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Archive for March, 2013

Visual Unity Appoints Gabriel Dusil as Vice President of Corporate Strategy

In a move that significantly strengthens it management structure, leading broadcast and multiscreen systems integrator Visual Unity has appointed Gabriel Dusil to the position of Vice President of Corporate Strategy.

Dusil brings a wealth of experience to Visual Unity, having held several regional management roles across EMEA with large multi-nationals such as Motorola and VeriSign. His background also includes VP level sales and marketing roles, with strengths in Cloud-based solution selling and partnership management.

Tomas Petru, President of Visual Unity, says: “Gabriel’s appointment comes at a time when Visual Unity is expanding its product portfolio with the launch of vuEasy™ – a next generation Cloud-based Online Video Platform that allows companies to manage and monetize their audio, video and image libraries. Gabriel’s experience in sales and marketing, combined with his knowledge of video standards, storage solutions and end-to-end IP video services, will considerably help Visual Unity expand its product strategy, global marketing initiatives and international sales and business development.”

Dusil’s role at Visual Unity includes identifying and developing opportunities for the company in international markets. To this end he has already led the team in negotiating and signing a strategic partnership agreement the UAE’s integrated telecom service provider du.

Visual Unity has over 20 years’ experience and expertise in the design and delivery of linear broadcast and multiscreen solutions. Its vuMedia™ integrated content management and delivery platform recently won the ConnectedWorld.tv 2012 Award for the Best Use of Online Video by a Non-Broadcaster, and was also shortlisted for a CSI Award in the Best Content On Demand category.

Developed to help broadcasters and content owners control how their brand and assets are managed and monetized in the multiscreen environment, vuMedia™ delivers a cutting-edge viewing experience on any screen or connected device. Among the many national and regional broadcasters and media companies that have adopted vuMedia™ are Al Aan in the Middle East, TV Nova, Czech TV and TopFun.

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About Visual Unity

Visual Unity is an international Systems Integrator bridging the gap between linear broadcast, IT and IPTV to help clients reach and engage audiences on any screen. Since 1991, the team has been designing and delivering turnkey broadcast and complex multiscreen solutions worldwide – from HD Outside Broadcast vehicles and major playout facilities to live internet streaming and Video on Demand services.
Visual Unity is a Multiscreen Solution Provider, bridging the gap between linear broadcast, IT and IPTV to help clients reach and engage audiences on any screen. Since 1991, the team has been designing and delivering turnkey broadcast and complex multiscreen solutions worldwide – from HD outside Broadcast (OB) vehicles and major playout facilities to live internet streaming and Video on Demand services. Visual Unity’s award-winning vuMediaTM platform helps broadcasters and content owners control how their brand and assets are managed and monetized in the multiscreen environment. vuMediaTM is a highly scalable and modular architecture, delivering a cutting-edge live viewing experience on the web or any mobile or connected device – all of which can be deployed into existing workflows and business processes.

Visual Unity is based in Prague, London, Cologne, Moscow, Bratislava, Belgrade, Nairobi and Dubai. For further information, please visit www.visualunity.com
Visual Unity: Na hrebenech II 1718/8, Prague 4, 147 00, Czech Republic
T: +420 271 742 111 F: +420 271 742 112 E: info@visualunity.com

SMPTE Creates New Technology Committee Dedicated to Cinema Sound

Committee Will Explore and Standardize New Sound Measurement Techniques With the Goal of Consistent Sound Reproduction

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — March 4, 2013 — The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), the worldwide leader in motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, media, entertainment, and technology industries, today announced the creation of a new technology committee, TC-25CSS, dedicated to cinema sound. The committee will work to update SMPTE standards and recommended practices to address opportunities created by the many technical advances since standards last were created, as well as to improve the quality and consistency of cinema sound.

“Improvements in measurement technology, digital sound delivery, and in sound reproduction equipment, as well as the greater detail and dynamic range of movie soundtracks, present a variety of challenges in providing quality cinema sound,” said Brian Vessa, executive director of digital audio mastering at Sony Pictures Entertainment and chair of the new SMPTE committee.

“Existing SMPTE standards and recommended practices help to minimize variations, but cinema sound quality today is highly dependent on the skill, talent, training, and hearing acuity of the adjusting technician,” added Vessa. “TC-25CSS, the first SMPTE technology committee dedicated solely to cinema sound, will explore and standardize new sound measurement techniques with the goal of consistency in sound reproduction between the mixing stage and diverse cinema spaces.”

TC-25CSS was formed following an extensive study by the Theater B-Chain Study Group, which conducted tests of current test equipment and methods, measured reference and commercial theaters, and collaborated on observations and results. The committee currently has 130 members, representing more than 90 companies and academic institutions from 14 countries.

“The introduction of Digital Cinema is helping to provide a consistently high quality of image display. Sound is at least as important in the movie theater experience,” said Hans Hoffmann, head of production technology for the EBU and SMPTE standards vice president. “The Cinema Sound Systems committee will work to ensure that the latest science and technology are used to allow cinema-goers to enjoy the full impact of the sound experience as created in the mixing room.”

As TC-25CSS works to standardize techniques and tools for optimizing sound systems and theater acoustics, the committee will correlate human sound perception with the science of sound reproduction and measurements as the underlying principle. Current activities include development of a recommended practice for measurement and calibration of B-chain sound systems using modern standards and measurement technology, creation of a standard pink noise test signal, a final report on data and findings from the Theater B-Chain Study Group, and work by two new study groups examining immersive audio systems and new electroacoustic measurement methods and target curves.

“This is the first time since the late ’70s that cinema sound has been addressed in depth,” said Mark F. Collins, director of projection technology for Marcus Theatres. “Over the past three decades, we’ve seen huge changes in audio technology, and our hope is that, through the work of the new SMPTE technology committee and its subcommittees, the tools used to measure audio signals will be brought into tune with today’s technology. With signal-testing tools that support very consistent audio quality throughout the industry, cinema owners can provide very good presentations and assure movie creators that what’s being reproduced in the field is consistent with the studio mix.”

In the upcoming SMPTE Standards Webcast “Cinema Sound Systems — Raising the Bar Through New Standards,” scheduled for March 12, Vessa will discuss topics including current SMPTE standards, the new committee’s work, and the impact of new and emerging immersive cinema sound systems on the standards-creation process. The webcast is free and open to all. Those interested in registering may do so at www.smpte.org/education/standards-webcasts.

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About the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
The Oscar(R) and Emmy(R) Award-winning Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), a professional membership association, is the worldwide leader in developing and providing motion-imaging standards and education for the communications, technology, media, and entertainment industries. An internationally recognized and accredited organization, SMPTE advances moving-imagery education and engineering across the broadband, broadcast, cinema, and IT disciplines. Since its founding in 1916, SMPTE has published the SMPTE Motion Imaging Journal and developed more than 600 standards, recommended practices, and engineering guidelines. SMPTE members include motion-imaging executives, engineers, creative and technology professionals, researchers, scientists, educators, and students from around the world. Information on joining SMPTE is available at www.smpte.org/join.

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Fenix – Marin County’s New Mecca Of Dreams And Streams

A Literal Intersection Of Music, Fine Dining & Social Media

SAN RAFAEL, CA: Beyond the traditional amenities of fine dining, exotic libations, and live music, the Fenix introduces a template for a new form of creative and social interaction — on site and online. Conceived by Laura van Galen, a visionary Bay Area CEO, the new 150-seat supper club has been designed to share live performances by talented indigenous and celebrated world-renowned artists with a local, national and eventually international audience on location and over the web at www.livestream.com/fenixlive.

“I’d been gestating the concept for integrating a hip ‘literal’ performance venue within the ‘virtual’ streaming media community since 2008, and found the ideal site in my adoptive hometown of San Rafael in 2009.” van Galen says. ” Bay Area music guru Merl Saunders, Jr. joined Fenix in 2011, and helped crystallize my thinking. Merl also established our solid connect to the Walters-Storyk Design Group and architect/ acoustician John Storyk. Local (but internationally recognized) architect Tim Murphy and celebrated Executive Chef Shawn Paul rounded out our team, and work began in earnest in early 2012. We began a series of ‘private’ openings in late 2012, and have been fine-tuning our ‘soft’ opening to the public over the past few weeks. Initial feedback is extremely positive.”

Namesake of the legendary Grateful Dead keyboardist, Merl Saunders Jr. has been an integral component of SF’s music scene literally from birth. Extensive touring with artists as disparate as Michael Jackson, David Crosby and Frank Zappa, coupled with his long-term role as Sr. Executive Director of the Recording Academy (GRAMMY Awards,) provided Merl with unparalleled insights into artist (and audience) preferences and a deep appreciation for the technical requirements for high quality live performances.

“I’ve played in and attended gigs in literally thousands of venues over the years,” Saunders reveals. “As a musician and an avid fan, I know acoustics are the critical element of every successful club. No matter how fine the food and drink, if the artists don’t sound great, the club can’t survive. Laura’s vision for Fenix is centered on a critical streaming element, which further increased the need for the room to sound absolutely pristine. With credits that run the gamut from Jazz At Lincoln Center to Le Poisson Rouge, the Rockwood Music Hall and thousands of recording studios and broadcast facilities, WSDG was the ideal choice to design an acoustic soul for the Fenix.”

“Laura discovered an excellent platform for this extraordinary venue, the two-story high live room had great ‘bones,’” John Storyk says. “To facilitate an ideal ‘sweet spot’ environment for the audience while simultaneously defusing audience/dining noise away from the performers, the ceiling over the front bar and dining sections was dropped. Twin recording studio-style ceiling clouds constructed with a combination of broadband and membrane absorption, were floated over those areas,” Storyk explains. “We then angled the ‘clouds’ upward from the front to the rear of the room, and we added aesthetically pleasing wall panels as absorptive acoustic treatments. These elements serve dual purposes, they enhance the audio quality of the on stage performance and, they inhibit intrusive patron noise. EAW QX596 Mains and custom Sub-Woofers; EAW12 & 15″ Monitors and ASHLY KLR 5000, 4000 & 2000 Power Amps cap off a terrific audio system.”

“Skype was a critical tool in our collaboration with John and WSDG Project Supervisor, Joshua Morris,” Saunders says. “We regularly walked them through the site with live iPad video to review the construction progress. Their input on everything from Control Room design to HVAC ductwork was invaluable. They participated in every facet of the acoustic design of this project including gear and console selection review.”

Positioning the FOH mixing position at the rear of the room eliminated the issue of obstructing audience view, and simultaneously provided the mixer with excellent line of site to the artist. The 2nd floor master control room receives continuous feeds from three fixed-position AW-HE50SN Panasonic HD-SDI Pan/tilt/zoom Cameras, (featuring programmable + operator-control options) and, audio from an array of almost three dozen Shure, EVRE, Sennheiser and other mics. Beyond the clubs’ terrific acoustics, artists also appreciate the chance to chill in a beautiful green room.

“Laura’s concept of establishing a subscription-based online audience for our live shows requires our mixer/director to work ‘on-the-fly’ as the performance unfolds,” Saunders ads. “We positioned a Midas Pro2 Console – 56 Mic/Line inputs with built-in faders at FOH, and customized the basic configuration to support our live streaming requirements. Our Control Room is equipped with a TC455 NewTek TriCaster 455 for complete live production and streaming, an Apple MP 2.4 for editing; an Avid Pro Tools HD Native & Interface for remixing for subsequent CD (but not DVD) distribution. The system is designed to enable us to record live albums, which we hope to do when the club is dark on Mondays and Tuesdays, and another reason we engaged ‘master studio designer.”

“The Fenix has absolutely everything going for it,” John Storyk concludes. “Laura van Galen envisions this club as the first of a group of sister clubs at select cities around the country. The vibe is hip, warm and welcoming, the menu is outstanding, and the room sounds great. The mixing consol, mics and entire technology package was selected to insure superior streaming quality. Initial feedback supports the accuracy of the choices. Marin County has a fantastic pool of local talent, and the word is already out to ‘A List’national artists that this is a terrific showcase venue. With the combination of their streaming and recording capabilities, it’s a safe bet to say the world will be hearing great music generated by the Fenix for years to come.”

Photos:
1. The Fenix, San Rafael, California
2. Fenix Entrance
3. Fenix interior (note FOH position at right)
4. Fenix FOH position. Note Midas Pro2 Audio Mixing Console and Element Lighting Console

Please credit all photos by John Merkl www.johnmerkl.com

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Walters-Storyk Design Group has designed over 3000 media production facilities in the U.S., Europe, the Far East and Latin America. WSDG credits range from the original Jimi Hendrix Electric Lady Studio in Greenwich Village to NYC’s Jazz At Lincoln Center performance complex, broadcast facilities for The Food Network, CBS and WNET, over twenty teaching studios for The Art Institutes around the US, and corporate clients such as Hoffman La Roche. Recent credits include Jungle City, NY’s major new destination studio; private studios for Green Day, Jay-Z, Timbaland’s Tim Mosley, film composer Carter Burwell, Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen and Alicia Keys. WSDG principals John Storyk, Beth Walters, and Dirk Noy lecture frequently at universities and industry events, and contribute regularly to industry publications. WSDG is a seven-time winner of the prestigious TEC Award for outstanding achievement in Acoustics/Facility Design, including 2012 for Jungle City. WSDG maintains offices in NY, SF, Miami, Argentina, Brazil, Beijing, Germany, Mexico City, Spain and Switzerland.

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HARMAN’s Studer to Showcase Range of Digital Audio Consoles at CABSAT 2013

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — At CABSAT 2013, HARMAN’s Studer will be exhibiting with partner GSL Professional, showing a range of its world-class digital audio consoles for broadcast environments. CABSAT will be held March 12-14 at the Dubai World Trade Center in the United Arab Emirates.

Studer will show several products at CABSAT, including: the Vista 9 42-fader console, the Vista 5M2 22-fader console, the Vista 1 32-fader console, as well as its OnAir 2500 and OnAir 1500 consoles. Studer will also showcase its VISTA FX engine, which enables Vista users to add up to 24 channels of Lexicon effects to their console.

“Studer has enjoyed tremendous success in recent years in the Middle East and Africa broadcast markets, with Studer consoles being installed in some of the largest and most prestigious television and radio broadcast facilities in these regions,” said Bruno Hochstrasser, General Manager, Studer. “We invite everyone at CABSAT to see our market-leading consoles for themselves!”

Studer’s range of products can be seen at the GSL Professional stand, Number 414 in Hall 4.

CABSAT is the Middle East and Africa’s largest broadcast, digital media and satellite expo. For more information on Studer products, please visit www.studer.ch

For more information on GSL Professional, please visit www.gslprofessional.com

HARMAN (www.HARMAN.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets — supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 13,400 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported net sales of $4.4 billion for the twelve months ending June 30, 2012.

HARMAN’s JBL Professional Thinks Global, Acts Local: Succeeds In Booming China Karaoke Entertainment Facilities Market With Specialized KTV Sound Systems

NORTHRIDGE, California – Underscoring its global leadership in audio system design and unique capacity to swiftly deploy new products especially developed for local markets, HARMAN’s JBL Professional KTV audio systems are gaining strong traction in the China’s fast-growing KTV (Karaoke Television) marketplace. A $500 million market, KTV has rapidly become a staple of Chinese family entertainment. KTV entertainment facilities comprise multiple private lounges equipped with KTV machines that play music and display video clips and lyrics. The lounges are available for rent by families and for parties, and the audience is generally limited to invited guests. A typical KTV entertainment facility may house up to 50 or more separate performance lounges, each featuring dedicated sound systems with specialized directivity, control and audio quality to ensure a good customer experience and to avoid overspill between rooms.

JBL KTV sound systems are especially popular in the premium China KTV market, where sophisticated KTV venues are located in elite neighborhoods and combine highly-evolved interior architectural designs, concierge services, valet parking and menus and drink services on par with the best restaurants. It’s fitting therefore that these new JBL sound systems have gained such popularity among both customers and venue operators of the KTV phenomenon.

“Customers come to KTV venues for a personalized ‘rock star’ singing experience,” said Daryl Wong, Director of Marketing, HARMAN Professional, China. “It’s entirely appropriate—almost requisite—that they get to enjoy the same audio technologies as those featured on the biggest stages and in the most prestigious recording studios. JBL is the clear sound system of choice for music’s elite performers—whether it’s Canto-pop or traditional folk—and our systems perform as well in the KTV venues of China’s regional cities and towns as they do on stages around the world! We are very pleased and proud to see our technologies deployed in such exciting, ambitious venues!”

Available models in the KP600 Series include the KP615 (15-inch woofer, 1.5-inch tweeter), KP612 (12-inch woofer, 1.5-inch tweeter), KP610 (10-inch woofer, 1.5-inch tweeter), and KP618S (18-inch subwoofer); the KS300 series KS312 (12-inch woofer, 1-inch tweeter), KS310 (10-inch woofer, 1-inch tweeter) and KS308 (8-inch woofer, 1-inch tweeter). All models feature sophisticated wooden cabinet enclosures that can be ceiling- or surface-mounted.

This broad range of speaker models is combined within venue-tailored system designs that meet various regional tastes. “There is no such thing as a universal loudspeaker,” noted Wong. “Geographic regions have discrete preferences for the tonal quality and balance of bass, mid and high frequency ranges.”

Numerous examples of KTV entertainment facilities throughout the country demonstrate the flexibility of JBL’s new KTV product range. As one example in central China, the Yue Hao Hotel in Xi’an, which combines a clean, contemporary design with 5-star amenities, has equipped its KTV rooms with no less than 84 JBL KP612 and KP610 speakers.

Located in China’s southwestern coastal region, the Da Di Entertainment Centre is the best and largest entertainment park in Putian, Fujian, with 136 KP610 speakers installed in 58 KTV rooms. Fujian’s Di Hao Club offers 20 luxurious KTV rooms featuring tiled walls, chandeliers, multiple built-in video screens—and two KP612 speakers in each room. The QuanzhouJing Yi Hui Fashion Club in Fujian has 19 KTV rooms of opulent elegance, where patrons can sing along to their favorite songs in rooms with velvet seating areas, large video projection screens and a total of 22 JBL KS312 and 18 KS310 ceiling-mounted speakers.

“When it comes to fixed installations that can be scaled for and tailored to venues of this size, our engineers and product-development specialists working together in China and Northridge have come up with a loudspeaker series that is uniquely designed, built and priced for China’s KTV market,” continued Wong. “We are very pleased with the results of their efforts —and it appears the market is too!”

HARMAN (www.HARMAN.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets — supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 13,400 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported net sales of $4.4 billion for the twelve months ending June 30, 2012.

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ABS, ExperienceChurch.TV Celebrate Successful AVL Expo

SEATAC, WA — More than 100 people attended last month’s Audio, Visual, Lighting Conference and Expo (AVL Expo) at Experience Church in Puyallup, Wash. Produced by professional video and audio systems integration firm Advanced Broadcast Solutions (ABS), in collaboration with ExperienceChurch.tv®, the one-day conference included an exhibit hall and educational sessions specifically tailored for the worship community.

“The feedback we received was fantastic, and the sessions were very well attended,” said Arco Groenenberg, ABS vice president of sales and marketing. “This was our fifth AVL Expo since 2009, and we saw a lot of new faces. It’s really become an important event for churches in the Northwest that want to maximize their AV resources.”

“I think people were ready to regain their vision after the fiscal challenges most churches faced,” added Dennis Cummins, Pastor at Experience Church.tv. “People were looking with a fresh and more realistic approach to what was possible in their budget domains. They also appreciated being in the ‘real world’ of an everyday church, not a mega church or expo hall.”

The conference schedule featured nine educational sessions, as well as a panel discussion to close the program. Sessions covered a variety of topics, including I-MAG (image magnification), multi-site content distribution, and live production.

Cummins said the branding session had a noticeable impact on attendees. “It really made people think how to use their media to communicate their message and better unify their message,” he explained, “and gave them great confidence in moving ahead in purchasing equipment.”

About ABS:

Based in SeaTac, WA, ABS (Advanced Broadcast Solutions) delivers customized, technologically superior solutions for broadcast, corporate, house of worship, entertainment, government, and educational facilities – from design and integration to installation and support services. Since 1982, its experienced technical staff has installed more than 700 systems for clients including Fisher Communications, Cowles California Media, Real Networks, Cisco Systems, and Microsoft Studios. For more information, call 206-870-0244 or visit www.advancedbroadcastsolutions.com.

Platinum Tools® Features New Recon Test Set; Now Shipping

Camarillo, Calif., March 4, 2013 – Platinum Tools(R) (www.platinumtools.com), the leader in solutions for the preparation, installation and hand termination of wire and cable, is proud to announce that it will feature the new Recon Test Set (p/n T62) at 2013 ISC West, held in Las Vegas, Nev. from April 10-12 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, booth 4042. Now shipping with an MSRP of $269.95, the Recon Test Set delivers more line condition and status information than any other telephone line tester in the world.

“The T62 Recon Test Set includes the most sophisticated data in-line discovery and protection available today,” explained John Phillips, Platinum Tools, Inc. product manager. “The T62 offers a complete menu for measuring data, actively monitoring and detection of high line voltages. It also includes a Digi-Secure feature that protects digital lines from disruption by outside test equipment.”

The new Platinum Tools T62 Recon Test Set comes with a slate of features not found on any other ‘butt’ set in the world. The large backlit display shows information clearly, and with a glow in the dark keypad the unit can be used in low light environments. And, it is 100 percent weather and rainproof for outside use anytime.

Additional T62 Recon Test Set features and specifications include:
• Bed-of-nails cord set
• Large backlit LCD
• Glow in the dark keypad
• On-hook voltage and current measurements
• Off-hook current readings and polarity
• Caller ID/Call Waiting Caller ID and error detection
• Last number dialed
• Last number called or received list
• Amplified line monitoring for volume level comparable to “off hook” operations
• Soft key menu system
• Data Defender™ keeps digital lines safe
• Detects and identifies DSL and T1 lines
• Eight number stored memory
• DTMF decode
• Drop tested to 20 feet
• Multiple language (English, Spanish and French) options / display set up choices

“The T62 Recon Test Set is tough as well as talented,” added Phillips. “It is a 21st Century telephone test set that sets a new standard for telephone line analysis.”

For more information on Platinum Tools and its complete product line, please visit www.platinumtools.com, call (800) 749-5783, or email info@platinumtools.com.

About Platinum Tools
Platinum Tools, founded in 1997, was created based upon two very simple objectives. First, develop the absolute best possible solutions for the preparation, installation, and hand termination of wire and cable. Second, implement an operational infrastructure that can deliver these products in an efficient, timely, and high quality manner.

All of our products must absolutely satisfy three critical benchmark criteria…utility of function; quality of function; and economic value. Our people are our company. They, too, must be focused on and work to satisfy three critical benchmark criteria…customer satisfaction; product knowledge and expertise; and willingness to learn and adapt.

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Stampede Sponsors Timely March 6 Webinar On Mergers & Acquisitions

Veteran Pro AV business owners who are interested in developing and implementing the right kind of succession plan that best serves their long-term needs should make it a point to register now for the March 6, 2013 InfoComm Webinar on “Mergers & Acqusitions” that is being sponsored exclusively by Stampede Presentation Products, Inc. According to Stampede President & COO Kevin Kelly, Stampede worked closely with InfoComm and presenter John Stiernberg of Stiernberg Consulting to create an information-packed presentation that defines the issues that pertain specifically to Pro AV
business owners.

“Mergers and acquisitions are transforming a number of American industries including the Pro AV community,” Kelly said today, “and for many of our founder-managed businesses the timing couldn’t be better — but only if they make the right decisions and have all of the right information at their
disposal. The March 6 InfoComm Webinar, which we are proud to sponsor exclusively, covers all of the strategic issues and then some.”

According to Kelly, the March 6 Webinar will cover issues like defining succession planning, mergers, acquisitions and strategic alliances in the context of the ProAV community; discussion of multiple exit strategy options; how to establish parameters for successful exit strategies; clarification of the differences that exist among AV integrators, design firms and manufacturers; and finally, how to establish the key financial and non-financial metrics that have an impact on the planning process.

Stampede is sponsoring a total of four InfoComm Webinars in 2013 and each of them will focus on how to develop and implement a business succession plan that best benefits the owner and the employees who play such a vital role in keeping the Pro AV industry’s businesses vital and relevant to their customers. The remaining webinars in this series, “Successful AV Industry Mergers & Acquisitions” and “Critical Success Factors for Your Long-Term Plan”, are scheduled, respectively, for March 13 and March 20, both at 1 p.m EST.

About Stampede
Known for its value-added distribution, Amherst, New York-based Stampede is the leading distributor of presentation equipment including LCD/DLP projectors and flat panel displays. Stampede provides a complete range of brand name presentation equipment to a variety of audio/video, computer, and home theater resellers and integrators in the United States, Canada and Latin America. These resellers rely on Stampede for value-added services in distribution, marketing and solution- based sales. Stampede annually produces the “Big Book of AV,” an 816-page catalog and companion website (www.BigBookofAV.com) providing hundreds of sales, installation and spec tips for Stampede’s dealers in addition to product details on more than 5,000 SKUs. For more information on Stampede, log onto www.stampedeglobal.com.

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Wyrestorm Announces Mark Dziekan as National Sales Manager for Pro A/V Business

Memphis, TN – March 4, 2013 – Wyrestorm, a global manufacturer specializing in the design and development of innovative HD distribution products for custom residential and commercial applications, is proud to welcome Mark Dziekan to the company as the National Sales Manager, dedicated to developing Wyrestorm’s presence in the professional audio and video market within the U.S.

With more than 25 years of executive sales, marketing and business development experience within the electronics industry, Dziekan brings a wealth of knowledge, key relationships and strategic experience to Wyrestorm. In the NSM role, he is tasked with building the Wyrestorm’s non-residential business by leveraging his strategic relationships with display manufacturers and industry consultants, as well as establishing a network of sales representation for the company’s professional audio and video sector. Dziekan has a history of successfully growing vertical business units within commercial A/V domestically, holding various positions at leading video manufacturers including Toshiba America, NEC, Sharp and Panasonic, and most recently as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Lightware USA, a commercial digital video signal management hardware and software provider.

“Wyrestorm has established a strong dealer base in the U.S. residential market over the last two years. With a solid foothold, we now look forward to the opportunity to introduce our HDBT and HD distribution solutions to the commercial sector,” states Wyrestorm CEO Derek Hulbert. “With embedded HDBT functionality in displays being just around the corner, Mark’s experience, particularly with display manufacturers, is vitally important to help strategically position and grow this division of Wyrestorm’s business.”

Adds Dziekan, “Based on my experience, Wyrestorm is well-positioned for success within the U.S. commercial A/V market. The company has quickly established itself as an early adopter of HDBT technology and offers commercial system integrators a creative portfolio of HD audio and video distribution products that combine the technology, features and flexibility they need for any scale project. This new role solidifies the company’s commitment to this sector and I look forward to the opportunity and challenge to immediately impact their business.”

Wyrestorm’s award-winning products for residential and commercial A/V applications include: HDMI & HDBT extenders, the first HDBaseT Class D digital audio amplifier, matrix switchers, splitters and converters, among others.

For more information about Wyrestorm, visit www.wyrestorm.com. To learn more about the Wyrestorm’s solutions for the non-residential sector, contact Mark Dziekan at markd@wyrestorm.com.

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Extron Now Shipping Six Input HDCP-Compliant Scaling Presentation

Extron IN1606Extron Electronics is pleased to announce the immediate availability of the IN1606, a six input, HDCP-compliant video scaler that includes four HDMI inputs, two universal analog video inputs, and two simultaneous HDMI outputs. The IN1606 accepts a wide variety of video formats including HDMI, HDTV, RGB, and standard definition video. Its high performance video scaling engine features 1080i deinterlacing, Deep Color processing, and seamless switching with support for up to 1920×1200 and 2K output resolutions. Enhanced audio features include six stereo inputs, fixed and variable stereo outputs, two mic/line inputs with ducking and 48 V phantom power, plus HDMI audio embedding and de-embedding. Designed for professional AV integration, the IN1606 offers a complete AV switching system with flexible control options including Ethernet, RS-232, and USB.

“The IN1606 delivers a high performance, one-box solution for today’s presentation systems by combining multi-input switching and signal format flexibility with advanced scaling functionality,” says Casey Hall, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Extron. “Integrators can take advantage of the powerful audio capabilities for fine-tuning to suit the needs of each installation.”

To enhance and simplify integration, the IN1606 features SpeedSwitch™ Technology, which provides exceptional switching speed for HDCP-encrypted content. EDID Minder® and Key Minder® automatically manage EDID communication and HDCP key negotiation between input and output devices to ensure reliable operation. The IN1606 also provides immediate visual confirmation and real-time HDCP status verification, offering valuable feedback to system operators and helpdesk support staff.

With HDMI audio embedding and de-embedding, the IN1606 can insert analog input audio signals onto the HDMI output or extract embedded HDMI audio signals. Audio breakaway allows the analog audio channels to be separated from corresponding video signals so that the audio channels can operate as an independent switcher. The IN1606 also provides control of advanced audio configuration settings, such as audio gain, attenuation, mixing, and ducking, through an intuitive Graphical User Interface.

Visit our Web site at www.extron.com for more information.

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