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  • Newer! Faster! Brighter! (And Barely Fast Enough)
    12/4/2018 5:00:00 AM
  • All the Buzz in L.A.
    11/6/2018 8:00:00 AM
  • Is There a Future for Projectors
    10/10/2018 5:00:00 AM
  • How Many K's Do You Need
    9/12/2018 7:00:00 AM
  • December 4, 2018
    Newer! Faster! Brighter! (And Barely Fast Enough)
    Lauren Brodt

    Back in September, we discussed the escalation of “Ks,” as in how many thousands of pixels the display industry is trying to stuff into next−generation LCD, OLED, and inorganic LED panels. We mentioned that the first 8K displays are now coming to market, even as our industry is still trying to come to grips with the care, feeding, and handling of 4K / Ultra HD video signals.

  • November 6, 2018
    All the Buzz in L.A.
    Lauren Brodt

    We’ve just returned from the annual Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE) technology conference in Los Angeles. This is one of the pre−eminent motion imaging and media delivery conferences in the world, attracting papers from the best and the brightest working across a diversity of disciplines.

  • October 10, 2018
    Is There a Future for Projectors
    Lauren Brodt

    As a company primarily focused on signal management (switching, mixing, interfacing, and format conversion), Kramer doesn’t pick sides when it comes to signal sources and “sinks” (a/k/a displays). We’re more concerned with getting the signals there intact over a variety of connections, which today could mean anything from full−bandwidth HDMI cables to AV−over−IT and fast WiFi.

  • September 12, 2018
    How Many K's Do You Need
    Lauren Brodt

    In baseball, the letter ‘K’ is shorthand for strikeout – getting a batter to swing at or take a third strike. It’s not unusual to see fans of a particular batter holding up signs with large letter ‘Ks” on them to signify how many strikeouts a pitcher compiles during a game.

  • August 10, 2018
    On Voice Recognition Hardware for Control (and the Underlying Motives)
    Lauren Brodt

    It’s generally accepted that most of the product innovation in the AV industry originated in the world of consumer electronics. Blu−ray discs, tablets, big and inexpensive Ultra HD displays, faster WiFi, and streaming video all got off the starting line ten years ago.

  • July 13, 2018
    Speed is Everything
    Lauren Brodt

    If you’ve been paying even the slightest attention to trends in the AV industry, you know that fast wireless connectivity has become a very important part of any installation. In particular, WiFi is integral to all of the wireless collaboration and presentation−sharing devices that are overrunning classrooms and meeting rooms.

  • June 28, 2018
    INFOCOMM 2018: What Did It All Mean
    Lauren Brodt

     If you managed to make it out to this year’s running of InfoComm, you might have summarized your trip to colleagues with these talking points:
    (a) LED displays, and
    (b) AV−over−IT.
    Indeed; it was impossible to escape these two trends.

  • May 25, 2018
    “Who Are Those Guys”
    Lauren Brodt

    Readers may remember Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, a classic western from 1969 that featured cinema icons Paul Newman and Robert Redford in the title roles as a pair of happy−go−lucky (and often violent) train and bank robbers. They were the leaders of the infamous “Wild Bunch,” also known as the Hole−In−The−Wall Gang, so named for the remote hideaway in Wyoming that they used to evade authorities after pulling off a heist.

  • April 20, 2018
    NAB 2018: It's All Up in the Air
    Jamie Kelleher M.A.

    We just returned from our annual visit to the NAB Show in Las Vegas with a lot to think about – not the least of which was, where do we go from here−
    From “here,” we mean conventional AV signal management and distribution, using industry standard formats like HD SDI, DVI, and HDMI.

  • March 14, 2018
    Tired Of 4K TV Yet− Here Comes 8K TV….
    Jessica Ciesla

    Yes, you read that right: 8K displays are coming. For that matter, 8K broadcasting has already been underway in Japan since 2012, and several companies are developing 8K video cameras to be shown at next month’s NAB show in Las Vegas.
    “Hold on a minute!” you’re probably thinking.

  • February 15, 2018
    CES 2018: Get Ready For The Next Wave Of Displays
    Jessica Ciesla

    You could be forgiven if you wondered where all of the televisions disappeared to at this year’s CES. Ten years ago, the walls of booths occupied by the likes of Sharp, Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, and LG were stuffed full of LCD and plasma televisions.

  • January 30, 2018
    CES 2018: Tying It All Together
    Jessica Ciesla

    A few weeks ago was the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. For the first time, the majority of exhibits in Las Vegas emphasized applications over hardware, or to put it another way, “it’s not what you have, it’s what you do with it.

  • December 27, 2017
    Welcome To Jetsons Land!
    Jessica Ciesla

    The Consumer Electronics Show (alternately called CES and International CES over the years) is just a few weeks away and it’s already shaping up to be a doozy. We’ve been deluged with requests to visit numerous booths and suites to see everything from “smart” appliances and the latest in phone accessories to a host of Internet of Things (IoT) products.

  • November 20, 2017
    How Do Those Bits Get To Where They Need To Go−
    Jessica Ciesla

    Transporting signals over IT networks is a new way of AV switching. So new that, in fact, some people have a hard time getting their heads around the concept. After all, if you want to send a video signal on HDMI 1 to Projector 2, you just push the buttons for “HDMI 1” and “Projector 2.

  • September 15, 2017
    Time For A Reality Check
    Jessica Ciesla

    Recent discussions that we’ve had about the future of display interfacing, along with press releases from CES 2017, have us wondering if our industry needs an intervention.
    An explanation is in order. Up until the first Ultra HD (4K) displays landed on these shores in 2012, there was never a question that the interfaces we used to connect them – and the signal management equipment that uses those interfaces – wasn’t up to the job, at least speed−wise.

  • August 4, 2017
    Going Beyond 4K
    Jessica Ciesla

    While our industry is scrambling to keep up with the emergence of 4K and Ultra HD displays, there’s an even bigger tidal wave headed our way.
    Let us explain. The rapid expansion of display panel manufacturing in Korea, Taiwan, and China has at times led to overcapacity – too many ‘fabs’ pushing out big sheets of display ‘mother glass’ that can then be cut up into much smaller pieces for everything from smart phones to televisions.

  • July 10, 2017
    Hey, whatever happened to that wireless doohickey−
    Jessica Ciesla

    ‘Cutting the cord’ has long been the dream for consumers as long as we’ve had radio communication. Early television remote controls used ultrasonic signals to change channels and adjust the volume. Walkie−talkies, which predated mobile phones, were once as big as your arm.

  • June 6, 2017
    Under Assault From All Sides
    Jessica Ciesla

    Ah, the poor video projector. It’s gone from king of the hill to an endangered species in just 25 years. Once upon a time at a trade show far, far away, projectors even had their own competition – the annual InfoComm Projection Shoot−Out.

  • April 19, 2017
    HDR: What's It All About− PART 2
    Jessica Ciesla

    In our previous post, we talked about what defines an HDR signal and the clock rates required to transport it through an HDMI interface. As usual, there’s more to the story.
    High dynamic range isn’t just about a wider range of luminance values.

  • March 8, 2017
    HDR: What's It All About− PART 1
    Jessica Ciesla

    At ISE 2017, we heard talk about “HDR compatibility” for a wide variety of products. It’s fast becoming a buzzword in the AV community (even though most people don’t really understand what the term involves) and now, it appears, the marketing guys are once again getting out their messages ahead of common sense.

  • February 1, 2017
    Welcome My Friends, To The Show That Never Ends
    Jessica Ciesla

    This year’s Consumer Electronics Show starts right after the new year, and promises to be the usual packed−to−the−walls, hour−long−cab−line extravaganza of consumer (and professional) electronics.
    There will be the usual amazing technology demos.

  • December 22, 2016
    Protocols Are Everything
    Jessica Ciesla

    For those readers who are new to the concept of AV−over−IP signal transmission, we’ve got some good news…and some not−so−good news.
    The good news− You can stop obsessing over the numerous protocols associated with digital signal transport and display connections, like HDCP, HDMI, DP, DDC, and DVI.

  • December 6, 2016
    Getting More Fiber in Your Diet
    Jessica Ciesla

    As the last few weeks of 2016 wind into obscurity, Kramer has been teaching some classes on AV transport over IP networks – you know, the “AV−IT convergence,” which according to our calculations already happened over a decade ago.

  • November 15, 2016
    4K or Not 4K: What Does It All Mean−
    Jessica Ciesla

    The transition to 4K (or more specifically, media content and displays with a resolution of 3840x2160 pixels, a/k/a Ultra HD) is happening with incredible speed. Consider that the first 4K LCD display sold in the United States was an 84−inch monster, manufactured by LG Display and private−labeled by Sony, LG, JVC, and Toshiba, and it retailed anywhere from $17,000 to $25,000.

  • October 5, 2016
    What In The World Is USB Type−C
    Jessica Ciesla

    Face it: You know the USB connector has gone mainstream when it starts appearing in cars. Just about every model sold today (trucks and SUVs, too) has at least one if not two USB ports in it. And most of the time, drivers and passengers use them to charge their smartphones, occasionally playing music or uploading a contact list for hands−free calling.

  • September 6, 2016
    More Musings on Wireless
    Jessica Ciesla

    In a recent post, we discussed the differences between different types of wireless connectivity products. By now, the basic functions of wireless connectivity platforms for collaboration should be pretty well known to you. (Especially if you’ve been doing your homework and following this blog!)
    Now, let’s turn our attention to the other type of wireless connectivity product.

  • August 2, 2016
    Wow! They ARE Selling Like Hotcakes!
    Jamie Kelleher M.A.

    When the first Chromebooks came to market in 2011, many people laughed at them. Who would want a stripped−down laptop computer with minimal on−board software that sold for a couple hundred dollars−
    As it turns out, lots of people do.

  • July 26, 2016
    Help Stamp Out Bad Video Streaming
    Jamie Kelleher M.A.

    All wireless presentation systems aren’t created equal.
    There. We said it. Now, you may think that there’s little difference between one brand and another, aside from the price. And there certainly are some real bargains out there, based on what we saw while walking the show floor at InfoComm 2016.

  • July 19, 2016
    Amateur Night Videoconferencing
    Jamie Kelleher M.A.

    As we move through life, there are some general rules of thumb that we should keep in mind. One of them goes like this: “Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do it.”
    That caveat certainly applies to videoconferencing from your smartphone.

  • July 12, 2016
    What's in a Name?
    Jamie Kelleher M.A.

    Classroom. Conference room. Boardroom. Waiting room. Green room. We’ve got plenty of names for what’s essentially the same thing – four walls, a ceiling, and some furniture. But we assign names and importance to certain rooms because of the activities that take place in them.

  • June 22, 2016
    Defining Collaboration
    Jamie Kelleher M.A.

    “Collaboration:” You can’t escape it these days. It’s become one of the favored buzz words in the AV industry, not to mention in the world of business, the trade press, and among communication professionals. So what does it really mean to collaborate−
    Let’s step back and first establish some definitions.

  • June 15, 2016
    More Than Meets the Eye
    Jamie Kelleher M.A.

    It’s a certainty that no other generation in history has had as much written about it as Millennials. They’re been analyzed, scrutinized, satirized, and homogenized by the press, technology and market trend analysts, sociologists, politicians, philosophers, and humorists.

  • June 3, 2016
    Tablets: Not Selling Like Hotcakes−
    Jamie Kelleher M.A.

    Last month, a story appeared on the Re/Code Web site that discussed the unexpected drop in sales of tablets during 2015, specifically iPads.
    When the first iPads appeared in 2010, they were an instant hit. Six years later, Apple has sold more than 300 million of these gadgets – about the population of the United States.

  • May 10, 2016
    Five Features Every Unified Communication System Should Have
    Jamie Kelleher M.A.

    “Unified communications” is a trendy buzzword these days. And everyone’s got a different definition for it. The concept behind a UC product is that it can handle everything – messaging, file sharing, meetings, collaboration, scheduling, you name it – acting like a central hub for a diversity of electronic data from spreadsheets and videos to documents, emails, and photographs.

  • May 4, 2016
    A Shopping List for Wireless Connectivity
    Jamie Kelleher M.A.

    Wireless connectivity products are a fast−growing category of communication tools that will become essential parts of classrooms and meeting spaces. There are vast differences between these products, with some offering basic levels of screen sharing and file exchanges and others providing a full suite of features for a true collaboration experience.

  • April 19, 2016
    Someone's Knocking at the Door
    Jamie Kelleher M.A.

    What good is a wireless connectivity solution if it’s difficult to connect and use? There are many different approaches to providing a “plug and play” interface so that meeting and class participants can quickly join and not futz around with IP addresses.

  • April 19, 2016
    What's in a Number? Plenty!
    Jamie Kelleher M.A.

    The appeal of wireless connectivity products is easy to understand. They’re wireless, and they allow large numbers of people to connect quickly and easily to edit, annotate, share, and comment on files.
    But there’s a catch with the word “connect.

  • April 12, 2016
    Staying Connected (and Resting Your Feet)
    Jamie Kelleher M.A.

    “To connect, or not to connect. That is the question…” Well, we’ve taken some liberties with Hamlet’s famous soliloquy, to be sure. But the question is an important one: If you are going to install a wireless connectivity solution, why would you want to keep it off your network?
    To be fair, it’s entirely feasible to enable wireless collaboration as a self−contained network.

  • March 30, 2016
    Nicholas Burwell Discusses Lecture Theatre Design
    Jamie Kelleher M.A.

    Nicholas Burwell, an architect specializing in meeting room design, discusses the modern thinking behind university lecture theatre design.
    This presentation was given at the Digital Classroom Roadshow at UWE Bristol in February 2016.

  • March 15, 2016
    Top 5 Benefits of Wireless Connectivity
    Lara Coleman

    We depend on networking every day, from physical connections to our families, friends, and colleagues, to wired (and wireless) connections between our computers, TVs, tablets, and smartphones.  
    You probably don’t give much thought to these connections – they just work, or at least you hope that they’re working! But are you really taking advantage of the many benefits of being connected – on the network? Here are a 5 benefits of being connected on a wireless network:

  • March 8, 2016
    AV Over IP: A Better Mousetrap?
    Lara Coleman

    The transition to digital AV has created some amazing products and technologies. But it has also complicated matters. Now, instead of using big cables and racks of switchers to transport video and computer display signals, we have digital display interfaces that are supposed to configure the right resolution, check to see if copy protection is required, and piggy−back control signals, power, and even Ethernet traffic.

  • February 23, 2016
    Top 5 Uses for Video in Meetings and Beyond
    Lara Coleman

    It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words. So that means a video is worth what? Millions?
    The fact is, it has never been easier to shoot and share videos. The cameras in today’s smartphones are so good that they’re making the traditional point−and−shoot cameras a relic of the past.

  • February 17, 2016
    How to Create a Huddle Room
    Lara Coleman

    Let’s have a meeting!
    Technology is changing everything we know about computing and communicating. And now, it’s changing the rooms we meet in.
    The “traditional” meeting room had a long table surrounded by chairs, plus a projector and screen, and perhaps a lectern and flipchart.

  • February 9, 2016
    Better Meetings: More than Just a Worn−out Cliche
    Lara Coleman

    It seems like a day doesn’t go by without someone (or some company) talking about the way to “better meetings.” There’s a seminar to attend, or an email blast to read, or some hot insider tips you’ve just got to know about in the break room.

  • February 2, 2016
    Out With the Old, In With the New
    Lara Coleman

    It’s amazing that, considering the pace of technological advancement, some “staples” of meeting rooms and classrooms still manage to hang on after several decades. Is it because none of these meeting tools can be perfected? Or, is it because we’ve just come to expect and lean on them every time we gather together to learn something new, or make a group decision?
    Take the flip chart as an example – this is about as simple a way as you can devise for expressing your ideas.

  • January 26, 2016
    Wireless Connectivity: What’s New?
    Lara Coleman

    Face it; wireless connectivity is essential to our everyday lives. Our mobile phones and tablets, desktop computers, and laptops would be pretty useless without some sort of high−speed wireless connection.
    But we don’t think much about wireless connections – they “just happen,” assisted now and then by a password we enter on our device (and promptly forget!).

  • January 19, 2016
    3 Things You Need to Fix About Your Meetings
    Lara Coleman

    Meetings are a part of any business and team environment. Especially in today’s culture, meetings have evolved into an integral part of business. Now, people crave collaboration and can feel easily energized from speaking with others. Plus, meetings are a time to share relevant information, documents, and ideas.

  • January 12, 2016
    Smartphones, Tablets, Phablets, and Beyond
    Lara Coleman

    Ever since their introduction as walkie−talkie−sized gadgets almost 25 years ago, mobile phones have insinuated themselves into our world. Over time, they’ve gotten incredibly small, with computing power that exceeds the Apollo 11 moon lander from 1969.