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Behind the Panel: Cables, Cables, Everywhere!!

We are going to start today with a trip down memory lane… standard hdmi cableYou have just picked out a gorgeous new HD Television at one of the “Big Box” stores. You are super excited, because “Real Housewives of Buffalo” is premiering season 4 later that day, and you cannot imagine how fantastic it will look in your living room. Then the sales associate that helped you pick that display out asks you if you need a high-end HDMI cable to go with that display. He goes on to tell you that it will “enhance the viewing experience” and “provide better quality audio” for you. Do you spend the $75 for that cable? Or is the $10 one available on that XYZ website going to do the trick? Now, for you and your latest reality series, it may not make much of a difference, but when you are in the world of Pro AV, it can be all the difference in the world.

When it comes to setting up an audio or video system, choosing the right cables is crucial. While it may be tempting to opt for cheaper imports or consumer cables, investing in professional audio and video cables can make all the difference in terms of performance, durability, and reliability. Let’s look at the benefits of using professional audio video cables instead of cheaper online options.

Primarily, professional audio and video cables are designed by manufacturers to deliver superior performance. These cables are engineered with high-quality materials and features that ensure optimal signal transfer, reducing the risk of signal loss or distortion. broadcast videoThis translates into clear, high-quality audio and video output, which is essential for professional applications such as recording studios, live performances, and broadcasting. Whether you are setting up a live event like a concert, installing a conference room solution with high end UC equipment, or setting up a classroom or auditorium in the education space, investing in the higher quality product will help ensure the best performance. In comparison, cheaper cables may not be designed to the same high standards as professional cables. These cables may have lower quality materials and construction, which can result in signal loss, noise, or interference. This can lead to poor audio and video quality, which is unacceptable in professional settings. If performance is key, then you absolutely need Pro-quality cables here.
Something else to consider. Is that less expensive cable rated to do the job that you need? Wait, there are ratings for cables??? Why yes, yes there are. Cables have different ratings, which have to do with whether they can be used in-wall, riser applications, or plenum applications. These are different ratings based on shielding layers and fire resistance to help fires from spreading. If you use non-plenum cable in the plenum ceiling, inspectors will not give you an occupancy or building permit, and you may be subject to fines. Our partners at C2G have this nice guide about different ratings.

Another benefit of using professional audio and video cables is their durability. Professional cables are built to withstand the rigors of frequent use and transport, with features such as reinforced connectors, strain relief, and shielding. This makes them more resistant to wear and tear, and less likely to break or fail during use. In contrast, cheaper imports or consumer cables may not be built to the same standards of durability. These cables may have weaker connectors, thinner insulation, or less shielding, which can make them more susceptible to damage or failure. cable durabilityThis can result in frequent replacements and downtime, which can be costly and disruptive. Think of the time and money spent having technicians deployed just to replace cables, because they were cheaper at the outset. Those savings up front are costing you more down the road. What a huge waste! You absolutely cannot have an inferior connection break in the middle of a live performance or important video conference, which could have catastrophic effects on your business. Did you know that C2G offers a Limited lifetime warranty on all cable assemblies? They do, and that is just one of the many reasons we are excited to have them as a partner.

Finally, professional audio and video cables offer greater reliability. Professional cables are tested and certified to meet industry standards for performance and safety, ensuring that they will work consistently and safely under various conditions. This is critical in professional settings where failure or malfunction can have grave consequences. Cheaper cables may not offer the same level of reliability or safety. These cables may not be put through the same quality control measures and may not meet industry standards for performance or safety. This can result in unpredictable performance, safety hazards, or even damage to equipment. C2G Performance Series cablesLuckily, C2G has that covered as well. Take a look at their latest and greatest: the Performance Series, 100% tested at the production line to make sure it meets standards, highest standard rating required for in-wall installation, and many other key features.

I get it, we are talking about cables here, and I know it is not the forefront in technology, or the flashiest thing you will see at Infocomm – but without quality cabling throughout your AV install, all that equipment cannot run to its highest potential. Investing in professional audio and video cables is a wise choice for anyone who wants to achieve optimal performance, durability, and reliability from their audio and video systems. While less expensive or consumer cables may seem like an attractive option, they simply cannot match those results from professional cables. If you want pro results, you must use pro products. That is it for me, until next time we go Behind the Panel!!

Patrick Booth, BDM
About the Author

Patrick Booth | CTS, DSCE

Business Development Manager

Supported Manufacturers: Legrand AV (SW, W, NW) – Chief, C2G, Da-Lite, Luxul, Middle Atlantic, Vaddio, Wiremold

Behind the Panel: Navigating Direct View LED Mounts

We are back again – this time talking about the world of Direct View LED mounts. First, let’s take a brief look at Direct View LED as a solution:

Direct View LED (DVLED) is a technology that has existed for some time, but the last five to seven years has seen an explosion in the amount of manufacturers that are producing DVLED technology. In its most basic description, DVLED is a display consisting of several light-emitting diodes (LEDs) mounted on a circuit board, creating each panel. These panels are then configured into a larger, finished display. The biggest draw to these is you can get a much larger overall display than traditional LED displays, which usually top out around 100” diagonal. This gives you much greater flexibility to create larger display sizes, and not be limited to the traditional shape of normal displays. They can be pyramids, curved, columns… really the sky is the limit. These displays are also much brighter than traditional LED. Take the TV in your home, more than likely that will be around 300 nits in brightness. Professional digital signage displays are usually in the 500-700 nits range. DVLED are very bright, most times in a range of 4,000-10,000 nits, and because there is no glass, (hence the term, “Direct View”), they will not have glare, as well as offering much broader viewing angles.

Assessing the DVLED Install Needs

Chief digital signage solutionsThe first step in the process is assessing the install site. The integrator will have to do a thorough site survey, to make sure the solution will work. Making sure they have adequate access to power, and ensuring that the wall or structure that the display is being mounted to is secure and strong enough to support it. Once you have this done, you can work on designing and planning your wall layout and structure. Most manufacturers offer assistance in design for the mounting solution. Our partners at Legrand have really simplified the process with a great Online Configuration Tool to help put your display together. They offer many in-stock solutions for the major DVLED brands. If your DVLED isn’t available in one of their preconfigured varieties, they offer custom solutions as well.

Selecting a DVLED Mount Solution

Now, back to the mounts. The first question that I am often asked, is why a customer would choose third party mounts when the DVLED manufacturer has mounts that are made for their own solution. Great question! The answer is simple:

  • DISPLAY manufacturers primary focus is on developing and manufacturing DISPLAYS.
  • MOUNT manufacturers primary focus is on developing and manufacturing MOUNTS.

Although the DVLED manufacturers’ mounting solutions will fit, they will more than likely not work as well as mounts made by a mount manufacturer. Usually, the DVLED manufacturer has a mounting solution that is a pretty basic, perhaps a simple frame with some brackets. Third party mounts are designed with installers in mind. They will be set up for easier installation because they give you the ability to make micro-adjustments after they are mounted. For installers, having the ability to make x-y-z axis adjustments help ensure a perfectly planar video wall. They are usually a much more robust mount all together, with more features that produce a better finished product, and also have the installer in mind by making installation quicker, more efficient, and allowing for easier access when servicing post-install.

To draw an everyday life comparison, think about buying a car. When you purchase a car, often times the dealer would throw in floor mats for your car. The floor mats were OK, they matched the color of the interior, and would keep some dirt and grime off the floor of the car. But you could also go buy a set of floor mats that were made by a company that does nothing but make car accessories, composed of heavier duty material, laser machined to exactly fit in your vehicle, and would keep EVERYTHING off the floor of your vehicle. Wow, after writing that, I really think I need new floor mats. Anyways, this is why I would look to a mount manufacturer to make DVLED mount solutions, it is what they do every day!

I also know there is a whole segment of resellers out there who are relatively new to this space, and Exertis Almo has you covered there as well.

Exertis Almo Labor Project Support

Whether this is your first DVLED install or you are attempting something cutting-edge, like a curved wall, Exertis Almo has a services team that can professionally install that solution for you. Our team has a wealth of knowledge and experience in DVLED installation and commissioning. Find out more at

That does it for me, catch you next time… behind the panel.

Patrick Booth, BDM
About the Author

Patrick Booth | CTS, DSCE

Business Development Manager

Supported Manufacturers: Legrand AV (SW, W, NW) – Chief, C2G, Da-Lite, Luxul, Middle Atlantic, Vaddio, Wiremold

Behind the Panel: Cameras for the House of Worship Market

Welcome to this installment of “Behind the Panel,” detailing everything you need to know about cameras for the House of Worship (HOW) market. I realize that this doesn’t technically fall “behind,” so, for this edition, open your minds and we will go “beyond” the panel. By now, I am hoping you had a chance to read my colleague, Rob Voorhees’, blog post, titled “Streaming into the Future; How Bandwidth Needs Have Expanded for Houses of Worship,” which focuses on dedicated bandwidth for the HOW market. If you haven’t, go now and I will wait here for you…

All caught up?? Fantastic, we are moving on! As Rob mentions in his post, streaming services online has been done for quite some time, but the COVID-19 pandemic really forced houses of worship to change the way they reached their congregation. Reading some statistics online, prior to the pandemic, about 40% of churches said they neither livestreamed their service nor posted online later. As we moved throughout 2020, more and more churches, about 65%, said they were streaming services, with 27% saying they posted a sermon online later. What does all this mean? To me, it means if your HOW is not streaming today, they should be ready to make that jump, because even though people have been making the transition back to in-person worship, the pandemic has shown value in making these services available online, whether to sick congregation members, or churchgoers all over the world, wherever they may be. Statistics from Lifeway research included here.

How do you get your local house of worship up and streaming? Well, you have a great start with all that extra bandwidth they have now, so let’s look at how to choose the right camera. We will be looking at PTZ (Pan, Tilt, Zoom) Cameras. Pan is the ability of the camera to move left/right of center. Tilt is the camera’s ability to move up and down. Zoom is the camera’s ability to move in and out, whether done digitally or optically with the lens. Keep in mind with digital zoom, you lose quality as you zoom in on the image. There are cameras that can provide 12X, 20X, 30X, or even greater optical zoom.

Here are some questions that need to be answered when specifying a camera.

What type of connection will be used?

There are many different ways, including HDMI, SDI, and USB. There are benefits to each, but one of the biggest differences is how far the signal can travel on each. SDI can send signals up to 1000 ft. without loss. HDMI can travel up to 50 ft. without the use of extenders. USB is limited to just a few feet. So, paying attention to infrastructure and the budget is very important in making these decisions. It is significantly less expensive to run a few hundred feet of coax cable for an SDI solution than adding extenders to an HDMI solution.

flat wall and tilt wall mounts

Now, these are great for places with a healthy budget, but what happens if you have a church that is still running on an older technology, like S-Video? Check out what our friends at Vaddio have done. The PrimeSHOT 20 was designed with the HOW market in mind. It comes with 20X optical zoom, 1080p @ 60 fps Resolution and an S-Video output. The camera can detect and downscale the image to S-Video, so you can upgrade the camera in a legacy system, and come back and upgrade the cabling at a later point! Check it out here: PrimeSHOT

Where / how far are you placing the camera?

Important to keep this in mind, because the last thing you want to do is choose a zoom level not high enough for the church’s needs. They may want a wide shot to get the whole stage, or focus on the speaker by getting in tight. Check out this Camera Selection Guide from Vaddio to decide what is best for your local HOW. Don’t forget, these cameras all come with compatible wall mounts, so you have that option right out of the box.

How are you controlling the camera?

Although they come with standard with an IR remote, most HOW will want to have a little finer control over their system. All Vaddio cameras can be controlled via a web browser interface, pictured here >

flat wall and tilt wall mounts

This gives them great results for a lot of basic streaming. If they are looking for a higher “production value” look no further than the Vaddio ProductionVIEW Precision Camera Controller. This gives the user a broadcast-quality joystick to control the PTZ aspects of the camera, as well as the ability to control up to seven PTZ cameras. It’s not for every church, but for those that are serious about streaming their services, it is definitely worth a look.

I think the important thing to keep in mind, like anything else, is listening to what the customer needs. It seems so simple, but digging in to really find those needs out, as well as identifying future what growth they may see in the future, will allow you to craft a solution that can be friendly to the budget, while, at the same time, giving opportunity for repeat business as they look to expand on the initial solution.

I will leave you with this case study from Heritage Lutheran Church just to show the vast potential for streaming in the HOW market.

Thanks for reading.

l look forward to any feedback you might have. Otherwise, see you next time, when I will venture back “Behind the Panel!”

Read my 1st “Behind the Panel!” blog on Commercial vs Consumer Mounts HERE

Patrick Booth, BDM
About the Author

Patrick Booth | CTS, DSCE

Business Development Manager

Supported Manufacturers: Legrand AV (SW, W, NW) – Chief, C2G, Da-Lite, Luxul, Middle Atlantic, Vaddio, Wiremold

Behind the Panel: Commercial vs. Consumer Mounts

What’s behind your display?

I have been in the Pro AV industry for almost 15 years now, and many of those years have been spent working around the many accessories that help make a total solution come together. With the trend in recent years being so focused on TV/Display/Panel solutions, I thought I would spend a little time talking about everything else “behind the panel” – which is how we got here!

Why the mount matters

Why not start simple? Let’s look (literally) behind the panel at one of the most important accessories that can be included in your solution – a wall mount for the professional display that you are installing. The question comes up often – why do I need a commercial grade mount when I can go to “ABC” website and buy one that is half the cost? Great question. Let’s take a look at some reasons why you need to “go pro” when it comes to mounts.

The many mount options

First, a look at the type of mounting solutions available:

flat wall and tilt wall mounts

Static or Flat Wall

The name says it all! These mounts simply hang on the wall horizontally, with no tilt or shift. Keep in mind, you may need locking mechanisms to prevent tampering, or brackets that can hold a media player.

Tilt Wall

These mounts work very similarly to flat mounts, except they have the ability to tilt up or down based on the user’s line of sight.

Swing Arm or Full Motion Wall

As described, these mounts have a much larger range of motion than tilt mounts, swinging out, and then having the ability to tilt, and sometimes rotate. These need to be strong and durable, and you need to be confident that they will hold up – the more moving parts, the more points for potential failure!

Tom Keefe groom's men
tiled video wall mounts

Video Wall

These mounts are designed to be hung together, combining several displays to create a much larger overall display. These will always have several points of micro-adjustment to ensure that the displays line up seamlessly. As one of the most important features, video walls have to give technicians quick access to diagnose and service the panels. Many of them have a “pop-out” style feature to quickly get to the back of the panel – a must for saving time on service calls.

Ceiling Mount

These mounts have special brackets that allow them to be mounted to a column that is hanging from the ceilings. Often times, you will need a column that has adjustable heights based on where the display will be located – these can come in a variety of lengths, both fixed and adjustable.

ceiling mounts

Other considerations


When you are buying a less expensive mount, you can quickly see that the quality of materials in the consumer-grade models are not quite the same as commercial-grade. Usually, these are made with less expensive metals that may not have the strength to last for the long term. They are designed to be used in a stress-free environment, like a living room (except during a football game), where they really won’t get touched or have potential for people to bump into them like they would in a more public setting. They are also not usually as precisely machined, so the overall fit can be off if you were putting up a video wall for a client who requires a tight, precise, and seamless fit. When picking out a commercial mount, it is important to note if they are UL-tested, which is a testing/certification process that ensures that the mounts will hold the weight that the manufacturers state. In order to gain a UL Listing, a mount needs to be able to hold four times its listed weight capacity before failure. Like my grandmother used to say – “Penny wise, pound foolish!”

Ease of Installation

When commercial grade mounts are manufactured, one of the biggest selling points is that they are engineered with the installers in mind. Many of the jobs that installers are doing call for hanging and installing multiple displays. Let’s say it takes ten extra minutes to put up a cheaper consumer mount and make all the adjustments. What if you have a hundred displays? That’s now an extra 1,000 minutes, over 16 hours of wasted time. Quality, commercial-grade products often have many features to help make this a faster process. They allow for micro adjustments (e.g., level, pitch, etc.) to be made to ensure that fit and finish are tight but do so without special tools and allow for adjustments once the mount is installed. Whether it is tilt, flat, etc., it doesn’t matter – the commercial grade mounts will have these extra features. So, even though the consumer mount was cheaper upfront, if it takes X amount of time longer to install, it can increase labor costs and lengthen the overall time of install. Another favorite of Grandma – “Wasted time equals wasted money.”

Specialized Solutions

Are you creating a 3 x 3 video wall? A menu board for the local pizzeria? Conference room with PTZ cameras and needs for audio? You will not find much to help you in the consumer world! Sometimes installers have to attach displays to I-beams, or hang from columns in the ceiling, so in these cases, it is not simply a case of grabbing a mount off the shelf and putting it up. You need to have products designed to work together to give a complete finished look. You need to “accessorize your accessories,” if you will! That means having the ability to add a shelf for a camera, or a bracket to hold speakers, or maybe an in-wall junction box. You will find that commercial manufacturers specialize in coming up with entire solutions designed to give a complete finished look, no matter the application. Unfortunately, Grandma owned a delicatessen, and really didn’t have any cool, old-timey phrases for wall mount accessories. 😉 Sorry!

Looking for answers?

Our partner, Legrand AV, has a full line of professional mounts and accessories in their CHIEF line of products. They even have a tool to let you find a mount for a specific display or projector – check that out here.

Thank You for Reading!

If you have made it this far, thanks for reading! I look forward to continuing this series and I appreciate any feedback you might have.

Did you find this blog post helpful? Engage with us over on LinkedIn.

Patrick Booth, BDM
About the Author

Patrick Booth | CTS, DSCE

Business Development Manager

Supported Manufacturers: Legrand AV (SW, W, NW) – Chief, C2G, Da-Lite, Luxul, Middle Atlantic, Vaddio, Wiremold

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