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Archive by Kate Harrington

ELAN g! Comes Standard Throughout New Mixed-Use Development in Queretaro, Mexico

ELAN® Home Systems has touted its ELAN g! Entertainment and Control System as the ideal control solution for any size project, and today that claim has proven true with the company’s announcement that the new Q7001 luxury mixed-use development in Queretaro, Mexico is making the ELAN g! system standard in all 156 residential units! According to Queretaro-based custom installation firm Mindware Systems, additional g! systems will be used in all three residential towers to control multiple subsystems in common areas including the pool, gym, library and party room, as well as the shared boardrooms in the development’s office tower.

“This is a major mixed-use development project, and it’s one of the largest ever undertaken by our firm,” said Omar Cerda, CEO of Mindware Systems. “As such, we need to know that we are installing the most reliable and easy-to-install, maintain and upgrade control system in the world, and that’s ELAN g! It’s the easiest system for owners to use and we have 100% confidence in it.”

According to Joe Lautner of ELAN Home Systems, the Saya residential towers project is a milestone for the ELAN g! system and for home control as a whole, showing that there is an affordable, easy-to-use, customizable solution for controlling any number of subsystems in homes of every size.

“Today we’ve passed the tipping point for the ELAN g! system and perhaps for the entire home control market,“ Lautner declared. “With the widespread adoption of our easy-to-use control solution in homes and apartments of all sizes, it’s clear that today’s homebuyers are yearning for the next evolution in comfortable home living. By making custom home control standard throughout the Saya residential towers, there is no doubt that Q7001 will be one of the most technologically advanced communities in the world.”

When construction is completed in 2014, Q7001 will include more than forty retail shops, an office tower and three residential towers with a total of 156 units in 13 different configurations, each with a base ELAN g! Entertainment and Control System that owners can expand to their heart’s desire.

For Luca Piccolo, President of BIN Desarrollos, the developer of Q7001, including ELAN Home Systems in the Saya residential towers was a win-win situation. “Elan represented the opportunity to offer an upgraded product that required limited infrastructure and cost.”

The base control system will use an ELAN HC4 or HC8 to integrate several PulseWorx lighting loads, various zones of multi-room audio with speakers from Emphasys, 1 to 4 zones of video, a Z-Wave thermostat for HVAC system and Z-Wave electronic door lock. Each apartment will include one HR2 remote and several TS2 and/or TS7 ELAN in-wall touchpanels for simple control of all integrated subsystems. Owners will also be able to control the ELAN g! system with their own Apple or Android smartphones and tablets and PC or Mac computers.

The shared boardrooms in the office tower will use the ELAN g! system to control lighting, AV and HVAC, and will feature components from Sunfire, ATON and PulseWorx. Mindware Systems has already installed a fully integrated ELAN g! system in their new office in the Q7001 office tower, as well as the on-site technology showroom. The showroom is being used to demo all the available technologies for prospective buyers. Mindware Systems is responsible for all sales and installation of control systems, in-ceiling speakers, integrated lighting systems and add-ons such as security and surveillance systems and motorized window shades for the entire development, including all residences, offices and retail spaces.

David Romero of Proper Deal, the Sales and Marketing company behind the sale of Saya residential towers, believes that systems like ELAN g! are going to be an integral part of the future of residential development and sales. “Homebuyers everywhere are looking for reliable solutions that are both simple to install and simple to operate in order to control their living spaces with a focus on efficiency and convenience,” he said.

About ELAN Home Systems:
Founded in 1990, ELAN® Home Systems is an industry leading manufacturer of innovative, award-winning whole-house entertainment and control systems that 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 Nortek, Inc. 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® brands.

ELAN is a subsidiary of Nortek, Inc., 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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Stampede Strengthens Senior Management Team With Two Key Appointments

Moving strategically to strengthen its management team at a time of rapid growth and expansion, Stampede Presentation Products, Inc. today announced the appointment of Kevin Bowman and Nancy Miles to serve, respectively, as Vice President of Sales, Direct Response Group, and Credit Manager, Eastern Region, according to Stampede President & COO Kevin Kelly.

“These appointments bring new talent and seasoned expertise to our management team,” Kelly said today. “We look forward to utilizing Kevin and Nancy’s managerial skills and sales expertise as we continue to grow to meet the needs of both our manufacturers and dealers.”

Kevin Bowman comes to Stampede from Azerty Inc., a division of United Stationers, one of North America’s largest specialty wholesalers of office technology consumables. He served the company for 28 years, most recently as Vice President of Sales and was responsible for the sales and marketing of the company’s technology and brand in both the United States and Mexico. Bowman is a former Board Member for the United Stationers Charitable Foundation, and the current Vice President of the nonprofit organization, Computers for Children, which was founded by Kevin Kelly. The charity works to enhance learning opportunities for school children by providing them with current computers and training in information technology. Bowman graduated from Niagara University in 1982 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.

Nancy Miles also comes to Stampede from Azerty Inc., where she most recently served as Manager, Deduction Specialists/Credit Card Processing, where she managed a department of six to resolve deductions for national, retail, channel, and furniture accounts. Miles managed credit card transactions for all accounts, and organized regular meetings with the Credit Group to resolve customer issues. Miles began her 24-year run at the company as the Credit Manager, where she managed a department of 16, which included cash applicators and credit representatives. She also established credit limits, negotiated payment schedules, and worked directly with a sales staff of 120 employees. Miles graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1982, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business.

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,” a 1000-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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Sony Appoints Stampede A United States Distributor of LCD Business Projectors and Digital Signage Solutions

Citing the company’s comprehensive understanding of the rapidly growing and diversifying digital signage industry, Sony Electronics, Inc. today announced the appointment of Stampede Presentation Products, Inc. to serve as a United States distributor of Sony LCD Business Projectors, Professional Flat Panels, and Digital Signage product lines. The appointment was announced by Sony Electronics, Inc. Marketing Director Mark Bonifacio and Stampede President & COO Kevin Kelly.

“Stampede is committed to enabling its 11,000 dealers to meet every unique customer demand for design specific projection and digital signage solutions,” Kelly said, “and the addition of Sony business projectors and digital signage displays to our arsenal of solutions is going to empower our dealers to meet so many more of their customers’ demands. We are tremendously honored to once again have the opportunity to strengthen and expand our very successful relationship with Sony.”

Dedicated to offering projectors that meet every space requirement, the Sony Business Projector line includes more than 30 Large Venue, Advanced and Basic Installation, Ultra-Short Throw, Short Throw, Compact and Mobile projector models for dealers to choose from. What’s more, the Sony digital signage solutions product line includes seven LCD Public Displays ranging in screen sizes from 32” to 55” as well as seven “Simple Signage Touch Screen Solutions” (screen and hyper media player) for specific vertical markets and a line of seven large-format, integrated touch screen displays.

According to Mark Bonifacio, “Stampede has demonstrated success in selling Sony Video Conference Solutions in the United States. The addition of the Business Projector and Public Display product lines to their product portfolio is the next logical step in our expanding business relationship. We believe the combination of our top-of-the-line solutions, together with Stampede’s deep market reach and expertise, will provide their dealers and customers with an unbeatable range of professional system solutions to choose from.”

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,” a 1,000-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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Stampede Named Exclusive North American Distributor of the TAP-it® Assistive Learning Platform

Underscoring its commitment to provide K-12 and Higher Education dealers with the latest cutting-edge assistive learning solutions, Stampede Presentations Products, Inc., the industry’s largest value-added distributor of ProAV solutions, today announced that it has been named the exclusive North American distributor of the TAP·it® (Touch Accessible Platform Interactive Technology) Assistive Learning Platform.

The TAP·it platform is the first ADA compliant interactive learning station designed to differentiate between an accidental touch or arm resting on the screen and an intentional screen-tap by a finger or assistive device. The platform provides an optimal learning interface for students with special needs to operate at their own pace, including those students with physical disabilities, fine motor delays, visual or hearing impairments or developmental delays. The TAP·it touch accessible interactive learning platform is a transformative tool for therapists and educators, and supports shared occupational therapy and academic goals by minimizing barriers and maximizing flexibility by adapting to a person’s individual needs.

“We are proud to bring this groundbreaking assistive learning technology to our dealer partners in the K-12 and Higher Education markets,” Stampede President & COO Kevin Kelly said today. “The availability of this remarkable platform completely reinvigorates the ways in which classroom technology is deployed to help those students who need creative solutions in their learning environments.”

With the touch of a button, the TAP·it platform can move up or down and the 42″ interactive LCD panel can be tilted from 0 – 90 degrees, to be brought within reach for people using wheelchairs, walkers or other mobility devices. These adjustments make the TAP·it platform infinitely more accessible to physically challenged students and their instructors or therapists than stationary wall-mounted boards.

Recognizing the challenges of classroom environments, the TAP·it platform’s commercial grade LCD panel is made of shatter-resistant safety glass; is impervious to dust, grit, grime or other contaminants; and its screen technology, used by the military, is repurposed exclusively for the TAP·it platform, and resists marks and scratches. Mobility is essential for educators or therapists who may use the TAP·it platform in multiple classroom or therapy environments, so the TAP·it platform can be easily rolled to desired locations, and the workstation is kept secure and stable with commercial grade locking casters. The field-tested platform is counter-balanced, so even if a person leans his or her full body weight against it, the TAP·it platform will not tip.

Not only is the TAP·it platform compatible with virtually every educational and assistive software program being used on classroom computers, it improves the user-experience in a number of ways. The large, touch-sensitive screen supports the use of on-screen keyboards or voice recognition for typing; switch/scanning for mouse control or cause/effect programs; screen readers for text to speech capabilities; and screen magnification programs. TAP·it can also be used with Tool Factory’s special education software bundles, Claro Software’s assistive speech and imaging programs, and Daydream Interactive Content Packs’ curriculum-based content and ready-made interactive activity software.

For more information about the TAP·it Assistive Learning Platform, including demonstration videos and user testimonials, please visit www.stampedeglobal.com/tapit.

What’s more, according to Kelly, the TAP·it Assistive Learning Platform will be showcased at all of the upcoming stops on the Spring 2013 Big Book of AV Tour, presenting dealers with the opportunity to experience the unique capabilities offered by this platform. The next stops on the Big Book of AV Tour are scheduled to take place on May 9, 2013 in Montreal, Canada, and in Charlotte, North Carolina, on May 16, 2013.

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 1000-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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Photos of the TAP·it Assistive Learning Platform are available for download here.

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Distance Learning Is The Key To The Future Profitability Of Higher Education, Predicts Stampede

Colleges and universities of all shapes and sizes are being challenged as never before to enhance the quality of their courses, increase the number of students enrolled in paid-for degree programs, and decrease the overall cost of delivering these courses to an ever-diverse student body. Fortunately for these higher education institutions, the entire ProAV industry stands poised today to provide exactly the kind of integrated, cost-effective systems solutions that will help them achieve all three of these objectives in an easily managed way, according to Stampede Presentation Products, Inc. President & COO Kevin Kelly.

“Put simply, the future reach and affordability of higher education rests in each institution’s ability to develop and implement an effective online distance learning program — but to do this institutions must start by broadening their view of their “market” beyond the four walls of a classroom or the walls of their traditional campuses,” Kelly asserted today.

According to Kelly, the use of lecture-capture and online streaming has emerged as an incredible way to offer in-class access to students learning from a remote location. Similar to other popular ProAV trends utilized on campuses, such as digital signage, the employment of remote learning technology stands to completely revolutionize the education market. With a simple and affordable AV solution, higher education institutions can broadcast their lessons worldwide to reach more learners than ever before and generate new revenue streams.

“And to this point,” Kelly continued, “a recent Wall Street Journal profile of Yale University’s use of online lectures stated that the online lectures have turned its professors into borderline celebrities and brought them into the homes of thousands of new students all over the world. The article also highlights several websites that host class lectures, such as EdX, which features lectures from Harvard University and MIT and has accrued more than 700,000 users in less than a year. The desire for remote learning is increasing every day, and the ProAV industry knows exactly what AV solutions will enable higher education institutions to reach the greatest number of students possible.”

Higher education providers need to embrace remote learning in order to stay relevant and attract today’s increasingly diverse learner population, and the responsibility to inform the market of new and affordable technological innovations falls in the hands of ProAV integrators and solutions providers. “With our help, higher education institutions can realize the absolute necessity of ProAV technology, which will help them achieve tremendous gains in education now and in the future” Kelly concluded.

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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Recent International Events Highlight the Importance of Carrying the Right Insurance Coverage For Anyone Touring Outside The United States

The accidental death of a fan at an American heavy metal band’s concert in Prague, The Czech Republic, and the collapse of scaffolding in high winds outside another American band’s concert in Cape Town, South Africa are two recent incidents that underscore the critical importance for all touring artists to include international coverage as part of their insurance portfolio, according to Scott Carroll, Executive Vice President & Program Director of Take1 Entertainment Insurance.

“Every artist who steps outside the United States to perform anywhere in the world should make sure they carry international insurance protection,” Carroll said today. “The coverage territory of a traditional U.S. based policy does not typically extend beyond the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. That means that if something happens to an insured outside of these areas, they are totally exposed to all claims without any insurance protection.”

According to Carroll, the inclusion of international protection coverage is an important first step in a larger, more complex insurance program. “Carrying international insurance coverage, while important, is not perfect because it does not respond to all situations one might face in every country. What it is, however, is a statement by the U.S. based insurance company that provides the coverage that, in certain situations, they are there to help. Stated differently, without the coverage you are completely exposed and subject to the laws and rules of that country, and that can be very confusing, frightening, and quite daunting.

“There is a difference between locally admitted coverage, which is usually only available to those with business entities in the country where the work is being performed, and an international policy that extends certain coverage parts (often, general liability; foreign voluntary work comp and auto) of a U.S. based insurance program, to activities outside of the U.S. Without either, an entity is completely exposed. The two most recent international concert accidents bring to the fore what insurance protection do I have when I leave the country? The bottom line is that every touring act, promoter, producer and possibly even production managers, should carry international coverage protection that allows for coverage protection against a broad range of claim areas. You can’t be too penny wise and pound foolish when it comes to insurance protection in the global 21st Century entertainment industry.”

One practical application of most international insurance policies is the inclusion of Travel Assistance services. These services, typically an 800 phone number that is monitored 24/7, provides a traveler with a number to call when situations develop when traveling away from home. These services can, and do, help with everything from replacement passport services to refilling prescriptions. It provides an element of “just in case” help and support to an insured that purchases an international policy

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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Circle Technology Appoints Stampede a North American Distributor Of Its Groundbreaking Presentation Solution

Circle Technology, the pioneering Vancouver, Washington-based company formed by InFocus Systems founder Steve Hix, today announced the appointment of Stampede Presentation Products Inc. to serve as a North American distributor of its groundbreaking new portable, wireless, Internet-free presentation system solution.

Available for delivery from Stampede beginning next month, the Circle Technology presentation system is intended to revolutionize the way small groups present and share information. “Having spent the last 20 years of my life perfecting large-scale presentations, I decided to shift my focus to small groups and the result is the Circle Technology portable presentation system,” Circle Technology President Steve Hix said today. “It is the first portable, wireless, paperless presentation system that allows presenters to put content into everyone’s hands without the Internet, anywhere at any time.”

Comprised of high-quality resolution Circle Displays and Circle Wizard Software, the system allows users to screen share anything from a computer to multiple Circle Displays with no paper, no binding, and no networks.

“Stampede has the experience, the dealer network, and the passion we are looking for to establish the Circle Technology system as the new reference standard for small-group presentations,” Hix emphasized. “We are very excited to have Stampede on board as a strategically important part of our North American sales program.”

According to Stampede President & COO Kevin Kelly, “Circle Technology’s presentation solution is an absolute game-changer that represents the future of small-group wireless presentations. The Circle Technology platform makes it possible for end-users to present anywhere they go, without the need for additional hardware, creating limitless opportunities for users looking to share content in any imaginable setting. Our commercial and consumer customers are going to immediately understand and respond to the benefits this remarkable presentation system delivers.”

Circle Technology’s portable presentation system offers an on-the-go solution that allows a presenter to screen share any presentation or content, via the Circle Wizard Software, from their PC directly to the Circle Displays in the hands of their audience. The crystal clear 1280×800 HD resolution Circle Displays allow presentations to be put directly into the hands of the audience, without bulky, printed presentations or the seemingly endless distractions that could be found on their own devices. The Circle Wizard Software is compatible with Windows® 7 and 8, making it possible for the software to be downloaded to any PC that uses Microsoft OS.

What’s more, the Circle Wizard Software makes it possible to present without any connection to the Internet, thus eliminating any worries about faulty connections. The software also allows for up to 10 Circle Displays to be connected at once, giving presenters the opportunity to put their presentation into the hands of multiple people at the same time. The software works on a self-contained, encrypted WPA2 password protected network, powered by the standard wireless capabilities embedded in today’s PC’s, allowing for a secure and private connection between the presenter’s PC and the audience’s Circle Displays. The network can be adjusted on the go without the hassle of having to generate and distribute new passwords and user names, making the task as easy as possible for the presenter. Real-time sharing and collaboration is an integral element of all presentations, and the Circle Wizard Software allows the presenter to control the flow of their presentation.

Circle Technology presentation system packages, all backed by a one-year warranty, will be available from Stampede in the following configurations:

Single Pack: This pack features the Circle Wizard Software, 1 Custom Circle Display and Circle Display Stand, and the Circle Protective Sleeve. The Single Pack is available for $999.

Circle Wizard Package A: This package offers the user the Circle Wizard Software, 2 Custom Circle Displays and Circle Display Stands, a Slim Circle Carrying Case, and a Circle Protective Sleeve, all for a price of $1,799.

Circle Wizard Package D: This deluxe package features the Circle Wizard Software, 4 Custom Circle Displays and Circle Display Stands, and a Carrying Case with a charging system, allowing the user to keep their displays charged at all times. This package is available for $2,999. (Pictured)

About Circle Technology
Circle Technology is a pioneering Vancouver, Washington-based company with a family of presentation system solutions. Our products allow you to present without the Internet, anywhere at any time. We bring a complete system to the presentation, providing the highest quality screen resolution from our Circle Displays. Our Circle Wizard Software allows you to screen share anything from your computer to the Circle Displays, giving you the opportunity to present anything that is viewable from your desktop. With Circle Technology, you can rely on our single solution, instead of a multitude of technologies having to somehow work together, just a simple click and you begin. For more information about Circle Technology, log onto www.TheCircleTech.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,” a 1000-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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Blansfield Builders Uses ELAN g! To Close Multiple Home Sales

Jim Blansfield of Danbury, Connecticut-based Blansfield Builders, Inc. is always looking for ways to distinguish himself from other companies and provide clients with the latest innovations that can make their homes more affordable, sustainable, comfortable and enjoyable. As a LEED Accredited Professional and an NAHB™ Certified Green Professional™ he’s up to date on all of the most modern building trends and homebuyer desires. After using the ELAN® g! Entertainment and Control Systems to close multiple home sales over the past two years, he is taking this commitment to the next level by recommending ELAN g! to every new client regardless of the size of the home being built!

“I’m a believer in ‘the new normal’ way of thinking,” he said, “and with the affordable and expandable control solutions made possible by ELAN g!, home control is the new normal! In the past two years, I’ve closed several new homes by demoing the g! system for prospective clients. The buyers are consistently impressed that I include technology in my designs and recommendations, because many other builders minimize the importance of home technologies. For builders, their resistance to change is going to hurt them in the long run.

“Much in the same way you can’t buy a new car today without some kind of an infotainment system, we are entering the next era of home technology where new homes simply will not be built without a home control system. While the level of complexity and cost will certainly vary, systems like lighting and HVAC will be automatically integrated in new homes, providing advanced scheduling and local weather-based triggers to increase homeowner comfort and energy efficiency.”

To date, Blansfield has built 13 homes that include ELAN g! systems of varying size and complexity. Whether the new buyers were looking for enhanced security, HVAC scheduling, lighting, irrigation and pool controls, or super simple whole-home audio and video systems, every client received a custom solution tailored to their specific needs. From a business perspective, Blansfield knows that his knowledge, appreciation and passion for technology place him in an entirely different category from other builders.

“If you talk to new homebuyers and technology integrators you’ll find that many homebuilders consider advanced home technologies an afterthought, if they consider them at all,” he continued. “I think that’s a huge mistake. The truth is that people love their mobile devices, and systems like ELAN g! that allow homeowners to control their homes with a few taps and swipes are so desirable that it’s foolish to overlook them. It becomes a major component of the home and can even be more noticeable than the beautiful hardwood floors or granite countertops that builders and designers use to excite prospective buyers. With the ease and convenience of mobile accessibility, every buyer walks away from my hands-on demo feeling that they need it as part of their new home.

“Another thing that holds back some builders and buyers is the misconception that modern home control is too expensive. Now with ELAN g! there is a customized solution to satisfy every budget, every size home and every homebuyer need. Some people simply want multi-room audio that they can control from their iPhone, while others want an irrigation system that will know to skip a watering if it’s going to rain that afternoon, and g! scales to fit everyone’s specific requirements.”

Blansfield’s final words of wisdom are perhaps the most important of all for any homebuyer or builder looking to dive into home control — make sure you work with a qualified professional installer! ELAN Home Systems has developed a worldwide network of trained professionals who install and program systems to fit the precise requirements of each job, and there is no substitute for a system that works right the first time.

“Hiring a skilled, knowledgeable, reliable contractor is the glue that holds the whole project together,” he advised. “I’ve been working with Dave Febbraio of Structured Home Solutions for seven years, and his dedication to ongoing customer service and timely, get-it-right-the-first-time track record give me confidence that every one of my clients will love their system. As home technology gets more and more complex in its abilities, while getting even easier to operate for the end-user, certified professionals will increasingly provide the service and support that enables everything to run smoothly and allow the users to forget there is a sophisticated system at work. All they need to know is that they can turn down the lights, turn up the heat and start their movie with a few simple buttons. And if they want to do all that from work or from halfway around the world, all they need is an iOS or Android device. It’s that simple.”

According to custom integrator Dave Febbraio, “It’s a pleasure to work with Jim because he truly is a forward thinking builder, which is so rare. As he said, most builders today are still afraid of technology. Jim knows control systems are necessary for new homes and that any builders who are not incorporating them are doing their clients a disservice. This is something Jim is passionate about, and he loves showing off the ELAN g! system we installed in his Vermont home. His enthusiasm for the work we do is so evident that people quickly realize how necessary it is and that it must be part of their new home.”

Blansfield Builders (www.blansfieldbuilders.com) has been building and remodeling with the help of top architects, designers and technology integrators since the company’s founding in 1985. Since 2002 the company has won 20 HOBI Awards in the categories of new homes, interior design, remodels, kitchen design and home features from the Home Builders and Remodelers Association of Connecticut, Inc.

About ELAN Home Systems:
Founded in 1990, ELAN® Home Systems is an industry leading manufacturer of innovative, award-winning whole-house entertainment and control systems that 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 Nortek, Inc. 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® brands.

ELAN is a subsidiary of Nortek, Inc., 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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Stampede To Distribute Nano-Based, Non-Toxic, Fingerprint-Resistant WHOOSH! Display Cleaning Products

WHOOSH!®, the two-year old Toronto based company that is revolutionizing the way consumers and commercial customers clean, polish and protect all of their computer screens, mobile devices, and television displays, today announced the appointment of Stampede Presentation Products, Inc. to serve as a North American distributor of its rapidly expanding commercial and consumer product lines. The announcement, which is effective immediately, was made by WHOOSH! Inc. President Jason Greenspan and Stampede President & COO Kevin Kelly.

“We’re very excited to have Stampede on board playing a strategically important part of our long-term sales and business development efforts,” Greenspan said today. “Stampede’s knowledge of the market, combined with their unsurpassed network of 11,000 dealers, is certain to help us achieve the sales objectives we have in every vertical market, including consumer electronics, corporate, K-12 and higher education. They have the unique ability to reach and quickly educate dealers about the unique performance benefits that make WHOOSH! the clear choice for dealers and end-users who are looking for a safe, non-toxic cleaning product to keep all their screens and displays clean and shining like new.”

According to Kelly, “WHOOSH! provides state-of-the-art, eco-friendly display cleaning solutions that are unlike any other product on the market. Their cost-effective products allow customers to easily keep their displays looking great, as WHOOSH! products provide strong resistance to fingerprints. We’re thrilled to be a part of their sales team. By pairing this incredible product line with our extensive knowledge of the ProAV market, we can now make sure that the end-user is getting the best possible performing, environmentally-friendly cleaning solution for their screens and devices.”

The WHOOSH! line of products includes display cleaning solutions that help customers keep all of their display screens, gadgets and devices looking like new. WHOOSH! Screen Shine is a superior, powerful and natural cleaner that safely cleans, polishes and protects all screens. The Screen Shine consumer product line is available in a variety of sizes, including Pocket (.3 fluid ounces), On-the-Go (1 fluid ounce) and Duo+ (one 3.4 fluid ounces and one .3 fluid ounces), and all sizes come with a 6”x6” W! microfiber cloth. For the commercial, industrial & education markets, WHOOSH offers a 24 fluid ounce bottle and a 5-gallon pail.

WHOOSH! Screen Shine is made with biodegradable surfactants and its proprietary polymers provide a nano-thin invisible coating that provides resistance to fingerprints. WHOOSH! Inc. also sells W! microfiber towels designed for screens to clean, polish, and protect display products. What’s more, WHOOSH! products do not contain alcohol, acids, ammonia, chlorine, solvents, petroleum distillates, phosphates, or VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds). WHOOSH! is odorless, streak free, anti-static, and water-based.

About WHOOSH!
WHOOSH!® leverages the latest advancements in nano and biology based technologies to create powerful, non-reactive & safe cleaning products that outperform other traditional and natural cleaning products that make consumers say “wow”! What started as a single product in 2011 has grown into a new and exciting brand that is revolutionizing the way consumers clean, polish and protect their displays. Since its founding, the goal of WHOOSH! has been to deliver the next generation of superior consumer and commercial specialty-purpose cleaning products, designed to be safe, while at the same time simplifying and advancing the way consumers clean and shine! For more information, please call 1-866-631-1116 or visit http://whooshscreenshine.com/. WHOOSH! Inc. is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

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,” a 1000-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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Guitar Collector Builds Rock Star Basement With ELAN g! AV and Lighting Control

Guitar aficionado Jack Jackson and his wife Kathleen throw one hell of a party — just ask the 80-plus people who attended their 2013 New Year’s bash, held in their new ultra-trendy, state-of-the-art basement lounge in their Hunterdon County, New Jersey home. The Jackson’s “basement” can go toe-to-toe with any posh Manhattan nightclub thanks to its custom-built bar, LED lighting accents, lounge area with a wraparound leather sofa and electric fireplace, 120-bottle wine cellar, ‘pillar of fire’ column with drink rests, a smoke machine and laser lights. But according to Jackson, the icing on this mini-nightclub’s cake is something that’s vital for a long night of partying — the room’s lighting, three TVs and two zones of audio are all super easy to control right from an iPad through the ELAN® g! Entertainment and Control System!

“We were used to going out to bars and clubs, but we love to entertain at home, too,” said Jack Jackson. “We’ve spent lots of time in Las Vegas, New York City, South Beach, you name it. So we used ideas from those places in the design of our new underground entertaining oasis, like the TVs in the bar area, the LED light strips underneath the marble bar, the pillar drink rests and the extra bar space on a separate wall. All the little accents make this a space most people don’t expect to see in a home. When we throw a party we want our guests to feel as if they are out at a bar or nightclub and let go of any reservations they might normally have when visiting a friend’s home.”

That’s not to say that entertaining guests is Jackson’s only hobby. After a brief addiction to the videogame Rock Band, he developed a strong desire to learn how to play a real guitar. In just a few months that desire turned into an entirely new pursuit — he outfitted a home workshop and began building his own custom guitars. From carving and painting the bodies to researching the right electronics and neck stocks to get the sound he wanted, this unexpected hobby taught him how to make something that is truly greater than the sum of its parts — a lesson he utilized when designing the new lounge.

“I love exploring new technologies and new hobbies, and I got really into Rock Band after I bought it for my kids,” he explained. “Kathleen and I would have competitions against our friends, and eventually I decided I needed to learn how to play the songs for real. I bought a Fender Mexican Stratocaster at Guitar Center, and when I wanted a second guitar, I decided to build it instead of buying another. Since then I’ve built more than a dozen guitars. I outfitted my home workshop solely for this purpose, and learning this craft taught me a lot about how a bunch of small parts can combine to create something incredible. It’s really a beautiful thing when everything comes together just how you pictured it.”

“If you compare the first guitar I built to the later models, it’s obvious that I learned a lot as I went along. It’s stunning how much difference a particular type of wood, or even the wood’s age, can make to the guitar’s sound and appearance. I approached the lounge design with this same idea, that the materials are as important as the implementation. So Kathleen and I enlisted the help of professionals to assist in choosing the best woods, countertops, tiling, cabinetry, decorations and electronics, and together we succeeded in breathing new life into an essentially dead space.”

The custom remodeler who built the lounge, helped design the space and suggested the materials, Joseph Pastore, had previously worked with Jackson to design his music studio and home gym, which are both located adjacent to the new lounge. To ensure all the electronics worked correctly and would make throwing parties easier than ever, Jackson hired a local custom integrator, 360 Media Innovations, to install the ELAN g! System, the in-ceiling speakers, the wall-mounted TVs, and integrate the lighting. This was 360 Media’s second job with Jackson as well, having wired and installed several in-wall speakers in the music studio.

After completing the new renovation, Jack and Kathleen needed to put their own special twist on the beverages they serve, so they embarked on yet another new hobby — brewing their own beer and bottling their own wine. With a fully stocked bar, two beer taps, a professional bar fridge with a selection of craft beers and the temperature-controlled wine cellar, they created what is quite literally the most state-of-the-art bar in their town.

“I like having things that no one else has,” he declared, “which is why I’ve built replicas of Eddie Van Halen’s legendary white ‘Frankenstrat’, Stevie Ray Vaughn’s guitar, and perhaps the most famous of them all, Eric Clapton’s ‘Daphne’. That’s why I wanted the lounge to be so professional and uniquely designed that no one has seen anything like it in a home, and that’s exactly what all our guests have said. Everything is gorgeous, from the bar to the tiled floor to the lounge furniture; I can tap my iPhone to change the TV, music and lights; and my music studio is just a few feet away with all my guitars on display. Between the bar, the lounge and the studio, our home has become much more than just another house.”

According to Kathleen Jackson, in order to maintain the feel of a real bar, eliminating wall clutter was a must-have feature. The g! System delivered in spades, letting them control the lounge’s lights, TVs and music from an iPad Mini or an iPhone. The custom integrators were able to move all the light switches into a separate room on a single large master control panel, so the Jacksons never have to use the individual light switches. Instead, they use the iPad Mini or two multi-button keypads located in the stairwell and behind the bar to activate pre-programmed lighting ‘scenes’ such as Lounge or Party that turn on or dim specific lighting fixtures throughout the room.

“Every design aspect resulted from a carefully considered decision,” she explained, “including removing the light switches and using in-ceiling speakers as opposed to obtrusive, boxy bookshelf or floor standing speakers. And along with the appearance, the ease of operation had to be absolutely seamless. We know that when a party starts, everyone is going to be coherent and quick thinking, but let’s be honest — we might not be in the same state at the end of the night! Again, it’s just like if you were out at a club. So we needed a way to control the lights, the TVs and the music that is super simple, and would also make it easy to shut everything off when the party dies down. With the ELAN g! System we can use the iPad Mini’s nice big touchscreen to change the channels, turn up the volume and dim the lights, and when the night’s over all it takes is a single button to turn everything off at once.”

To give the Jacksons complete control, 360 Media programmed the ELAN g! System so that all three TVs can display the same video or show different channels, just like a commercial bar, and the speakers in the bar can play different audio than the speakers in the lounge. That way they can have a sporting event on the main TV with hi-quality audio, and still have music playing by the bar. And all it takes is a few taps on the iPad Mini!

“At our 2013 New Years party everyone was trying to be the DJ, using the iPad Mini to change the music through the g! System,” Kathleen continued. “When our first guests arrived we showed them how to use it for 30 seconds, and that’s all it took for everyone to be able to use it all night. Plus the guys from 360 Media set up eight different lighting scenes for us, so there’s a special setting to bring up the bar lights, or for when we move the couches and have a dance floor, or for when we aren’t using the bar at all and are sitting in the lounge area. It’s so easy!

“Those types of nuances in the audiovisual and lighting system perfectly complement the design of the whole room. I set out to create a space where people would continue to discover new accents and flourishes throughout the night and even each time they revisit the house. It’s the little things — tiling that continues up the wall around the TV and fireplace, and also continues onto the step under the bar; coat hooks under the bar that you’d never expect in a home — that catch people off guard and keep them experiencing the room differently time after time.”

According to Jack, one of their favorite things about the ELAN g! System is that they didn’t have to break the bank to get everything they wanted. They were able to start off integrating the AV and lighting in the lounge, and then still have the ability to expand the system and control other subsystems in the future.

“We like it so much that we’re planning to grow the system and control the TVs and music upstairs,” he added, “and possibly tie in the HVAC and security system and add cameras, garage door controls and electronic door locks. We want to be able to look in on the house when we’re on vacation and have that extra peace of mind. It also makes things much more convenient, like if a package is being delivered we could open the garage door from anywhere in the world, and also set the outdoor lights to go on at night so it’s not obvious that no one is home. We know that automating the lights, heating and air conditioning could help us save energy and money, and it can even let us set up the house so it’s ready when we return from vacation. All things considered, the renovation has transformed our home into an entirely new house.”

About ELAN Home Systems:
Founded in 1990, ELAN® Home Systems is an industry leading manufacturer of innovative, award-winning whole-house entertainment and control systems that 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 Nortek, Inc. 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® brands.

ELAN is a subsidiary of Nortek, Inc., 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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