market

According to the latest report from Futuresource Consulting, the global LED display market closed 2016 with a mounting value of $4.5 billion, up 7 percent from $4.2 billion the previous year.

Meanwhile, 2016 saw the value of the monochrome/tri-colour LED display market value fall, year-on-year by 5 percent, now contributing less than 25 percent of market value. Much of the decline can be attributed to falling pricing of LED package, coupled with wider market saturation for this more basic option.

“Several sectors dominated the LED video display market in 2016, including media/advertising, stadiums/venues and retail,” commented Chris Mcintyre-Brown, Associate Director of Professional Equipment at Futuresource Consulting. “These segments delivered over half the market value in the video display category. Notably, 2016 experienced a further drive into the retail space and a growing trend toward indoor applications. These included corporate, transport, and control room, which grew in value by 62 percent comfortably surpassing $1 billion. Much of this growth was driven by narrow pixel pitch (NPP) LED which has been hugely disruptive in the commercial display space, challenging LCD and projection platforms,” added Mcintyre-Brown.

This professional displays report maps out the LED market in terms of geography, reaffirming that the LED video display market continues to be dominated by APAC, where over half of all sales originate, largely dominated by China. Whilst not entirely surprising given its ascendancy in global production, the APAC region is regularly overlooked as large, headline grabbing ‘spectaculars’ are often found in key western markets.

According to this latest Futuresource ongoing tracking report, the LED video display competitive landscape continues to remain fragmented. Contribution from 1st and 2nd tier brands accounted for well over two thirds of total sales value in 2016, the remainder being formed of 3rd tier Chinese brands. Over 400 LED display manufacturers are located in China with many currently focused in international expansion, benefiting from driving scale in the large domestic market. “In the main, these vendors have been focused on price driven volume strategies, with incumbent LED specialists still able to hold share in key verticals via long established service and support operations,” says Mcintyre-Brown.

“Product quality is of course another key differentiator against Chinese brands but as acceptance of LED grows and new technologies open up opportunities in volume verticals, the mix of high price and high quality becomes a harder proposition to take to market. Indeed, the disruptive impact of Chinese vendors has never been more keenly felt, forcing some established vendors to exit key LED segments and others to transition more rapidly toward ‘value’ lines, something which requires a completely different operational approach,” comments Mcintyre-Brown.

“The LED space is incredibly fluid at present,” continued Mcintyre-Brown. “We expect to see a shakeout in the competitive landscape, either through vendors exiting the category, increased M&A or completely failing in the face of increasingly pressured trading conditions. The days of high margins and huge profits, at least in the key value NPP LED category, are still with us but very much numbered.”

Futuresource is here.


Rants and rAVes — Episode 580: Almo to Launch Hospitality Division During E4 AV Tour

Rants and rAVes —

Stephen McKay has been helping the Hospitality industry with AV services and products for over 15-years – now he’s doing it with Almo ProAV. As the Senior VP of Special Markets at Almo ProAV his role is to help Almo’s integrator partners sell and integrate products and services into he Hospitality market (i.e. hotels, dorms, hospitals, etc). And, it’ll all be launched around the E4 in Chicago – including a pre-show “Hospitality Day” the day before the E4 AV Tour on Tuesday, March 21st at the Drury Lane Conference Center.

I was joined by both Stephen McKay and Melody Craigmyle, Almo ProAV’s VP of Marketing, who not only talked about he Hospitality event but also the entire E4 AV Tour. I will be delivering my all-new 4K Keynote: 4K: NO MYTHS, NO EXAGGERATIONS – JUST THE FACTS and it gives you  1.5 InfoComm CTS RUs and there are another 10 courses, during the March 22 event, that also include InfoComm CTS RUs. Plus the event includes over 45 manufacturers with new products and services and even an IoT session. 

We talked about all of this – and how to register for the Hospitality Day, on todays podcast – listen here: 

Also, if you want to attend the Hospitality Day, get in touch with Apryl Lamberti at


“My team no longer hated setting up for P&D events”

It’s stories like this from Diego that keep us motivated to continue innovating and creating industry-changing products. We couldn’t be more thankful for your support of our concept and we are so excited to reveal new and exciting products in 2017.

“Hello Vince, I hope you are having a great start to the new year. I just wanted to share that I am now working for a different company since I first saw the videos for your P&D 2.0 accessories. As soon as I found out about your product I upgraded all my P&D hardware to your ball and crown system. I gotta say, since that change occurred my team no longer hated setting up P&D for events. And so cannot tell how pleased I was when I arrived at my new place of work and found out that their hardware had already been upgraded to your P&D 2.0 system. I commend you for creating such a great product and am please to say that I see your products more and more at different events I have attended. I am pleased to inform you that I will be contacting my local drape kings distributor today, to get a quote for some of your sidearm attachments. Wishing you all the best and much continued success.” – Diego Vazquez, Director of Audio Visual at Five-Star AudioVisual, Inc.


When Machines Become as Smart as Us (or Smarter)

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The often tumultuous presidential campaign has finally come to an end (Yay!!!). Now that we have all had the luxury of time to reflect on the outcome, expressing either our joy or sadness, we look to the future and wonder what the next administration will bring to the table regarding sustainability. With this in mind I recently had a great discussion about one of the key planks of President-Elect Trump’s platform regarding bringing manufacturing jobs back to the U.S.

featured-aeiforaManufacturing in the U.S. can have a dirty connotation to it, conjuring images of billowing smoke stacks, polluted rivers and barren landscapes — especially when Candidate Trump decried global warming as a Chinese hoax and threatened to get rid of the EPA. The real question is what does manufacturing look like in a modern landscape and how will it impact the environment? We have had a hint at this over the last several years despite what politicians say.

Several companies in sectors such as automotive, appliance, biotech have actually brought back jobs already to the U.S. as a result of the U.S. increasing its output of domestic energy including solar, wind and hydro electric — and yes, even oil. This easy access to cheap energy lowers cost of delivery and production making it attractive to produce in the States again despite higher wages.

The other real difference is the machinery being used to manufacture goods also requires less employees that have a higher skill level not often found overseas. Additionally machines are being built that don’t even really need supervision at all because they learn. This concept of machine learning dates back to 1959 when Arthur Lee Samuel developed his Samuel Checkers-playing program displaying the very fundamentals for artificial intelligence. This new technology was further refined in the 1990s with a focus on data mining and has been perfected by the likes of Google, Amazon and Apple.

Now we have technology in the palm of our hands that can snap a photo of people just by recognizing smiles or simple subtle gestures like blinking. The same can recognize a computer user and log in without ever having to remember another blasted password. Even more (not-so) subtle is the select advertising on a person’s social media feed reminding you of items you searched on line during your lunch hour or suggesting similar items, food, movies, and whatnot merely by learning your habits.

We now have a new intersection with Amazon’s Echo, Google’s Home and others that are always listening and watching — learning — and even intuitively making decisions for you before you even think of it. For example, turning on the coffee pot in the morning when it hears you wake up then selecting music to play based on not only your tastes but whether or not it is the weekday or weekend. Additionally, augmented and virtual reality is storming at us promising to add information to our daily lives right in front of our faces as we move through the world much in the way Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit has predicted and demonstrated. Although one does have to give a nod to Knight Rider’s KIT for being pretty prescient.

So how does this fit into the promise of bringing manufacturing back to make America Great Again? And how does this all tie into sustainability? With our commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement potentially hanging on a thread it may be those manufacturing jobs and semi-sentient machines made right here in the US that keeps our commitment if our politicians can’t. With the ability to recognize, predict, and respond on its own, these devices are already controlling lighting, temperature, and other energy hogging devices and could easily be set to automatically reduce our carbon footprint without us having to do anything. It will just know how to adjust through mining trillions of data point just as the human brain can and just might be the savior of us all.

Selling AV Episode 35: Be Present

SellingAV_750x400As sales people it’s typically hard for us to deliver bad news or say “I don’t know”.  However when uncomfortable situations arise, it’s better to be present than to wait for the perfect answer.  Find out why in this week’s Selling AV.