Episode 1, Hot Takes with Maz & Wheelz

This Video Series was recorded by Exertis Almo's Business Development Managers: 
Dan Mazurkiewicz, DSCE, and Liz Wheeler, DSCE.

Introducing “Hot Takes” with Maz & Wheelz – a video series of conversations about LED technology.

The 1st Hot Takes episode, with Exertis Almo’s Business Development Managers, Daniel Mazurkiewicz and Liz Wheeler, is all about emerging technology. In this conversation with guest Jonathan Brawn, Principal at Brawn Consulting, they chat about many topics of interest including Direct View LED and Digital Signage. 

Watch to listen in on their conversation!

Did you find this video helpful? Connect with us and #TeamExertisAlmo over on LinkedIn.

Find more episodes on the Exertis Almo YouTube Channel.

Liz Wheeler

Liz Wheeler | DSCE

Business Development Manager


Supported Manufacturers: Samsung Pro (NE, SE, MW)

Dan Mazurkiewicz

Dan Mazurkiewicz | DSCE

Business Development Manager


Supported Manufacturers: Samsung Pro (SW, West, NW)

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

A 4-Step Signage Strategy

The global digital signage market size was estimated at around 23 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 7.7% from 2022 to 2030, with the largest market being North America. We’ve all seen digital signage in our daily lives and have come to expect it when we walk into a hotel, retail location, or even a corporate office. So, why are so many Pro AV integrators hesitant to make it a part of their business plan? Choices… too many of them. There are literally hundreds of CMS (Content Management System) providers currently on the market, and many integrators aren’t sure which one offers their client what they need. Many CMS providers have attempted to make digital signage appear simple, and some have been relatively successful.  The truth of it is, if it’s too simple, it probably lacks some necessary functionality. If not for your current client, most likely for the next one. Since digital signage is so varied, the software needed could never be simple while still addressing the needs of every client.

The Reason Why

So, why should a Pro AV integrator ever get involved in such a mired mess?  I’ll give you a couple of reasons. First, if you’re not doing it, your competitor probably is. Second, the market is HUGE, and continues to grow at near double digits each year. Digital signage offers the unique ability to engage with your client on an annual basis, at a minimum, and develop a recurring revenue stream that builds profitability over time. Digital signage was originally known as digital out of home advertising but is now used as a method of digital communication.  It communicates ideas, data, dates, times, events, news, weather, inspiration, etc. My fingers would fall off before I can list the various uses, and there are people finding new ways every day. It’s here to stay, so you might as well jump on board. The first step is creating a strategy that doesn’t put a strain on your company, while still being able to offer everything needed for your sophisticated clients.

Step 1 – Find a Partner

Even though there are so many uses, and hundreds of software choices to help facilitate those uses, it all boils down to methods of communication. Just as there are many methods to create a beautiful painting, it still comes down to a brush, some pigment, and something to paint on. For signage, it’s content, a way to manage the content, and a display on which to play the content. As an integrator, you serve as a resource to the end user, but you don’t need to paint the picture for them – just set up the brush and canvas, and let the painters do their work. Most projects are pretty straight forward, but for those that require a bit more, there are digital signage experts that spend their day knee-deep in the inner workings and are willing to provide assistance. The key to a successful strategy is finding a partner that has enough options to choose from, while still remaining knowledgeable in each option enough to guide you to provide the best solution for your client. These partners can be value added distributors, digital signage content creation firms, or even local digital signage integrators. This step is the key to developing a strategy, without having to hire a slew of experts internally. There are partners, like Exertis Almo, that offer a number of options, both in hardware and software, and can provide the resources needed to help with almost any digital signage project you run into. They also have some key partners that they work with to provide things not covered by the hardware or software.

Step 2 – The Committee

After securing a partner that provides resources and expertise needed, the next step is getting the key players from your client together. This is something that Pro AV integrators are extremely qualified for.  Knowing your clients and developing relationships within that client is something nobody else can do for you. The most important thing an integrator can do to ensure a successful project is get the correct people involved.  Many projects are relegated to the IT department of an end user, but shouldn’t stop there. In order to be successful, we need to involve any person that will be involved with the digital signage. This should be a formal or informal committee that the end user has put together. This committee should consist of key people that will utilize the system in some way. I suggest including marketing, IT, facilities, HR, and the CEO or other officer responsible for saying “yes” to the project.  You should also include the person responsible for the day to day management of the content, even if it’s a part time administrative assistant. Having a digital signage partner doesn’t mean you’re done with the project. It just allows you to do what you do best and leave some of the technical aspects of signage to someone else. This eliminates a lot of the time suck that can be associated with signage.

Step 3 – Needs Analysis

This portion can be done via a video conference with your signage partner, or there are a few key questions you can ask your client to start the process. No matter if you are passing the information over to a partner that will run with the rest of the project, or passing it on to an internal resource to finish out the project, there are 5 key questions you can ask to help provide direction. The great thing about these questions is they don’t require any in-depth knowledge of signage.
  1. What is the overall objective of the digital signage?
  2. Who will be responsible managing the content, and do they have technical skills? List everyone that will “touch” the system and indicate what responsibility they will have.
  3. Will the digital signage be interactive or pull from a data source? Weather, news, PowerBI, database? If so, please provide details.
  4. Do you have a preference for on-premise or a cloud solution?
  5. Who is creating the content, and how will it be kept timely and relative?
After the needs analysis has been completed, your signage partner should be able to suggest a combination of hardware, software, and additional services that fit the needs of your client. These services can even include installation services, which can further aid in making sure you are able to service your client best, without any additional strain on your company.

Step 4 – Deployment

As a system integrator, this should be right in your wheelhouse. Because signage hardware includes an IT element, making sure you have the correct people involved is key. I suggest involving your signage partner in the planning and possibly in the actual deployment. The key to a successful deployment can sometimes hinge on having a resource for contingencies. __________ To discuss the strategies above, or to hear more about how Exertis Almo can help you develop a customized strategy for your client, please contact me via email. Good luck!

Instill Safety & Peace of Mind as Travel Reopens

Over the past year, our daily lives have become increasingly focused on the health and safety of ourselves and those around us. With the importance of face coverings and frequent hand washing, it’s essential to clean a clean environment for each and every hotel guest and staff member. When soap and water are not readily available, the CDC encourages the use of hand sanitizer with at least 60 perfect alcohol upon entry of a public space. As a key measure in protecting yourself and others, frequent hand sanitation provides a safer public environment by keeping germs under control.

With Digital Signage Hand Sanitizing Units from RC Stars, the safety of guests and staff is a top priority. The auto-dispensers provide touchless sanitation while displaying customizable information and graphics, bringing convenience and cleanliness to any hotel space. With metal body housing, tempered protection glass, and water-resistant casing, Digital Hand Sanitizing Units from RC Stars provide top-of-the-line construction in a sleek exterior. Available in both freestanding and wall-mounted dispensers, the kiosks are equipped with Remote Management Software, delivering content updates to your web browser when sanitizer levels are running low.

Freestanding vs. Wall-Mounted Units

Ideal for high-traffic locations, the 21.5-inch freestanding model stands seamlessly in any space. The kiosk is maneuverable and can be reconfigured to assist with traffic slow and sanitation, providing lobbies guests with convenient access to hand sanitation.

Perfect for smaller areas, the 21.5-inch wall-mounted unit is an excellent choice for saving space. With a sleek, contemporary design and durable construction, this kiosk is a health-conscious addition to any wall.

The Best Places to Use Your Digital Signage Hand Sanitizing Unit


Digital Signage Hand Sanitizing Units from RC Stars are an excellent addition to any hotel lobby. With customizable text and images, the kiosk provides guests with hotel news and information while encouraging proper hand sanitation. Ideal for high traffic areas, the freestanding unit allows for frequent reconfiguration to assist with traffic flow, guaranteeing a simple and sanitary experience for guests upon entry. Take a further look into the freestanding unit here.

Fitness Centers

With zero-contact hand sanitation, hand sanitizing units are ideal for a health-conscious fitness center. Available in a freestanding unit for open areas or a wall-mounted unit for confined spaces, these kiosks are perfect for providing guests with important information while encouraging frequent hand sanitation. With customizable information and graphics, digital signage units are ideal for displaying your mask policy, instructions for sanitizing equipment, or simply requiring hand sanitation upon entry. 

Elevator Hallways

With a variety of frequently touched surfaces, it’s important to ensure proper hand sanitation in elevator hallways. With space-saving construction, the wall-mounted digital signage unit delivers convenient, touchless hand sanitation. Equipped with Remote Management Software, each unit delivers content updates to your web browser when sanitizer levels are low, providing easy management of multiple kiosks.

Take a look at the wall-mounted unit here.

With the RC Stars Digital Signage Hand Sanitizing Unit, creating a safe and healthy environment for hotel guests is simple and efficient. Whether the unit is installed in a lobby, fitness center, or elevator hallway, guests and staff members will enjoy the convenience of digital signage and hand sanitation in a compact, sleek kiosk.

Think Outdoors!

When we typically consider pro AV systems design and integration, we immediately think indoors. Truth is, most of us do nearly all our projects inside the confines of buildings, with walls and ceilings. Boardrooms, conference rooms, huddle spaces, and auditoriums are just a few of the things we all do so well… but wouldn’t it be great if we could expand our horizons (and those of our customers)? Well now we can, and it’s time to start thinking outdoors!

There are a ton of available spaces, that today are more important than ever. Let’s say there is a patio or deck area that literally begs for a display. How about along the path beside a building? Outside the entranceway? Considering the unfortunate situation we find ourselves in thanks to COVID, our industry is now tasked with creating new outdoor areas… that not only had not been previously thought of, but now must be. This will be part of our “new normal”. Keep in mind that today outdoor spaces are more universally preferred in many areas around the country due to restrictions, comfort of guests, etc. Lump this under addressing health and safety concerns while delivering an outdoor visual experience that keeps people safe. Think opportunities!

Those of you who design projects will probably think about the obstacles before anything else. There is heat and moisture. There is bright sunlight, reflections on the screen, and the resulting poor image quality. Therefore, you think it just won’t work and can’t give the end results you get inside. Worry not because Samsung and their new Terrace Pro TV comes to the rescue.

This is one of those cases where we examine the Terrace Pro TV and see how the features really do become tangible benefits. Nothing matters if the display will not withstand the environment. Rain or shine, you can enjoy year-round outdoor entertainment with an IP55 rating that assures protection from water and dust. Check the first requirements box.

The next concern should be image quality. If the image is inadequate or inferior, then the dollars spent are wasted. Nobody will even look at the display let alone enjoy it. This issue is addressed via the QLED 4K panel and over 2,000 nits of brightness. For the techies among you the QLED is a Samsung adaptation of Quantum Dot backlight technology but optimized to deliver what Samsung states as 100% Color Volume for a billion shades of brilliant color, without washing out in extreme brightness. By the way contrast is enhanced via direct full array backlighting system providing fine control of the lighting zones behind the screen. HDR10+ adjusts color and contrast scene-by-scene for a dynamic and immersive viewing experience. This ultimately means that Samsung has brought their top-notch home theater display technology into a commercial model, and an outdoor one at that. Will the display be noticed and appreciated? You bet and the adaptive picture capability optimizes picture settings based on surrounding lighting conditions. Check the second requirements box.

It doesn’t stop at IP ratings for outdoor use and stellar picture quality. This is also a Business TV, like Samsung’s previously launched BET-H series. These were intended to offer carefully vetted apps like Youtube, and integrate digital signage through the included Business TV App. It will hold the customer’s hand through choosing a pre-built template, entering their own content, and publishing them for an easy signage experience. Other features are turned into benefits that integrators can provide for their clients. The multi view feature lets them watch TV while displaying signage content from the App.

Remote control and connectivity are not an afterthought. There is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The wireless remote control is even IP56 rated to stands up to water and dust. Thinking about the ease of installation, the Terrace has HD Base-T already built-in, for one cable, clutter free connectivity to external devices. Simply plug in the included cable and you are good to go! Its built-in media bay provides additional support for media sticks and protection from water and dust. Samsung is also offering a (consumer) outdoor soundbar matched to the Terrace and Terrace Pro TV models to provide local audio.

What the Terrace Pro TV allows the user is an indoor viewing experience outdoors without a lot of cost and complexity. This gives the integrator the opportunity to tell clients a new story and one that they have not heard. You can extol the lengthy list of features but punctuate those with tangible benefits. If the objective is a project that visually stands out and becomes an experience, the Terrace Pro TV should be at the top of your considerations. 

Pin It on Pinterest