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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. 

Samsung Goes All-In on Digital Signage

I learned something new this year at InfoComm: I have no future as a professional gambler. While true, that’s not really it. What I REALLY learned was that LED may soon take over the world of digital advertising. There were probably more digital signage displays at InfoComm than there are slot machines in Vegas.  However, of those displays, Samsung clearly hit the jackpot. After spending just a few minutes at Samsung’s booth, I am placing my bet on these three Samsung products.

THE WALL

By far the standout was Samsung’s THE WALL professional LED. This thing has it all. Samsung engineers were able to develop revolutionary technology, giving THE WALL top-of-the-line resolution. Not only that, but Samsung also found a way to get rid of those gaudy lines that disrupt your displays, allowing for more aesthetically-pleasing signage.

Still not convinced? Still not ready to go all in? What if I told you that on top of all this, Samsung has given THE WALL a diagonal canvas of 146 inches, the largest flat panel display on the market. With all of these enhancements to their already-stellar digital signage, THE WALL is the perfect combination of quality and quantity.

FLIP

Not only did Samsung up the ante on LED Digital Signage; it also showcased their Samsung Flip. An interactive display perfect for collaboration in meetings and on projects, Flip is essentially the whiteboard of the future. With Flip, you can import any project your team is working on or mirror your phone or computer screen to share with everyone working on it. Not only that, but Flip can easily switch between portrait and landscape views for any type of presentation. With these key features, Flip is looking to increase Samsung’s professional applications in all industries, including education, professional athletics, and of course professional businesses. Teachers can now import content directly onto the display to bolster their students’ learning.

Coaches can now easily switch from portrait to landscape view to show full-court and half-court plays to their team. Businesses can collaborate interactively on important assignments. The Flip is the whiteboard that will change the future, and Samsung will look to increase their market share in interactive digital displays with this innovative product.

Outdoor Signage

On top of their improvements in large-scale digital signage, Samsung upped their game in the outdoor signage department. Whether you are looking for displays to be placed in the snow of Maine or the sun of Miami, look no further than Samsung’s outdoor displays.

These displays are the ultimate sports bar viewing experience with eye-popping quality and unfailing durability to make them perfect for all outdoor venues, enclosed outdoor venues, and even window-facing displays. Samsung has used their cutting-edge techniques to enhance resolution and brightness, making these displays some of the crispest visuals one can find in digital signage. Not only that, but Samsung has increased durability to make their outdoor displays perfect to withstand any weather conditions. Add to that the SMART Signage Platform, which allows users to update their signage in real time from their mobile device and anyone can spend all the time they want in Vegas… learning how to better gamble.

Checking Boxes

A digital signage content management software

that ✓ all the boxes.

Clients looking for a digital signage solution often have very similar feature sets that they are seeking. In the past, there were some features that our solutions could not provide, so the client would need to make some sort of compromise instead of being able to check all the boxes on their list of needs. Since the addition of Zebrix to the Almo line card, compromises are now few and far between.

Let’s take a look at what Zebrix offers that allows us to check off some of commonly requested features that were previously out of reach.

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Hosted, web based CMS

Having a hosted, web based content management system (CMS) offers some advantages over an “on premise” solution.   It reduces the amount of time that IT professionals would spend evaluating security and managing a software installed on local servers, which allows them to focus on their day to day workload.

One of the other great advantages of a hosted CMS is the ability to manage the content from any device, anywhere internet access is available.  Since web browsers are ubiquitous there is no need for a specialized device to manage content or to provide access to players.

Also, because the software is in the cloud you can manage players located all over the world.

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No need for additional player hardware

With the introduction of powerful “system on a chip” processors in commercial displays, like Samsung’s Tizen processor*, Zebrix is able to offer PC-like performance without the cost of an external player.  Savings can be parlayed into larger displays, or additional displays for a project.

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Intuitive CMS interface

Ok, so this may not be exclusive to Zebrix (Almo Pro AV offers other solutions with this feature), but they take it to a whole new level.  Since Zebrix is web based, it offers the ease of use and functionality that people have come to associate with purpose made “apps” on mobile devices.  With drag and drop content upload, and WYSIWYG design features, creating professional looking signage becomes easier than ever.

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Display management and live view

Because Zebrix uses the internal player on the Samsung Tizen based displays, it becomes easy to manage the display as well as see a snapshot of exactly what is playing on the display at any time…all with the click of a button.

If you’d like more information on the features Zebrix offers, or to demo of the software, please feel free to contact me using the contact information below.

Todd Heberlein
888-420-2566 x6205  |  [email protected]

*Currently, only Samsung’s internal player and a Ubuntu external player work with Zebrix.

Samsung Transforms the Modern Meeting with New Interactive Digital Flip Chart

At CES 2018, Samsung Flip shows how ideas can be instantaneously shared across devices and how multiple people can contribute, widen and build on ideas in real-time.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. will offer CES 2018 attendees a first look into its vision for a “Workplace of the Future” with the unveiling of its new Samsung Flip digital flip chart display. Introduced at the company’s First Look event, the Samsung Flip WM55H promotes more collaborative digital engagement by alleviating the most prominent challenges businesses face when organizing, facilitating and recapping meetings.

An upgrade on both standard paper flip charts and analog boards, the Samsung Flip display expands opportunities to generate game-changing ideas while maintaining the familiar feel of traditional writing. However, unlike its predecessors, Samsung Flip allows easy sharing, annotation, movement and even searching, as well as the ability for multiple users to create content at once. Additionally, the Flip’s portable, wheel-based stand transforms any location into a huddle room, meaning added flexibility to businesses with limited conference space. Finally, the Flip display’s intuitive interface was specifically designed to be user-friendly and allow for timely, uninterrupted conversation.

“The often-flawed logistics of the modern meeting make it easy for participants to feel disengaged and for vital ideas and discoveries to become lost,” said Seog-gi Kim, Executive Vice President of Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “Today’s workers require more powerful and flexible technologies, and we truly believe that our new Samsung Flip display offers endless possibilities for driving impactful collaboration. We are excited to debut the Samsung Flip at CES 2018, and we look forward to building upon this technology to help businesses work better, smarter and faster.”

Productive and Interactive Collaboration

Through simultaneous multi-user engagement, the Samsung Flip ensures that all voices and ideas are heard during a given meeting. Up to four different participants can introduce content or annotate directly on screen at the same time using either their fingers or a dual-sided pen. In doing so, each user can customize his or her own writing style, size and color, with each notation made clear and visible by viewer-friendly UHD resolution.

For added interactivity, the Samsung Flip display also offers extensive device compatibility through both wireless connectivity and USB, PC and mobile ports. An integrated screen-sharing functionality makes Flip content available on connected PCs, smartphones and tablets without interruption or reduced visual quality. Likewise, users also can import personally-stored content onto the Flip display’s screen and introduce fresh ideas to the discussion.

Convenient and Secure Conclusion

As meetings wrap up, the Samsung Flip display securely stores all content within a central database, eliminating the need for cumbersome recaps or handwritten transcription. An airtight, password-based protection system safeguards meeting details and ensures that only approved users can access the information. Once logged in, meeting facilitators and participants can download and share featured content through email or traditional printing. Users additionally can save meeting notes to a USB drive or other external sources.

Following its CES 2018 launch and ensuing availability in the U.S. and Europe, Samsung plans to introduce the Flip display to global professional users later this month. The Samsung Flip display also will be available for purchase through online and brick-and-mortar furniture retailers, as well as traditional professional B2B display channels.

For a closer look at the Samsung Flip, visit Samsung’s CES booth #15006, on Level 1 of the Central Hall in the Las Vegas Convention Center from January 9-12, 2018. To learn more about the Samsung Flip display and access related Samsung Newsroom articles, photos and videos, visit news.samsung.com/us.

Did You Experience the Samsung Showcase Experience?

Interview with Shari Sentlowitz 

Senior Manager New Product Launch
Samsung Business

On October 3, Almo Pro A/V hosted its final E4 AV Tour of the year in Irvine, CA.  It was a great location to wrap up our year-long traveling training and networking event, which also stopped in Chicago, San Jose and New York in 2017.

QUIZ: The first FIVE to respond win a $5 Starbucks gift card!

How well do you know Almo Pro A/V? Answer this question in the comments.

The VERY FIRST Almo Pro A/V E4 AV Tour took place in New York City in December of what year?

  1. 2008
  2. 2009
  3. 2010
  4. 2011

Almo has a growing number of channel partners on the west coast so it is only appropriate that we held TWO E4s in the Cali area this year.

We’ve hosted tens of thousands of industry professionals at our E4 events over the years. We’ve also issued hundreds upon hundreds of InfoComm (AVIXA) Renewal Units during E4! E4 day is a whirlwind of educational sessions, hands-on workshops and an exhibit hall filled with the newest products from 40+ of the top manufacturers in the industry. No doubt, it is an energy-filled day that can easily change the course of a reseller or integrator’s career for the better. Permanently.

This is how a Pro AV Princess starts her day!

 

Side note: I was given the nickname by some of my dealer partners a few years back and the name just stuck! So I just make the best of it, using my magical powers to give resellers and integrators the best products, pricing and promotions available!

One of the major highlights of our 2017 tour has been the Samsung Experience Showcase. If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience the Experience, let me tell you, it’s a mini trade show on its own. The Samsung team sets up a tent in a separate space within the same venue as our E4. This area is filled with the latest Samsung displays and other products, all of which are in use.

From there…you know what? Rather than having me go on about the Samsung Experience, I’ll let Shari Sentlowitz, senior manager new product launch, Samsung Business give you the details:

Liz:   

Shari:

Why does Samsung like to participate in the Almo E4 AV Tour?

Let me start by saying, we LOVE the Almo E4 AV Tour. This event gives us the opportunity to meet with our channel partners near and far, and introduce them to all the great things about Samsung signage. It also gives us a forum to meet with the channel partners we do regular business with to show some of the latest and greatest technology in our lineup at an event that is both exclusive and comfortable.

Liz:   

Shari:

Thank you! So tell me about the Samsung Experience Showcase.

So the Samsung Experience Showcase featured 12 of our newest displays. It was great to introduce our NEW QH55H, the first commercial QLED display of its kind that delivers exceptional picture quality through quantum dot composition.

We included our full HD lineup, including our new DC49H cost-effective SMART signage for a range of business needs. This line was introduced about a month ago – it’s an entry level digital signage display.

We also had the PM43H displays on hand. This is a premium full HD series, which is built to handle any business need with 24/7 durability. In addition, we showed different types of LCD video wall options ranging from a 1.7mm bezel for a slim depth to a 5.5mm bezel for a range of options. And we showed the first SMART LED video wall signage for indoors with high dynamic range technology.

To view a video of Shari walking around the Samsung Experience Showcase, click here.

Liz:   

Shari:

So what’s the buzz at Samsung right now?

Something you’re going to hear a lot about from Samsung is huddle spaces! In about 30 days, you’ll see some great opportunities to outfit and modernize the workplace a little differently than what you’ve seen in the past. In the very near future, we’ll have some great huddle space packages to share with you.

If you missed the Samsung Experience Showcase, it’s ok…because it will be back on the tour in 2018! Stay tuned for Spring 2018 E4 AV Tour dates and locations, which will be announced soon!

In the meantime, if you need more information about any of the Samsung displays available through Almo Pro A/V, please reach out to me at [email protected]!

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