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Archive by Kate Harrington

Advanced Helps GE Put Imagination To Work By Integrating Groundbreaking AV Solutions In GE’s New Grid IQ™ Global Innovation Center

GE, a global leader in energy research and technology, last week opened its new $40 million, 200,000 square foot Markham, Ontario Grid IQ™ Global Innovation Center dedicated to promoting its next-generation energy management grid. To help bring the center to life in the most engaging, customer-friendly way possible, GE turned to Advanced, Canada’s leading AV integrator, to envision, design and install an integrated AV and IT solution that encompasses 55 rooms including a Customer Experience Center that features a jaw-dropping 58-foot Prysm LPD video wall.

According to Mark Mulford, President and CEO at Advanced, “This expansive AV and IT installation encapsulates GE’s mantra of Imagination At Work and provides an immersive media experience that is vital to convey the forward-thinking technologies GE is developing to improve the efficiency, reliability and security of the world’s electrical grids. As Canada’s premier AV and IT integration company, we are proud to be recognized by GE for our industry-leading solutions and to help GE deliver an unmatched visitor experience.”

The Customer Experience Center brings GE’s Grid IQ™ technologies to life in a visual and easy-to-understand way. Advanced utilized the Prysm video wall and several wall-mounted touchscreen displays to allow customers to explore GE’s energy technologies firsthand and enable them to discover solutions to improve and enhance their energy grids. In fact, it is the world’s largest curved Prysm video wall, measuring 58 feet wide by 7 feet tall and comprising 175 individual tiles with the thinnest seams currently possible. Incorporating today’s greenest large-format display technologies, the video wall consumes just one-tenth the power of traditional digital displays. Video processing is provided by the latest Extron Quantum™ Elite processor and a professional grade multi-zone audio system was installed to complete the media experience. The entire Customer Experience Center features Crestron automation and can be controlled through an iPad.

“GE wanted to create a one-of-a-kind experience for their customers,” said Mulford, “and we proved that Advanced, more than any other integration company, has the knowledge, experience and vision to deliver compelling and effective AV solutions. We worked directly with GE and Prysm on the concept, design and implementation of the system and utilized the newest cutting-edge AV and presentation technologies. This resulted in one of the world’s most immersive digital environments. To put it simply, there is no other system like this on Earth.”

The AV installation encompasses 54 additional rooms including executive offices, boardrooms, training rooms, meeting rooms and many more. One training room, which can be divided into two separate rooms with a motorized wall, is equipped with a SMART 70” LCD interactive display and an enterprise-grade Polycom video conferencing system, allowing simple and effective global conferencing and training sessions. The room also features several large interactive touchscreens, a projector and a fully integrated audio system.

The facility’s executive boardroom is equipped with a Crestron system that controls an NEC projector mounted on an automated projector lift, an audio conferencing system, table-mounted microphones at each seat and ceiling-mounted microphones that provide an unobtrusive solution for presenters.

Even the manufacturing floor got an AV upgrade with more than a dozen 46” LCD monitors gracing its walls to display production stats and other internal GE messaging.

The collaboration room allows individuals to work together in real-time with internal or external staff worldwide. Advanced installed a SMART interactive whiteboard, in-ceiling speakers, microphones, a video conferencing system and a projector to accommodate every type of meeting and interaction. All of the room’s AV functions can be managed through the Crestron control system on a wireless Crestron touchscreen device.

GE knows that happy, healthy employees are productive employees, so they had Advanced create a gym and fitness studio that provides a personal AV experience at each fitness station. Employees can plug in their personal iPads and iPods to listen to music or watch satellite TV or DVDs at each station. The system can direct audio to individual stations or the main loudspeakers throughout the entire gym and fitness studio.

Adding to the Global Innovation Center’s sense of community, the cafeteria serves double duty as the location for Markham’s town hall meetings. The cafeteria features a projector and five NEC LCD displays with built-in speakers to display cable programming for staff and provide video presentation capabilities for town hall meetings, while an integrated video conferencing system with two wireless microphones allows meetings to be broadcast to remote viewers.

About Advanced
Advanced is a leading audiovisual and collaborative communications company working with corporations, government agencies, healthcare, and educational organizations throughout Canada and beyond. Dedicated to innovation in technology and services, Advanced has a strong set of businesses aligned to meet today’s needs. The company offers presentation and videoconferencing solutions in addition to complete integrated systems, visual collaboration systems, rental and staging services, repair, maintenance, and value-added integration services including design and engineering, installation and audiovisual consulting. Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Advanced also has offices in Toronto, Ottawa, London and Sudbury with partner offices located in Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver. To learn more visit www.advanced-inc.com.

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Homeowner Doesn’t Skip a Beat with Niles® Speakers Indoors and Outdoors

As a successful businessman, homeowner Gino LaVerghetta knows that using the most reliable, highest quality equipment can be the difference between an enjoyable experience and a frustrating one. That’s precisely why he chose Niles’® legendary loudspeakers for his new home theater and outdoor audio system, which provide audiophile quality sound whether he’s watching his favorite film or entertaining guests in the backyard.

“I’ve been in several homes with indoor/outdoor distributed audio systems, and I was always amazed at the drop in sound quality when we went outside,” LaVerghetta said. “So I asked Dave Febbraio, owner of Stuctured Home Solutions, LLC, what I should do, and he said Niles’ new GS Garden Speakers were the perfect solution. He was right! If I turn the indoor and outdoor speakers on at the same time and then walk outside, it sounds like I’m just stepping into the next room, with music that has the same power, clarity and definition as indoors. I’m especially impressed with the in-ground subwoofer because it helps deliver the full soundscape of my favorite music without putting a big box in the yard.”

The pros at Structured Home Solutions, LLC built LaVerghetta’s jealousy-inducing home theater sound system with five Niles HD Series LCR in-wall speakers and a Sunfire® HRS8 subwoofer, then continued the audio excellence outdoors with four Niles Garden Series GS4 satellite loudspeakers and a Niles GSS10 in-ground 10-inch subwoofer. With all the speakers covered by Niles’ industry-leading lifetime limited warranty, LaVerghetta knows that his system will provide years of unparalleled sound both indoors and outdoors.

LaVerghetta’s home also features the ELAN® g! Entertainment and Control System to make the audio system simple and easy to control. The g! system allows the whole family to use their iPhones, iPads, Android mobile devices, ELAN in-wall touchscreens and eight ELAN HR2 remotes to control the home’s music, TVs, Lutron® lighting, Aprilaire® HVAC, Jandy® pool and spa controls, ELK® security system and seven Panasonic® PTZ IP surveillance cameras.

According to Febbraio, the project grew exponentially after Adams saw the quality of Stuctured Home Solutions’ work and recognized the value and potential of a professionally installed home control system.

“After working for Gino for a short time and seeing the quality of the house he was building, I knew he would not settle for anything less from my company or the equipment we installed,” Febbraio said. “I knew the Niles outdoor set would be a perfect fit for the large space we needed to cover and that he would be happy with the result. These speakers compliment the 46” Sunbrite TV we installed and comprise the 16th audio zone in the house all controlled by the g! system. Keeping quality consistent and exceeding the client’s expectations allowed us to expand this project from a simple four-zone audio system to the 16-zone AV control system with fully integrated home automation that it is today.”

When considering the control possibilities, LaVerghetta recognized that in the next five to 10 years most homes of comparable size will have automation systems and extensive AV systems, so he wanted his home to be ahead of the curve. “There are so many benefits of integrated home technologies, from energy conservation to enhanced security and peace of mind, and of course being able to control it all remotely. Whatever you invest in the system you absolutely get back through savings in energy, time and hassle. I love sitting down to dinner with my family and then using my iPhone to turn on some music without getting up from the table.

“The whole system has quickly become an integral part of our home. For instance, part of my nighttime routine is using the touchscreen in my bedroom to make sure that all the lights are off or dimmed, the alarm is set, the garage is closed and all the TVs and audio systems are off. And with the ability to dim and set timers for our lights, the kids never have to wander around in the dark to find the bathroom at night. The system offers so many conveniences that I’m still finding new ways to make my home easier to use every day.”

About Niles®
California-based Niles® is recognized as The First Name in Custom Installation®. Niles is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of audio/video custom installation products and accessories and is guided by its vision to be the world’s leading provider of products and services that enable professional custom installers to design and install systems that delight their customers. To that end, Niles pursues a mission to provide solutions for end users that enable simple and easy access to home entertainment and that integrate seamlessly with other low voltage subsystems like lighting, Internet, security and HVAC in residential and light commercial environments. Niles conducts its business with a promise to treat its customers, employees, suppliers and stakeholders with fairness and respect and to foster teamwork, innovation and a commitment to be the best in everything it does. Additional information may be obtained by visiting www.nilesaudio.com. Niles is part of the CORE Brands division of the Nortek Technology Solutions Segment (www.nortek-inc.com). CORE Brands combines the product and marketing strengths of ten iconic audio, power management and control brands into a single business unit that includes ATON®, BlueBOLT®, ELAN®, Furman®, Niles®, Panamax®, Proficient®, SpeakerCraft®, Sunfire® and Xantech®.

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ELAN g! Makes Lakefront Home In ‘The Spa City’ The Ultimate Place To Relax

It’s difficult to imagine a place that sounds more relaxing than Hot Springs, Arkansas, which is known as “The Spa City” for its natural thermal springs. But local homeowner Brandon Adams realized that his lakefront home could be an even more stress-free environment if the house could run itself automatically — meaning that the heating, air conditioning, lighting, security and surveillance would work on their own, and be easy to adjust when necessary. After a recent installation of the incredibly powerful and simple to use ELAN g! Entertainment and Control System, this fantasy of the autonomous home is now a reality, offering him one-touch control of every major home subsystem including music and TV in every room!

First, Adams hired Taggart Architecture to design a series of pools and outdoor living areas to connect his new home with the adjacent house. His next call was to Jonesboro, Arkansas-based custom integrator Sound Concepts, which outfitted the home, including all the new living areas, with the latest in audio, video and control technology. The ELAN g! system integrates Lutron lighting and motorized window shades, an HAI security system, IP surveillance cameras, HAI thermostats, garage door controls, 11 Samsung TVs (one outdoors), 45 speakers (indoors and outdoors), and a 7.2 surround sound home theater with two Sunfire HRS12 subwoofers, an Epson projector and a Dragonfly 120” screen. It even incorporates control of the LED lighting on the home’s rooftop dome, the lakefront and in the boathouses.

According to Sound Concepts owner Ryan Heringer, “Mr. Adams’ amazing lakefront home combines the best designs, building materials and craftsmanship with the best home technologies to create a true 21st century living environment, both indoors and out. The home basically runs itself, with pre-programmed schedules for lighting, heating, cooling and the pool equipment, which he can adjust any time with just a few simple buttons on any ELAN g! interface. Simplicity and ease of use is the most important aspect of any technology, so ELAN hit the bullseye when they gave g! the same type of easy-to-understand interface that made the iPhone so popular.”

Adams uses a combination of interfaces to control his home, with easy access through the g!Mobile iPhone and iPad apps, two 10-inch ELAN in-wall touchscreens in the pool house, 13 ELAN in-wall touchscreen throughout the home and boat houses, an under-counter ELAN 10-inch touchscreen, and 10 powerful ELAN HR2 multimedia and home control remotes.

“When I’m outside it’s very convenient to use my iPhone to control the music, the lights and the pool,” Adams said, “but when I’m in the house I almost always use a touch panel or one of the ELAN remotes because they are always on, so it’s easier and faster. The remotes are absolutely the best choice to control the TVs because of the play/pause and volume controls, and it’s just like using a normal TV remote, except it can also turn down the lights and turn up the a/c. Taggart Architecture and Sound Concepts delivered on their promises, and I’m still blown away at how beautiful the property is and how the technology brings everything together.”

About ELAN Home Systems:
Since 1990 ELAN® Home Systems has been an industry leading manufacturer of innovative, award-winning Multi-Room audio/video systems. ELAN systems were the first to integrate audio, video, phones and third-party products to create a seamless, easy-to-use “whole house” solution. ELAN systems and products are distributed through a comprehensive channel of select Dealers and Distributors throughout the United States, Canada and more than 58 countries worldwide. To learn more, visit www.elanhomesystems.com. ELAN is part of the CORE Brands division of the Nortek Technology Solutions Segment (www.nortek-inc.com). CORE Brands combines the product and marketing strengths of ten iconic audio, power management and control brands into a single business unit that includes ATON®, BlueBOLT®, ELAN®, Furman®, Niles®, Panamax®, Proficient®, SpeakerCraft®, Sunfire® and Xantech®.

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ELAN® Announces Special Dealer Discount Program For Z-Wave Door Lock Products

Continuing its mission to provide dealers and end users with compelling system benefits and attractive new products, ELAN® Home Systems today announced a new dealer promotion that offers discounted pricing for various Kwikset, Yale and Leviton Z-Wave door lock products ordered between October 15 and November 30, 2012. The discounts range from 5 percent to 10 percent depending on the product.

ELAN g! integrates best-of-breed Z-Wave lock products from Kwikset, Yale and Leviton which are being offered to dealers through Worthington Distribution in the U.S. and Product Solutions Group in Canada.

According to ELAN Brand Manager Robert Ridenour, ELAN’s newly implemented electronic door lock integration provides dealers with an industry-leading product that will inevitably help them to sell more g! systems. “This promotion gives dealers added incentive to promote ELAN’s most recent expansion of the g! system’s capabilities and will help them convince both new and existing customers that electronic door locks are convenient, safe and affordable,” Ridenour said.

“ELAN’s development team worked with the company’s third-party manufacturers and Worthington Distribution to develop the industry’s best electronic lock integration software and interface,” Ridenour emphasized, “and we want to make it easy for dealers to promote this new product to their clients. We are committed to making sure every dealer and end user knows that ELAN is the best home control system on the market, and continue to work closely with our manufacturing and distribution partners to create dealer promotions that make g! even easier to sell.”

The ELAN g! door lock software features a simple and convenient interface for iOS and Android mobile devices that includes an industry-first history function, allowing users to view past lock activity and monitor who is using which door at what time.

Tom Morgan, Chief Technical Officer at Worthington Distribution, said, “We’re thrilled to partner with ELAN for this electronic lock promotion and expect ELAN dealers to take advantage of these discounts to make g! an even more impressive control system for users in both the residential and commercial markets. We’re huge supporters of home control and Z-Wave products that can simplify people’s lives, and we want to make it both affordable and easy for consumers to modernize their homes.”

And Jim Peebles of Product Solutions Group added that ELAN is taking a best-practices approach with every aspect of the g! system. “This is another level of value-add for the g! system and brings a tremendous amount of value to the users and dealers,” Peebles said. “By partnering with the best lock manufacturers and ELAN, which now offers the industry’s best door lock interface, we’ve developed a limited-time discount program that is sure to add to dealers’ bottom lines and help make electronic door locks a priority for every dealer and end user.”

Interested U.S. dealers can contact Worthington Distribution at 800.282.8864 and sales@worthdist.com, and interested Canadian dealers in Western Canada can call Products Solutions West at 866.923.9948 or in Eastern Canada Product Solutions Group at 877.763.4538. Dealers can also visit http://www.productsolutionsgroup.ca/contact.html to locate their nearest Product Solutions Group sales representative.

The ELAN g! Control System provides users with the most uniform and intuitive icon-based control from their favorite devices including TVs, touchscreens, touchpads, PCs, and Android and iOS mobile devices. The standardized interface works across platforms, so that the trendy g!Mobile app users love on the iPhone appears and works identically on Android and ELAN touchscreens, valets and handheld remotes. And the system’s IP backbone makes it just as easy to control the system from across the room as across the globe.

Individual “apps” for each subsystem allow the user to control security, door locks, climate, lighting, media, irrigation, pool/spa, messaging, video and photos with the flick of a finger. Access is fast and secure through any ELAN home interface or globally with mobile Internet enabled devices like the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Netbooks, Android phones & tablets and personal computers. Since the intuitive interface empowers users with personalized scheduling and detailed history views, high consumption subsystems like lighting and climate can be closely monitored and managed for a greener lifestyle – and substantial energy savings.

First photo: Kwikset Smartcode Lever Collection
Second photo: Yale Z-Wave Electronic Deadbolts
Third photo: Leviton VRC0P Plug-in Serial Interface Module

About Worthington Distribution
The staff at Worthington Distribution has over 50 years of combined experience in security, home automation, telephone, access control, central vac, whole house audio/video (including CCTV and satellite distribution), home theater, and systems integration. They offer real world technical support by field-experienced and factory trained technicians, plus free system design assistance and consultation. For more information visit www.worthingtondistribution.com or contact the sales department at 800.282.8864 or sales@worthdist.com.

About Product Solutions Group
Product Solutions Group, together with it’s sister company Product Solutions West, distributes innovative custom installation products to progressive Canadian retailers and custom integrators. Formed in 1998, Product Solutions Group services Ontario and east. Product Solutions West takes care of Manitoba and west. Having over 50 years combined experience in the CE Industry, the company’s founders have come to know the difference between leading edge and bleeding edge products. We are proud to have partnered with suppliers of quality and distinction, and invite you to learn more by visiting us at www.productsolutionsgroup.ca.

About ELAN Home Systems
Since 1990 ELAN® Home Systems has been an industry leading manufacturer of innovative, award-winning Multi-Room audio/video systems. ELAN systems were the first to integrate audio, video, phones and third-party products to create a seamless, easy-to-use “whole house” solution. ELAN systems and products are distributed through a comprehensive channel of select Dealers and Distributors throughout the United States, Canada and more than 58 countries worldwide. To learn more, visit www.elanhomesystems.com. ELAN is part of the CORE Brands division of the Nortek Technology Solutions Segment (www.nortek-inc.com). CORE Brands combines the product and marketing strengths of ten iconic audio, power management and control brands into a single business unit that includes ATON®, BlueBOLT®, ELAN®, Furman®, Niles®, Panamax®, Proficient®, SpeakerCraft®, Sunfire® and Xantech®.

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Stampede To Bring BrightSign’s New Line Of XD Digital Signage Media Players To North American Market

In December 2012, the industry’s first line of solid-state digital signage media players with PC-class performance will be marketed throughout North America by Stampede Presentation Products, Inc., the North American distributor of BrightSign’s new line of XD digital signage players. The announcement was made today by Stampede President & COO Kevin Kelly.

“Stampede is excited to offer the next great advance in digital signage solutions to customers throughout North America,” said Kelly. “Stampede has a long and proven history of providing customers with the widest range of solutions to meet every application need. Now, the introduction of the new BrightSign XD players allows us to deliver the absolute best in digital signage technology.”

BrightSign’s new XD products are the industry’s first solid-state players to offer video and other multimedia capabilities that, if previously possible at all, were only possible with PC-based solutions. This includes the ability to display Live HDTV broadcast content using an ATSC/Clear QAM tuner or HDMI input. The ATSC tuner is used to play cable TV or closed-circuit TV broadcasts, and the HDMI input is used to play any broadcast content – even HDCP-protected content. All models include an advanced video decoding engine with superior scaling technology that delivers pristine 1080p60 video and supports 3D content. The video engine is capable of decoding two 1080p60 videos or several lower-resolution videos simultaneously. All models support HTML5, so content creators can use familiar development tools to create engaging content. In addition, BrightSign’s usual touch-screen interactivity is enhanced with swipe/gesture control.
“BrightSign’s revolutionary new media players are an excellent addition to our continually growing product catalog,” added Kelly. “We strive to find ProAV products that allow our dealers to deliver the latest, and most cost-effective technology to their customers. By offering our expertise and extensive product knowledge, we’re ensuring that the end-user’s experience is as simple as possible.”
The new XD digital signage media players are available in three models:

XD230 Networked Player: Powerful video engine capable of dual Full HD 1080p60 decode and simultaneous content playback from local, networked and streaming sources. Abundant content support, including HTML5 and 3D content. And UDP network control for messaging between the BrightSign player and third-party devices.

XD1030 Networked Interactive Player: All the features of the XD230, plus S/PDIF output for pure digital and surround-sound audio, as well as a diverse range of interactive controls such as GPIO, serial, USB, UDP and mobile devices for engaging interactive displays.

XD1230 Networked Interactive and Live HDTV Player: Includes all the features BrightSign offers, plus
Live HDTV playback to play content from any broadcast channel (even HDCP-protected content) via the HDMI input or the ATSC/Clear QAM tuner.
BrightSign’s new XD product line will be available from Stampede and the BrightSign Store in December 2012. The players are backed by a one-year warranty and include BrightSign’s free BrightAuthor software, which simplifies creating, publishing, managing and monitoring digital signage displays.

About BrightSign
BrightSign, LLC is the market leader in digital signage players. Based in Los Gatos, California, the company develops products, software and networking solutions for digital signage. BrightSign’s solid- state digital sign controllers set new standards for both stand-alone and networked digital signage applications with their superior video quality, reliability, affordability, ease of use and interactivity. Online information about BrightSign is available at www.brightsign.biz. For US sales inquiries please contact sales@brightsign.biz or call +1-408-852-9263. For European sales inquiries, please email Pierre Gillet: pgillet@brightsign.biz or call +44-1223-911842. You can follow BrightSign at http://twitter.com/brightsign and http://www.facebook.com/BrightSignLLC.

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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Advanced Expands Facilities To Expand Growing Business

Underscoring its commitment to meeting the growing AV needs of Canada’s businesses, schools, and government, Advanced, an expert in audiovisual technology solutions, today announced the expansion of the company’s facilities. The expansion is a result of the company’s significant increase in business in the corporate sector, as the need for audiovisual collaboration systems becomes an integral part of today’s business.

“For years, we’ve specialized in offering presentation solutions, service and support to many of Canada’s businesses, school boards and government agencies,” said Mark Mulford, CEO & President of Advanced “Now, as our business has expanded to reach the corporate market, we need to expand our facilities in order to give our clients the absolute best in AV integration.”

Throughout the course of the last year, Advanced has increased their office space from 15,000 sq. ft. to over 25,000 sq. ft. The increased space includes an expansive sales floor with state of the art showrooms and logistic capabilities, and a broad professional development facility for both corporate and education clients. With the newly expanded offices, the staff at Advanced has increased 20 percent in the last year.

“With this significant business growth and our new facilities, Advanced has now solidified its position as Canada’s leading AV provider,” said Mulford. “We have always provided our clients with everything from presentation and videoconferencing solutions, to complete integrated audio visual systems, repair, and maintenance. Now, our experts are also striving to provide informative digital media to help corporate facilities communicate messages effectively.”

Advanced has the expertise in audiovisual solutions to fit every need. If you are looking for video display solutions, look to Advanced for design and engineering, installation and audiovisual consulting. To set up a meeting or to schedule a demonstration on the latest audiovisual collaborative solutions, contact Advanced at info@advanced-inc.com or toll free 1-800-436-6239.

About Advanced
Advanced is a leading Audiovisual and Collaborative Communications company working with corporations, government agencies, healthcare, and educational organizations throughout Canada and beyond. Dedicated to innovation in technology and services, Advanced has a strong set of businesses aligned to meet today’s needs. The company offers presentation and videoconferencing solutions in addition to complete integrated systems, rental, and staging services of high impact displays, repair, and maintenance, value-added integration services including design and engineering, installation and audiovisual consulting. Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Advanced also has offices in Ottawa, London, and Sudbury with partner offices located in Montreal, Calgary, and Vancouver. To learn more visit www.advanced-inc.com

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Vaddio To Debut Special Videoconferencing Bundle At Stampede Big Book Of AV Tour Stop In Kansas City

Reinforcing its commitment to bring high-quality, affordably priced videoconferencing systems to all parts of the country, Stampede Presentation Products, Inc., North America’s leading distributor of ProAV products, and Vaddio today announced plans to introduce a special new videoconferencing bundle at next week’s Kansas City, Missouri stop of Stampede’s Big Book of AV Tour, taking place October 17, 2012 at the Kansas City Marriott Hotel.

The new product bundle includes a Vaddio ClearVIEW HD-USB PTZ Camera; EasyTalk USB Audio Bundle composed of one EasyUSB Mixer/Amp, one EasyMic MicPOD with integrated Echo Cancelling, and one EasyTalk Sound Bar; and a WEBBi Web controller, including one WEBBi Base Unit, one 12 VDC Power Supply & Power Cable, and One 6’ USB A to B Male cable. What’s more, all dealers who purchase this new bundle between October 17, 2012 and December 31, 2012 will receive a $500 American Express Gift Card.

To further underscore the benefits and profitability of their USB conferencing products, Vaddio will be on hand in Kansas City to conduct a special training session entitled “Why Vaddio Represents the Next Great Sales Opportunity for IT, Telephony, VOIP and AV Dealers,” that will serve to introduce attendees to Vaddio’s USB conferencing offerings and reinforce just how easy and profitable it is to sell Vaddio USB solutions.

According to Stampede President and COO Kevin Kelly, “Vaddio’s EasyUSB line has been a huge benefit to our dealers who want to offer high quality conferencing systems to their clients at a compelling, cost-effective price point. This new bundle package and rebate program will serve to make video conferencing systems even more profitable for our dealers. ”

The 2012 Big Book of AV Tour features more than 40 exhibitors including Atlona, Benq, BrightSign, Canon, Chief, Christie, Draper, Epson, Gefen, Hall Research, Hitachi, Hitachi StarBoard, Ken-a-vision, Kramer, LG Panels, MediaPOINTE, Mitsubishi, Mustang, NEC, Optoma, Peerless, Perfect Path, Samsung, Sharp and Sony. Remaining stops on the Fall 2012 Tour include:

October 24, 2012 New York, NY
November 8, 2012 San Diego, CA
December 5, 2012 Atlanta, GA

About Vaddio
Vaddio is the leading manufacturer of specialty PTZ cameras and camera control systems used in the audiovisual, videoconference and broadcast industries. Your customers demand cutting-edge technology that’s simple to use. You want equipment that’s easy to install and reliable to operate. Vaddio serves integrators and operators alike – with broadcast-quality PTZ cameras and control systems that deliver the performance you need with the convenience you demand. For more information on Vaddio and its product lines, visit www.vaddio.com.

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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Rohan Nathan Appointed Senior Innovation and Technology Consultant at Advanced

Strengthening its management team at a time of exciting growth, Advanced, Canada’s leader in the design and installation of audio visual, digital signage, and visual collaboration solutions, today announced the appointment of Rohan Nathan to the position of Senior Innovation and Technology Consultant, effective immediately, according to Mark McPherson, Vice President of Sales at Advanced.

“We are very pleased to announce that Rohan has joined our team,” McPherson said today, “and he does so at a time when Advanced is growing and expanding at a phenomenal rate. His depth of industry knowledge and substantial credibility in the channel is immensely valuable to our company. We have numerous senior sales positions still open as we look to ‘hire the best in AV’ in Canada. Rohan is one of those exceptional individuals who helps us to further progress in our mandate to employ the very best in Canada.”

As Senior Innovation and Technology Consultant, Nathan will be primarily responsible for helping Advanced develop new business areas. His specific experience and expertise in the area of AV room design, video conferencing, and integrated building technology, as well as his knowledge of innovative and emerging AV technologies will help Advanced continue its growth well into the future. Rohan is a key member of Advanced’s team as the company continues its increased focus on AV integration, video wall technology, videoconferencing and SMART visual collaboration solutions.

Prior to joining Advanced, Nathan began his career in the healthcare field and, later, in the private sector working for major AV companies as Account Executive, Sales Manager, Director of Sales, and most recently, consulting with National and International Architects, Interior Design and Consulting Engineering companies. Rohan specializes in healthcare innovation technology and has authored and co-authored white papers on Global Healthcare Technology Initiatives, Digital Patient Simulation Centre and The Canadian Collaboration for Women’s and Children’s Health: A Model for International Collaboration.

“Advanced is one of Canada’s fastest growing integration companies,” Nathan said today, “and I look forward to helping the company actually increase its current rate of growth. I’m proud to join this remarkable company and become a member of the Advanced team!”

About Advanced
Advanced is a leading audiovisual and collaborative communications company working with corporations, government agencies, healthcare, and educational organizations throughout Canada and beyond. Dedicated to innovation in technology and services, Advanced has a strong set of businesses aligned to meet today’s needs. The company offers presentation and videoconferencing solutions in addition to complete integrated systems, visual collaboration systems, rental and staging services, repair, maintenance, and value-added integration services including design and engineering, installation and audiovisual consulting. Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Advanced also has offices in Ottawa, Toronto, London and Sudbury with partner offices located in Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver. To learn more visit www.advanced-inc.com.

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Take1 Warns That Time Is Running Out For Companies To Address Issue Of Employee Classification

The issue of proper employee classification is taking on new urgency now that the U.S. Department of Labor and Internal Revenue Service have joined forces with 13 states to increase pressure on companies, according to Take1 Entertainment Insurance Executive Vice President and Program Director Scott Carroll.

“Time is running out and the clock for the live event production industry couldn’t be ticking any louder,” Carroll said today. “The fact is many companies currently classify their employees as 1099 independent contractors in order to save on benefits, and while it’s a common practice, it could end up costing business owners a lot of money in penalties and back wages.”

Since September 2011, several judgments have been handed down that included up to $500,000 in back wages and $75,000 in penalties. However, the IRS has given business owners an incentive to be proactive by instituting a new Voluntary Classification Settlement Program that allows companies the IRS accepts for participation to reclassify workers as employees and to receive 90 percent amnesty on past due employment taxes, with no interest or penalties.

According to Carroll, now is the best time for companies to evaluate their employees tax designations and make changes if necessary. “With the possibility of large penalties and back wages, every business owner should review their records and employee status to make sure they are classifying their employees properly. As an insurance professional it’s my business to minimize risk, and in this case the risk to business owners is large while the steps needed to correct any problems are relatively easy and much more affordable than a large settlement.”

With the launch of a new smartphone app called “Eat Shop Sleep”, the Department Of Labor has even begun using social media to encourage proper practices and discourage improper classification. “Eat Shop Sleep” is a local business reviews app similar to Yelp!, with the added twist of displaying any health, safety or labor violations against the business. This type of public awareness could be detrimental to any business in any industry.

U.S. Risk’s entertainment arm, Take1 Insurance, which has specialized in insuring the live and non-live entertainment industries for more than 25 years, is studying this issue on behalf of its thousands of insured who utilize 1099 workers in an effort to provide them with guidance and help them adapt to the changing regulations.

“With the increase in tax law enforcement across the country, the implications for rental and staging business owners are astounding,” Carroll said. “The large settlements that have already been handed down are certainly big enough to bankrupt a company. Every business owner should review their employee tax classifications and speak with their insurance provider to ensure they avoid hefty government penalties. Any company that is found to be operating with improper employee classifications could also face higher insurance premiums, adding to the cost. One solution that has worked for the film and television industry is to utilize a payroll service, which helps companies protect themselves from unforeseen costs and tax burdens and avoid blemishing their own insurance policies at the same time.”

Payroll services aren’t free, and using one will likely cause labor costs to rise, but the decision to utilize a payroll service is the smart choice in light of the enormous exposure a company could face if they are audited by the IRS. Business owners can either operate according to tax classification requirements in order to steer clear of any problems, or they can skirt the issue and wait to be audited. By converting independent contractors to temporary employees, companies can eliminate long-term liability while lowering short-term liability costs.

For tour sound, satellite uplink and rental and staging companies who want to be successful and experience growth in 2012 and beyond, these tax exposures need to be addressed, and using a payroll service provider is the easiest, most surefire way to guarantee everything is being done by the books and the company is free of risk.

For more information on this issue, interested parties can contact Scott Carroll, Executive Vice President and Program Director Scott Carroll at Take1 Entertainment Insurance at 714.285.4090 or scott@take1insurance.com.

About U.S. Risk Insurance Group
U. S. Risk Insurance Group, Inc. is a specialty lines underwriting manager and wholesale broker headquartered in Dallas. Operating 12 domestic and international branches, it offers a broad range of products and services through its affiliate companies, which include U.S. Risk Underwriters, U.S. Risk Brokers, Lighthouse Underwriters, LLC, Professional Claims Managers, Omnisure Consulting Group, Oxford Insurance Brokers, Ltd. (London), Goss Reinsurance Brokers, LLC, and NovaPro Risk Solutions, LP. Its entertainment division, Take1, has served as the official endorsed insurance provider for the last 15 years INFOCOMM, the leading association of A/V communications industry professionals.

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Stampede Reports Core Category Unit Count Growth of 76% At 2012 Vendor Summit!

Set against a backdrop of a slowly improving economy that is beginning to present many more opportunities than challenges, Stampede Presentation Products, Inc. last week convened its fourth annual Vendor Summit with more than 100 manufacturers present for the two-day retreat, review, and planning session. Most of the manufacturers in attendance already knew what Stampede President & COO Kevin Kelly made official in his welcoming address — 2012 is turning out to be another record-shattering year for North America’s largest value-added distributor of ProAV solutions. In fact, according to Kelly, the company’s gross profit is up 25% and its core category unit count growth is up a staggering 76% over 2011, which was up an equally impressive 51% over 2012.

“Any way you want to look at it, Stampede continues to grow at an unprecedented rate in 2012, a year in which we continue to celebrate our 15th anniversary of serving the ProAV community,” Kelly said today. “Through the worst economic challenges of our time, we have succeeded in helping our dealers to spec, finance, and install more ProAV installations than any other distributor in business today. And with the economy slowly, but inexorably improving by the day, we expect to accelerate our rate of growth in 2013.”

“When you add value to a system installation, you add margin,” Kelly told attendees. “And, thus far in 2012, Stampede is adding value at an unprecedented level that cannot be matched by any other distributor in the business today. We can add this value on a consistent basis because we are focused exclusively on meeting the needs of the ProAV dealer community. We are not distracted by other industries and market segments. We can and do devote 100% of our time and considerable resources on helping dealers to grow their business.

“This is why Stampede continues to strengthen its position as the oldest, largest, and deepest specialist distributor in the ProAV space with more than 11,000 dealers in our network and more than 125 manufacturers as our partners. ”

According to Kelly, year-to-date projector dollar sales are up 16% and the average wholesale selling price has increased nearly 30% in two years. In the category of 3500+ lumens, year-to-date projector sales in dollars are up 21.8% and the average wholesale price has increased 15% in the last year. “These sales figures are a perfect example of what can be achieved with a mature product category when the dealer adds value to the system design and installation,” Kelly emphasized.

Sales of displays are also up solidly this year, according to Kelly. “Dollar sales are up 39% and unit sales are up a staggering 127%.” All is not roses, however, as Kelly revealed that the average unit sale price of displays is declining because of the encroachment by consumer displays into the ProAV market. “This is a trend that we are watching carefully and taking steps to help our dealers counter.”

Overall, Kelly said that the future for ProAV system installation was brightening considerably and would likely accelerate in 2013 regardless of the outcome of the U.S. Presidential Election — a sentiment shared by the dealers participating in the Summit’s Panel Discussion. Demand for conference rooms, group video conferencing, and the still being defined market for “unified communications” are driving sales. “As one of our speakers, Ira Weinstein of Wainhouse Research, pointed out at the Summit, more than 90% of all conference rooms today are not video enabled. This presents us, and our manufacturing partners, with a huge opportunity for continued growth — with the right configurations that can meet the needs of the emerging ‘Digital Native’ working professional.”

Meeting the demands of growth, however, requires an expanding commitment to maintain face-to-face training, online learning, and readily available credit facilities to qualified dealers — “all of which Stampede is committed to providing. In fact, in 2012 alone, we have increased our credit line to $60-million, enabling us to serve as a bank to our dealer partners.”

About Stampede
Known for its value-added distribution, Amherst, NY-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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Stay up to date on the latest technology news. Select press representatives post company news several times a day. Check back often to get the latest news on product releases, mergers and acquisitions, and product applications. To be included in this virtual press conference, please contact The Wire.

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