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ASK Proxima Partners With Stampede For Its Projection Products

ASK Proxima, manufacturer of high-performance LCD and DLP® projection displays, today announced the appointment of Stampede Presentation Products, Inc., North America’s oldest and largest distributor of high value added ProAV solutions, to sell ASK Proxima’s full line of projectors to its customer base of 11,500 dealers.

ASK Proxima brings a wide range of presentation and display solutions to the installation, business and ProAV markets. From short- and ultra-short throw projectors to large venue and standard business projection products, ASK Proxima has a variety of feature-rich and network solution-ready projectors to fit just about any need. Stampede will enhance ASK Promixa’s aggressive new approach to the display industry, with competitive pricing, warranties and support.

“Stampede is an excellent fit and partner for our line of projectors,” said Sam Malik, vice president and general manager of Sales and Marketing for ASK Proxima. “We’re very pleased to have partnered with them. Stampede has an excellent reputation with the IT and ProAV communities, and their strategically located warehouse across the U.S. and Canada will help dealers get quick access to ASK Proxima products when needed. Their people are very knowledgeable and ready to help their customers. With our line of projectors, it will be even easier to help select the right model for their needs.”

“We’re honored to be appointed by ASK Proxima to represent their entire product line in the U.S.,” said Stampede president and COO Kevin Kelly. “Our 11,500 dealers pride themselves on being able to offer their customers the very best presentation solutions for use in corporate, education, fixed installation, and increasingly, digital signage applications, and ASK Proxima offers superior performing solutions for each of these critically important, and growing, market segments. We look forward to helping the ASK Proxima team exceed all of their sales objectives.”

Spring 2014 Stampede Big Book of AV Tour Highlights The Internet of Things and Tie-Ins With InfoComm and ITRA

2014 will kick-off with a very loud bang on January 23rd in Austin, Texas when the Spring 2014 Stampede Big Book of AV (BBOAV) Tour makes the first of seven scheduled stops at the Woodward Conference Center at Wyndham Garden.

According to Stampede Presentation Products Inc. President & COO Kevin Kelly, 2014 tour attendees can expect to see more product demonstrations of new and innovative solutions from more participating exhibitors than ever before, along with tie-ins with InfoComm Regional Roundtables and the International Technology Rental Association (ITRA).  “More companies and industry associations presenting more products and more strategic business-building information than ever before — that’s what our dealers can expect to see when they turn out for the tour this year,” Kelly promised. “In particular, we will be highlighting how dealers can immediately begin profiting from the new era of The Internet of Things.”
The 2014 Stampede Big Book of AV Tour will include four stops co-located with InfoComm Roundtables and one stop co-located with ITRA. As a result, AV professionals will get the opportunity to meet with AV industry manufacturers, attend CTS certified trainings and participate in industry-focused roundtable events. The InfoComm Regional Roundtables provide networking and business education opportunities free to InfoComm members. On tour, participants will be able to receive management advice tailored to AV businesses.

“We’re excited to include InfoComm and ITRA training sessions and presentations to give our dealers the maximum value when attending the tour. We are as committed as ever to educating our dealers on industry best practices and keeping them informed of the latest products and trends,” Kelly said.

To further address the “Internet of Things” phenomenon, the BBOAV Tour will feature a designated area for IOT manufacturers, identified by pop-up banners and stands. As Kelly previously predicted, a new personalized industry built upon the ideas of connecting, integrating, and sharing devices is maturing. The tour will identify and distinguish emerging IOT manufacturers who are seeking to implement innovative go-to-market strategies.

At the January 23rd stop in Austin, Sony and Hitachi will make presentations on video conferencing and the wireless transmission of hi-def video. Each session will earn attendees .5 CTS RU Credit. Additionally, Stampede will be offering event incentives such as $500 Stampede credit, a $100 Restaurant.com gift card and a $50 gift card for attending the BBOAV Tour. Every attendee will also be entered into a drawing to win a 42” LG LCD HD television.

After its inaugural stop in Austin, Texas, the Stampede Big Book of AV Tour continues through the spring on the following schedule:

—   February 13, 2014 in Scottsdale, Arizona (with InfoComm and ITRA)
—   February 20, 2014 in Montreal, Canada
—   March 6, 2014 in Cincinnati, Ohio
—   March 13, 2014 in Irvine, California (with InfoComm)
—   April 17, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts (with InfoComm
—   May 15, 2014 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (with InfoComm)

For more information about each event and to register to attend, dealers should go to http://www.bigbookofavtour.com/.

Core Brands Supports Gary Sinise Foundation’s “R.I.S.E Outreach Program” Restoring Independence, Supporting Empowerment

Core Brands, a subsidiary of Nortek, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTK), today announced that it is supporting the Gary Sinise Foundation by providing a range of audio, control, and power management solutions to be installed in five homes being built in 2014 for returning wounded military service members. According to Core Brands Vice President of Products & Marketing Joe Roberts, the commitment to provide solutions to each home stems from the company’s desire to support returning American military personnel who have made extreme sacrifices for their country.

“All of us who enjoy the benefits of freedom have an obligation to give back to those who have sacrificed so much to preserve those freedoms,” Roberts said today. “We think the work being done by the Gary Sinise Foundation to help wounded heroes live independently in the communities they call home is nothing short of extraordinary. We are honored to help in any way we can.”

Joel Berrettini of IT and Media Solutions, an Elite level dealer of ELAN Home Systems, initiated the relationship between Core Brands and the Gary Sinise Foundation.  His involvement with the Foundation began on September 11, 2012, when he saw Megyn Kelly on Fox News run a story on a Smart Home built by the Gary Sinise Foundation. “Here was a way that I could give back and have a direct impact on the quality of life for our Veterans,” said Berrettini. “There is a desire to give back and with the lifetime of skill sets acquired, I was all in.  I called Core Brands and they didn’t hesitate and gave me their commitment. As a result, five veterans are going to be able to live independently in their new smart homes.”

“Home is more than a house. It’s literally where we take comfort from the world,” said Judy Otter, Executive Director of the Gary Sinise Foundation. “When Joel Berrettini first contacted us, it was clear that he had a heart for our military.  He was extremely motivated to assist us, in any way that he could, and has been extremely generous with his time and resources.  The contribution being made by Core Brands will help to put 21st century smart home technology at the fingertips of some of the bravest Americans to have ever answered the nation’s call to serve.”

The experiences of war leave an indelible impact on servicemen and servicewomen. Upon their return to civilian life, the physical, emotional and psychological challenges they and their families face are often very difficult. As citizens, supporting our defenders is a responsibility each of us must carry – and the Gary Sinise Foundation is committed to ensuring that the sacrifices of our brave men and women are never forgotten.

About the Gary Sinise Foundation                                                                           

The Foundation serves the nation by honoring its defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need by creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen and build communities.  These include its R.I.S.E. Outreach (Restoring Independence and Supporting Empowerment), whose flagship initiative is a custom Smart Home building project for severely wounded veterans.  Each home is customized to ease their daily challenges and help restore independence with features like retractable cook tops, cabinets and shelving, elevators and more, all accessible via an iPad. Other programs include Relief & Resiliency Outreach, Invincible Spirit Festivals, Serving Heroes and Arts & Entertainment Outreach. The Foundation has also partnered with GE on their Get Skills to Work program to help veterans translate military skills into advanced manufacturing jobs while empowering employers with tools to recruit, onboard and mentor veterans. For more information, please visit GarySiniseFoundation.org .

About Core Brands, LLC and Nortek, Inc.

Headquartered in Petaluma, California, Core Brands, LLC is a company within the Technology Solutions Segment of Nortek, Inc. Core Brands combines the product and marketing strengths of twelve iconic audio, power management and control brands into a single business unit that includes the ATON®, BlueBOLT®, ELAN®, Emphasys®, Furman®, Korus®, Niles®, Panamax®, Proficient®, SpeakerCraft®, Sunfire® and Xantech® brands. Core Brands has more than 190 years of combined experience in the residential, commercial and professional markets and over 4,300 direct customer accounts in multiple distribution channels in the United States and around the world.

Nortek, Inc., (NASDAQ: NTK) is a global, diversified company whose many market-leading brands deliver broad capabilities and a wide array of innovative, technology-driven products and solutions for lifestyle improvement at home and at work. Please visit www.nortekinc.com for more information.

 

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Event Safety Alliance To Debut Industry’s First Event Safety Guide For Live Event Professionals

After nearly two years of development and the input of hundreds of industry, regulatory and safety professionals, the Event Safety Alliance (ESA) today announced the forthcoming release of the Event Safety Guide — the live event industry’s first comprehensive reference guide of established industry best practices.

According to Jim Digby, Executive Director of the Event Safety Alliance, Version 1.0 of the Guide will be available at the LDI 2013 Conference andTradeshow in Las Vegas (November 21-24) at Booth #2363.

“The official release of the Event Safety Guide is an historic milestone in the

standardization of safety practices within our industry,” Digby said today. “With the first edition of the guide complete, we now move our focus to efforts helping professionals apply its contents in the planning and safe execution of their events.  Among the many developing resources on the horizon by the ESA – safety leadership training for event professionals.”

According to Chester Bennington, lead vocalist of multi-platinum rock band LINKIN PARK,  “I’m extremely proud of you, Jim, and the immense amount of work you and your colleagues have put into this historic moment.  I’d like to express for the entire music community, both professional and nonprofessional, our gratitude to the ESA for considering our safety, the audiences safety and the well-being of all by insuring that every possible consideration for venue and operational safety and security have been assessed by the industries’ top professionals.   The tragedies that will be prevented by your unwavering dedication to all of our safety means that the work of the ESA will — in the greatest way — go unnoticed as we go home each night without incident.”

Printed editions of the guide will be available for purchase on the Event Safety Alliance website next month. Additionally, eBook versions of the Event Safety Guide will be available for download at several online retailers including Amazon, iTunes and Barnes & Noble. Both formats of the guide will be sold for $49.95, with proceeds from all purchases helping the ESA develop additional resources and further the message of “life safety first.”

“From the very beginning, our goal has been to have the Event Safety Alliance become the industry’s preeminent safety advocacy trade association,” continued Digby. “By making the guide available at a cost below most publications of this type, we believe we can continue to grow the ESA while making sure this critical information is user friendly and gets into as many hands as possible.”

Developed in response to a series of accidents within the live event industry, the Event Safety Guide is a collection of best practices culled from the experience and insight of top professionals within the event industry, as well as relevant life safety standards currently applicable by groups such as OSHA, NFPA, ICC and PLASA. Prior to the Event Safety guide, no such comprehensive collection of guidance existed that industry professionals could refer to covering many of the unique hazards the industry faces. Modeled after the U.K.’s “Purple Guide”, the Event Safety Guide is intended to serve as a one-stop reference to help users ask the right questions while planning for and managing events. It addresses a broad range of topics relevant to most events including emergency planning, weather preparedness and personal protective equipment, as well as technical issues such as temporary staging, rigging and special effects. The guide has been intentionally designed for field use, written in straightforward language with contents organized topically to aid in quick access to information.

About the Event Safety Alliance (ESA)

Formed in January 2012, the Event Safety Alliance (ESA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and supporting the concept of “life safety first” during all phases of event production. Through the dissemination of information and the development of planning resources, the ESA strives to eliminate the knowledge barrier that often contributes to unsafe conditions and behaviors.  In just under two years time and due in part to it’s all inclusive mantra: “you are the event safety alliance”, the ESA has grown in both scope and influence. The group now boasts a registration list of over 2700 individuals from a variety of disciplines, including event producers, engineers, riggers, equipment lessors, tour managers, roadies, and safety specialists. For more information, please visit www.eventsafetyalliance.org.

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Sapphire Technology Appoints Stampede To Drive Sales Of Its Pro Av Products Throughout North America

Reinforcing their positions as leading providers of digital signage solutions for all vertical markets, Stampede Presentation Products, Inc. and SAPPHIRE Technology today announced the appointment of Stampede to serve as the North American distributor of SAPPHIRE Technology professional digital signage products.

According to Stampede President & COO Kevin Kelly, “Comprised of proven, feature-rich solutions, the SAPPHIRE range of Pro AV products provides audio/video professionals a selection of versatile building blocks for the deployment of state-of-the-art digital signage systems. From Player PCs and AV Signal Distribution Solutions to Advanced Splitters, the ever expanding SAPPHIRE Pro AV product line offers our dealers a new range of solutions to present to their customers.”


According to Adrian Thompson, SAPPHIRE Technology Vice President of Marketing, the appointment of Stampede comes at a time of rapid growth and expansion for the ten-year-old Hong Kong-based company best known for its cutting edge graphics products. “SAPPHIRE stands at the forefront of technology and is dedicated to the development of highly reliable, products for digital signage systems in retail, hospitality, corporate, house of worship, and other environments,” Thompson said today. “With its network of more than 11,000 dealers spanning virtually every important vertical market, Stampede is uniquely positioned to help drive sales of our solutions not only throughout the United States and Canada but in Central and South America as well.”

SAPPHIRE offers a comprehensive line of high-quality, cost-effective IT/AV products that work seamlessly with one another and complement other product lines. SAPPHIRE solutions include sleek and powerful Player PCs that provide systems integrators with the flexibility to load their software of choice, as well as industry-leading HDMI over CATx or Fiber Extenders for uncompressed AV signal distribution & control at distances of up to 3,280 feet (1km).

Photo caption: SAPPHIRE EDGE VS8 player PCs are built on the latest APU technology from AMD, delivering fantastic performance and stunning graphics in an ultra-small format that can be quickly mounted to a wall.

Crabby Joe’s Makes A Bold Statement With 165” 3×3 Videowall Installed By Advanced

The owners of the newly renovated Crabby Joe’s at 276 Dundas St. in London, Ontario knew they needed to go big with their AV system to draw guests fromlocal competition. A videowall was their top choice for displaying major events and multiple events at once, so they went to the AV professionals at Advanced to design and install the biggest videowall that would fit.

According to Advanced General Manager of Systems Integration Omar Prashad, the installation gives Crabby Joe’s a sophisticated multi-display solution that is simple to control.

“At our initial meeting Crabby Joe’s owner Howard Pennell told us that he wanted something that would blow his guests away as soon as they walk through the door,” Prashad said. “We determined that the best solution was to build a 3×3 video wall that would allow them to show a single video feed or all six available video feeds at once.

“There was enough room for us to create a 165” videowall composed of nine 55-inch HD Orion display panels, and we installed a simple-to-use Crestron system to give them fast, easy control over which video feed plays on which display. We configured the videowall to allow for all nine panels to show a single feed, or to show the main feed on the four upper-left most displays while each of the remaining five displays can show the other five independent video feeds.”

To ensure the installation went according to plan and that the customer would be 100 percent satisfied with the result, the team at Advanced installed, configured and calibrated the videowall at their warehouse before the real on-site installation even began.

“Monitors need to be color calibrated,” Prashad said, “and LED LCD technology tends to work through most of its color shift in the first 10 hours. We like to get every installation right the first time, so we rig up each videowall we build in our warehouse and make sure everything is working and calibrated before the customer ever sees it. The last thing we want is to start hanging panels in the restaurant and find that one of them is defective. This pre-installation testing process allows us to sort out issues so the customer doesn’t have to.”
Pennell knew that not every AV company can pull off this type of installation. After deciding he wanted a videowall for the new restaurant’s grand re-opening, he researched companies in the area that specialize in large, complex AV systems, and found that Advanced had the experience and expertise he was looking for.

“I wanted the guest experience to be unforgettable, and I wanted the videowall to make a statement to our guests. Advanced delivered everything I could have hoped for, and I hope to work with them again in the future,” Pennell said. He added that while it wasn’t the lowest-cost option, the final effect of the videowall can’t be underestimated.
“The cost of the videowall was worth the effect that it has on passersby and guests once they enter the restaurant,” he said. “We could have simply hung a bunch of TVs on the wall, but this system has as much value as a marketing tool as an actual video display. London has the highest concentration of restaurants in Ontario, so we’re always looking for anything we can do or provide that guests can’t get elsewhere. The ‘WOW” factor when you see this videowall is amazing, and it really is the best place in town for people to catch all their favorite sports. People see it when they walk by our window, and then they bring their friends the next time they come in. Plus it’s much easier to use and stay organized with the Crestron system than having nine more separate TVs.”

Crabby Joe’s is a fresh, entertaining concept that is setting new standards in the hospitality industry. Since 1996, the Canadian-owned company has grown from Sarnia to Belleville, with more than 40 franchises operating in 2013. Crabby Joe’s Tap & Grill is managed by Obsidian Group, Inc., a management company formed to develop, market and manage hospitality and real estate interests. For more information visit www.crabbyjoes.com.

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Holt Renfrew Partners With Gridcast Media Inc. To Create Engaging 29 Ft. High NanoLumens LED Display For Re-Design Of Toronto Yorkdale Store

Holt Renfrew, a chain of high-end Canadian department stores specializing in select luxury brands and designer boutiques, has partnered with Gridcast Media, a Canadian visual communications consulting firm, to create one of the largest indoor LED display implementations within the Canadian retail industry.

Gridcast Media partnered with NanoLumens, an award winning leader in custom LED display technology, and Dot2Dot, exclusive Canadian distributor of the Scala Content Management software, to design and develop this “one-of-a-kind” digital canvas for Holt Renfrew. The façade reflects the unique architectural styling envisioned in the re-design of the Yorkdale store. Gridcast’s vision for the project was to create a living architectural piece.
The new LED display stands at the front of Holt Renfrew’s re-designed store in Yorkdale Mall and features six 29 foot tall by 4 foot wide panels displaying the latest fashion trends in dynamic imagery to wow passers-by and to welcome them into the store. The layout design provides Holt Renfrew with a creative platform to display digital content on each individual column or content spanning across the entire façade. The displays feature a sharp 6 mm pixel pitch to give people outside and inside of the store a sharp, crisp image. The entire display features over 1.5 million LED packages.

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Core Brands Appoints Matt Dever As Audio Segment Marketing Manager

Strengthening its audio products management team, Core Brands® (www.corebrands.com) today announced the appointment of Matt Dever, an experienced sales, marketing and product development executive, to the position of Marketing Manager for its Audio Segment.

“We are pleased to announce the addition of Matt Dever to the Core Brands team,” said Mitch Whitten, Product Marketing Director, Audio Segment. “Matt will help us step up our game to market our multiple audio brands. He brings with him an exclusive and versatile skill set, plus deep category experience.”

Dever comes to his new position at Core Brands from THX, where he served as the Senior Director of Sales and was responsible for overseeing licensing and certification programs.

Prior to THX, Dever worked at Pioneer Electronics for two decades, working his way up from a district sales position in the Audio/Video Division to the Vice President of Sales and Marketing. During that time, Dever was responsible for product planning, marketing and sales for all Pioneer and Pioneer Elite Audio and Video products in all channels of distribution. As Vice President of the Professional Sound and Visual Division, he focused heavily in DJ and electronic signage markets.

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Sales Of Unified Communications Products Grew 94% In 2013, Stampede Reports

With more than a month still left to go in the current sales year, Stampede Presentation Products, Inc. today announced that sales of its Unified Communications products grew by 94% in 2013 — a record-shattering rate of growth that will only continue to explode in 2014 and 2015. Indeed, according to Stampede President & COO Kevin Kelly, Stampede is committing itself to building an entire 21st century mix of products that are built around the concept of ‘The Internet of Things.’

“In order to remain the industry’s largest supplier of high value added ProAV solutions, we must take the steps required to build out our future product lines in ways that meet the needs of an increasingly Internet based, web centric ProAV customer,” Kelly emphasized today. “We have created a specialist team that is focused on meeting this goal. And we’ve formed a Tech Support team with AV, PC, Network and VC expertise to support the sales efforts of the specialist team. I believe this is a first for our industry.”

Currently, according to Kelly, Stampede is offering a first generation of ‘Internet of Things’ product portfolio centered around audio solutions from Phoenix Audio and Clear One; visual solutions from Sony, MediaPointe, and Vaddio; and software from Vidyo, Bluejeans, and ChorusCall. “In highly customized and integrated offerings these audio, visual, and software solutions are delivering high value added Unified Communications capabilities to a growing number of end user customers,” Kelly explained. “But it is just the beginning of where we as an industry are headed.”

Kelly emphasized that the ProAV industry is being challenged daily to stop using the terms ‘audio and video’ and start using the terms ‘see, hear and control’ in order to understand the business opportunities that this shift to ‘The Internet of Things’ era is creating. “The traditional AV industry is maturing and a new personalized industry is rising up to take its place, one that is built upon the ideas of connecting, integrating, and sharing devices in entirely new eco-systems built around highly customized software applications.”

Beginning in 2014, Stampede will be adding greater emphasis to a host of product categories, including video surveillance and security; IP video, cameras, and control; wireless audio; wearable devices; power line devices, and, of course, tablets and tablet accessories.

“Make no mistake about it. These categories are already established and they are only going to become huge in the years to come,” Kelly asserted. “Lest anyone doubt this, consider this fact: in 2013 Stampede sold 20,000 pairs of smart video glasses! If any one thing points the way to the future it is this remarkable sales achievement.”

Advanced Designs Unique Mobile Video Wall In Two Weeks For New CTV Show “The Social”

What do you do when your TV show uses a video wall for direct viewer interaction, but the entire set needs to be mobile because other shows film on the same soundstage throughout the day? According to the makers of the new CTV talk show “The Social”, you call Advanced, Canada’s premier AV and IT integrator, to develop an innovative mobile video wall solution that can be easily rolled on and off the set!

Advanced recognized that the show needed a solution as technologically advanced as the show’s concept, which capitalizes on social media to make viewers a very literal part of the show, allowing folks at home to tweet and message the show in real time and influence discussions and pose questions. It’s the 21st century’s answer to the old mainstay of “let’s go to our next caller”, and the set deserved a 21st century display to show the audience’s input.

The most amazing thing may not be the display itself, but the fact that Advanced designed, built and installed the custom mount and display in just two weeks working only after-hours, from the day the order was placed to completion. According to Advanced’s General Manager of Systems Integration Omar Prashad, systems such as this one usually require a 4-6 week lead time, which meant that the team had to work literally 24 hours a day for the final two days to have it finished on time for the show’s debut on Monday, September 2.

“We’ve never built a mobile video wall before,” he said, “so there was a lot of brainstorming at the very beginning to determine the best way to build the mount that houses all nine 46-inch displays. It’s not something a lot of AV companies could do, but we developed a custom mobile mounting solution with custom welding that can be moved by a single person, even though it weighs nearly 800 pounds. We also couldn’t be on the set during the day because it’s used for a variety of programming, so we constructed the mount offsite, then spent the final two days working around the clock to get it integrated with the switchboard and working flawlessly for its debut on the air on Monday.”

The video wall is composed of nine 46-inch ultra-thin NEC X463UN displays, creating a nearly seamless 138-inchdisplay that gives viewers an HD view of show graphics that may include photos, videos, text and live viewer feeds from Twitter and other social networks. The video feed is delivered directly from the switchboard to a Kramer scaler that optimizes the incoming signal and then sends to the video wall.

“It was a lot of pressure to design, deliver, color calibrate and make sure it was 100 percent working in such a short time frame, but it was exciting to see it all happen,” Prashad added. “There’s nothing Advanced can’t do, and this last-minute mobile video wall is an incredible proof of that philosophy.”

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