Saturday, June 30, 2007

Size Up Your Power with Middle Atlantic


Save space with properly sized IEC power cords. Eliminate unnecessary cable loops. Substitute for standard power cords provided with common components. Eliminate space-wasting cable slack and cable loops. Color-coded connectors for even easier servicing. Reduce system noise and stray AC magnetic fields. Multiple sizes to provide the best length for the job.

Technicolor DVD Downsizing


Sandstone Properties Inc., Santa Monica, has acquired the Technicolor campus in Camarillo for about $100 million. The property consists of two buildings totaling 920,000 square feet. Technicolor put the property on the market as part of a restructuring that includes downsizing its DVD operations in the U.S. The company plans to lease back a portion of the property and will retain its headquarters for DVD production in Camarilllo.


Harry Potter Theme Park in Orlando Planned


The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter will open at the Universal Orlando Resort, in Florida, in 2009. Harry Potter author JK Rowling said: "The plans I've seen look incredibly exciting, and I don't think fans of the books or films will be disappointed." Touted as a "theme park within a theme park", it will feature attractions and rides based on Harry Potter locations. Based inside Orlando's Islands of Adventure theme park, which already houses Marvel Super Heroes and Dr Seuss islands, the Harry Potter theme will be spread over 20-acres.

Is Paramount's Mountain Real?



The mountain depicted on the Paramount Pictures logo isn't real. But we wondered if perhaps it was inspired by a particular peak. This question has sparked spirited debate on the message boards of several mountain climbing sites. This fascinating Network 54 posting claims to have the answer.


William Wadsworth Hodkinson, the man who started Paramount and came up with the logo, originally hailed from Ogden, Utah. Lynn Arave, the poster on the message board, also grew up in Ogden and believes Hodkinson's inspiration was Ben Lomond Peak, a 9,712-foot mountain that dominates the northern skyline. This certainly seems possible. According to Leslie Halliwell's biography "Mountain of Dreams," Hodkinson's logo was "a memory of childhood in his home state of Utah."


Film buffs can see the original logo design on Paramount's corporate history page.

Paramount Signs Licensing Pact for UAE Theme Park


LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Film studio Paramount Pictures on Monday said it agreed to let Middle East real estate company Ruwaad Holdings build a theme park in the United Arab Emirates using its hit movies such as "Titanic."



http://www.reuters.com/article/industryNews/idUSN2531591520070625

Friday, June 29, 2007

LAX Gets Digital Signage


USA: Over 60m passengers a year traveling through Los Angeles International Airport will get information from a new digital advertising network.



Prestige Digital Network is being launched by airport advertising company JCDecaux in collaboration with Israeli digital signage company C-nario. It is being operated by Diversified Media Group.‘Raising the bar in indoor digital advertising, this exclusive campaign exposes over 5m commuters each month to unique advertising content. Our experience has shown that using digital signage as an advertising platform enhances brand impact for advertisers, maximises revenue opportunities of media sellers and informs and entertains consumers unlike any other medium,’ said Eyal Rom, C-Nario general manager for North America ‘This is part of our concerted effort to make an impact on the North American market, having deployed digital signage solutions at JFK International Airport, Time Warner Center and other high profile locations.’


C-nario’s newly released digital signage platform, Advertiser 4, manages over 50 different advertising content channels on Prestige Digital Network units strategically located across the 3,400 acre airport. Each unit is comprised of two back-to-back 70in LCD screens running high definition videos and images synchronised, managed and monitored through C-nario’s software solutions.


Speakers for a Reverberant Space


EAW Commercial has four new advanced technology offerings in the column loudspeaker market. Column speakers have been used for decades to provide intelligible speech in difficult acoustical spaces.

Hoffman Video Brings Galen Center to Life with JBL Professional Audio System


ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA, June 19, 2007 — In a large-scale installation that highlights the unmatched performance and versatility of JBL Professional loudspeakers, systems integration firm Hoffman Video recently installed a high-impact audio/video system at the Galen Center on the University of Southern California (USC) campus in Los Angeles. The 255,000 square-foot arena seats 17,000 and is the home of the USC men’s and women’s basketball teams.


Two Stage Hands die after Rolling Stones Spain Gig


Fri Jun 29, 2007 2:07PM BST

MADRID (Reuters) - Two workers died on Friday after part of the set from a Rolling Stones concert collapsed on top of them as they were dismantling it, emergency services said. A third man was seriously injured after four people fell from a 10-metre (33 ft) structure that gave way as the team helped take it down after Thursday night's concert in Madrid. Identities of the victims were not given, but about half the workers dismantling the set were English-speaking and travelling with the Rolling Stones tour, emergency services said.

Heat Wave


While today’s equipment racks may mechanically look the same, we cram far more functionality into the same volume as those of a generation ago with all of our digital componentry. But we’ve yet to adequately deal with the facility impacts of putting 10 pounds in the proverbial five pound bag. Most existing facilities are hopelessly incapable of supporting the new levels of our densely packed technology. More:


World's Largest Malls

South China Mall is Number One...


MegaCities of the Future

Reading this list of the world's largest cities in 2015 might just win you a few bets at the water cooler today.

http://www.forbes.com/2007/06/11/megacities-population-urbanization-biz-cx_21cities_ml_0611megacities_slide_11.html?thisSpeed=15000

Thursday, June 28, 2007

CBS Outdoor Selects Digital Projection for London Underground


This unique combination of technologies offers advertisers and companies the opportunity to astound and entertain 3,400,000 passengers a day with an environmentally friendly display. The images and content can be tuned on a minute by minute basis to best suite the relevant demographics giving infinite flexibility. This is tied to the fact that there is no longer a need for the print, post, removal and destruction of the traditional printed posters used up until this point.


Samsung in Crisis?



The Samsung Group has embarked on a restructuring drive, improving its management system and revamping its business structure. The group will review investment priorities, seek out new fields that will serve as its main growth engine over the next five to 10 years, create a global supply chain for components and get rid of waste. Samsung Group subsidiaries have already formed restructuring teams, and they have started working. There’s even talk that the workforce at some subsidiaries will face major downsizing.




T-Mobile Connects to Your Wireless Router

Wouldn't it be great to have your own cellular tower at home? You'd always have a strong signal on your mobile phone, and you wouldn't be paying to use the carrier's network.

http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2007/06/28/ap3867888.html?partner=alerts

FT on Tomorrow's iPhone Release



Thorold Barker on the factors that will determine the success of Apple’s new iPhone that has implications. First, the performance of the new smart phone will rely heavily on AT&T’s network, which is currently not that fast. If customers shell out $599 for an iPhone and it does not live up to expectations because of the network, will they blame Apple anyway for forcing them into AT&T’s hands?

Google Map Goes Antiquarian!

See the world as history's cartographers once saw it. A new batch of Google Earth overlays covers the globe with richly detailed historical maps.

The Rumsey collection includes 16 maps. Among them you'll find a 1790 world globe, a 1680 map of Tokyo, and an 1814 map spanning the Pacific Ocean to the Mississippi--courtesy of Lewis and Clark.

To view these new old maps, you'll need the latest version of Google Earth (use the program's check-for-updates feature if you're not sure you have it). In the layers section, select All Layers, then look for Featured Content > Rumsey Historical Maps. This may just be the coolest Google Earth feature ever.

"Crowd Gaming Turns Movie Audiences Into Human Joysticks


MSNBC Rolls Out Interactive, In-Cinema Ad

By Emily Tan Published: June 27, 2007 NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- For those tired of answering the same boring film trivia while waiting for a movie to start, MSNBC.com has come up with a solution: NewsBreaker Live.

Guitar Center Sold for $1.9 Billion


New York (July 27, 2007)--Guitar Center has agreed to be acquired for $1.9 billion by Bain Capital Partners, LLC, a global private investment firm. The total transaction value, including assumed debt, is approximately $2.1 billion. Under the agreement, stockholders will receive $63.00 per share of Guitar Center stock--a 26 percent premium over the $50.06 that the retailer's shares closed at yesterday on June 26, 2007. In early trading following the announcement, the stock shot up to over $60 a share on the NASDAQ.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Most Air?



Yamaha's CT-610 is a serious contender for the least amount of electronics packaged in a standard 19" rack mount enclosure. No doubt there are others, and we look forward to your entries.

Internet Radio Day of Silence


Most Internet radio sites are "off the air" today in order to protest a recent government ruling revising royalty rates.

Royalty rates for webcasters have been drastically increased by a recent ruling and are due to go into effect on July 15 (retroactive to Jan 1, 2006!). If the increased rates remain unchanged, the majority of webcasters will go bankrupt and silent on this date. Internet radio needs your help!

The Internet Radio Equality Act has recently been introduced in both the House and Senate to save the Internet radio industry. Please call your senators and your representative to ask them to co-sponsor the Internet Radio Equality Act.

Smoke on the Water World Record


REUTERS


Let there be rock: 1,800 guitarists play "Smoke on the Water" in Germany to set a new world record.Germans love hard rock, and they love to rock out with electric guitars. So it was appropriate that a new rocktastic world record for the largest number of people playing guitar simultaneously would be set in the land where the mullet has never gone out of fashion.

Exactly 1,802 hard-rocking guitarists set a new world record on Saturday evening in the town of Leinfelden-Echterdingen in the German state of Baden-W├╝rttemberg by simultaneously playing the Deep Purple rock classic "Smoke on the Water."


The rockers broke the previous world record for most simultaneous renditions of a rock song which had been set at the beginning of June in Kansas City in the US, where 1,683 guitarists got down and riffed together.


Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan was going to take part in a live link-up from England, but was prevented from singing along by technical problems. Meanwhile fellow Deep Purple band member Jon Lord sent his congratulations via email.


Amateur and professional musicians aged from six to 80 from Germany and abroad took part in the record attempt. Crash courses in playing "Smoke on the Water" were available for those about to rock who weren't quite sure of the notes.


If the record is not exceeded by September, the record will go into the Guinness Book of Records, said organizer Andreas Vockrodt. Vockrodt had set the same record back in 1995 with 356 guitarrists, which stood until 2003.


The riff from the Deep Purple song "Smoke on the Water," which tells the story of the burning down of the Montreux Casino in 1971, is famous for being one of the first things most wannabe guitarists learn to play.

New Bass Heavyweight Contender from Worx Technology


The TL1801SS is the future of long excursion, high output sub bass speakers. It's elegantly simple advanced design features a high temperature Neodymium magnet surrounding an under hung voice coil encased in a low carbon steel structure allowing the cone to have extremely high excursion with the lowest possible distortion.

The TL1801SS is 18" (457.20 mm) in diameter with a 4" voice coil (101.60 mm). The driver has Two inches (50.80 mm) of peak to peak fully linear excursion, and can move more than Three inches (76.20 mm) before damage. The gap length being 2.5” (63.50 mm) allows the anodized aluminum edge wound voice coil to travel through a magnetic flux field right up to the X-max limit. The Thiele-Small parameters have minimal change under various input power levels allowing the amplifier to easily control the voice coil.

The shape of the motor was optimized using finite element analysis to dissipate heat, focus flux and reduce weight. The design promotes convection cooling with cone motion by pulling air through the motor. Heat is forced out of the structure and through the vents below the double spiders. This further reduces the effects of steady state power compression caused by extreme input levels over long periods of time.

Our advanced cone design utilizes high strength aluminum for light weight efficiency while allowing greater voice coil heat dissipation. The result is a woofer with more linear excursion providing greater acoustic output with ultra low distortion, quick transient response, and extremely low power compression with very high linearity.

The TL1801SS weighs 52Lbs (23.59 kg). The Neodymium magnet has greater BL product (product of magnet strength) over conventional ceramic magnets or smaller Neodymium magnets utilized in other pro 18" speakers, but the TL1801SS typically has more than four times the acoustic output. It is extremely efficient and handles an enormous amount of power.

Call Jerry Spriggs for more information: (336) 687-2299

ATSC Receives 10 Proposal Submissions for Mobile, Handheld Standard

The Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) announced June 22 that it had received 10 submissions in response to its request for proposals for its Mobile and Handheld Standard (ATSC-M/H).


The ATSC-M/H Standard will enable delivery of TV content and data to mobile and handheld devices via broadcast DTV signals.


The ATSC’s Technology and Standards Group (TSG) issued the request for proposals May 21, encouraging companies to propose specifications to be used for ATSC-M/H.


The following organizations have submitted preliminary proposals:

Coding Technologies
Coherent Logix
DTS
LG Electronics and Harris
Mobile DTV Alliance
Micronas Semiconductor
Nokia
Samsung Electronics and Rohde & Schwarz
Thomson
QUALCOMM


Detailed descriptions for all submitted proposals are due July 6.
The MPH system from Harris and LG Electronics and the A-VSB system from Samsung Electronics and Rohde & Schwarz were demonstrated at NAB2007. Both share a slice of the 6MHz DTV channel along with a main and multicast SD and/or HD channel.

HD Radio Update


Until Sony and Yamaha deliver on their promise of delivering HD radios this fall, there are basically two serious HD radio contenders: The Sangean HD-1X and the Day Sequerra professional model range. The Sangean (under $250) is so popular its production is actually sold out until mid July right now. The Day Sequerra product line starts at $3,000 and up. Even at that price, they've already sold over a 1,000 sets of their $5,000 model! Apparently the new BMW model line also includes HD capabilities.

Best Radio for Summertime Camping?


The clear hands down winner is the GE Superadio III, which is available online for less than $50. This portable battery powered radio actually includes a decent radio receiver, allowing you to tune in distant stations often over 100 miles away. The AM section is remarkable, and the unit actually includes the ability to hook up an external antenna. A genuine throwback with its six inch wide vernier scale and no digital readout, it's the ideal radio for camping or packing in your emergency kit.

EMarketer Raises Online Ad-Growth Estimates

Continued Strength in Search, Display Spur Revised Prediction

By Abbey Klaassen Published: June 26, 2007 NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- What slowdown?

While there has been some speculation that the dramatic growth in online display advertising is starting to level off, that is not the case this year or next, said eMarketer, as the research firm revised its online ad spending estimates upward for 2007 and 2008.

Negative predictions about the economy as a whole haven't necessarily panned out, partly leading to eMarketer's revised upward estimates. Mearly 30% growth EMarketer is bumping up its 2007 totals from $19.5 billion to $21.7 billion, which means instead of 18.9% growth the industry will experience 28.6% growth.

While 2007 was expected to be the first year in the past three that growth dipped below 30%, now it will at least come close. Growth in 2008 is expected to be more robust -- again more than 30% -- to a total $28.8 billion, thanks to an injection of political spending dollars from the presidential election.

In 2009 eMarketer is finally predicting a slowdown, with online ad revenue growing at a reduced 18.1% clip. "A combination of seeing continued growth not just from Google but seeing it at places such as AOL, and seeing that when there's any good news from traditional media it's been online," said David Hallerman, senior analyst at eMarketer. And the growth isn't only coming from the usually hyped sectors of search and video. "One of the things that's most interesting is continued strength of display," Mr. Hallerman added. "It's become almost a standard add-on for campaigns. Yahoo's weakness ... has been in search more than display." What's changed? What has changed since the earlier 2007 estimates?

For one thing, when the estimates were created in September, Yahoo was issuing warnings of weaker-than-expected display revenue in a couple key categories. As Mr. Hallerman notes, they are still the second-biggest contributor after Google to the U.S. online advertising revenue. "But it wasn't clear other publishers would be gaining as much as they have," he said.

Additionally, there were more negative predictions about the economy as a whole -- and those predictions haven't necessarily panned out. Online advertising as a share of the total media budget will surpass radio this year, eMarketer said, and top 10% next year. EMarketer benchmarks its estimates against figures from PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Interactive Advertising Bureau.

Mayberry on Lawns, M&A, and Mediocrity

(Courtesy of Systems Contractor News magazine)

The suburban lawn is very much part of Southern California culture. A front lawn out here in Los Angeles defines a great deal of one’s status, perhaps even more than the latest European sports car or Beverly Hills skin treatment.The majority of lawns out here are St. Augustine grass.

Now I’m sure someone from Kentucky would laugh at us calling this stuff grass, but it is green and it grows like a weed during summer. Woven together like an Indonesian doormat, you could launch the space shuttle on top of it and not kill it. Throw in a couple of palm trees in the parkway and you’ve got a true Southern California lawn that will last for a generation or two.

At the other end of the spectrum is the Dichondra lawn. This is a grass made of gentle clover like petals that tend to discolor or die within hours of a mild change in wind direction. Wikipedia states that, “a healthy lawn consisting entirely of Dichondra is fairly difficult to start, grow, and maintain.” Well understated, I think a more accurate version would be that it represents the ultimate challenge to the Southern California gardener.

Mind you, I’ve never really had a great front lawn, or, for that matter, really cared all that much about it. Yet I have spent many thousands of dollars over the years trying to attain one. The impetus comes from my father, who has a greener thumb than 99.9 percent of the general population, so at least I can appreciate what goes into making a great lawn.

But there was this one codger down in Alhambra clearly residing in the 0.1 percent category. There was nothing particularly noteworthy about his home except his Dichondra lawn. It was picture-perfect every day for 30 years. There was never a yellowed petal, nor a bare patch. Being on a corner, you knew kids were walking on it. Yet there was never any trace of footprints. Worse from my father’s perspective, we never saw him even water, let alone weed, the lawn.

My father’s driving patterns changed to avoid looking at the perfect lawn. The drive home was tough because we all knew it would end up with Dad staring at one small patch of scabby Dichondra in our backyard. This one little front lawn maddened an entire generation of local Southern California gardening enthusiasts. They literally could not compete. Many finally ended up going with the dreaded St. Augustine or even more hated new-technology Marathon grass. Both were an admission of losing the war.

I drove by the old codger’s home a few weeks ago, guessing he was giving gardening lessons to the almighty by now. The lawn had reverted to St. Augustine, and today’s gardeners would have no idea that something very special once lurked on the premises.But there was that brief moment in time! DaVinci with his brush; Michelangelo with chisel; Mozart and his piano; and that damned codger and his Dichondra.

It got me thinking about the business-mergers-and-acquisitions phase our economy has gone through over the last generation. While the business world has generally looked upon M&A as a good thing, I suspect it has actually spawned a great deal of mediocrity in many industries, including our own. You can’t just buy a logo and expect to maintain a reputation. It was people that created such reputations, and when they’re gone you’ve lost a great deal which can rarely be recovered.

Sure, many of the names generally are still around, but the people and philosophies that drove them to greatness are long gone. Just like the old codger.The initial lure of 85 percent of the quality at 63 percent of the price is long forgotten once the market begins to consolidate. A year later we end up getting substandard quality at the same price we used to pay—if we’re lucky!

Frankly, mediocrity is not all it’s cracked up to be.I once argued with a young project manager defending his choices that drove his project to mediocrity. Rather than make the effort to make his project into something truly special, his inclination was to do the least amount of work possible by providing the contractual minimums. He ended up not only lowering the quality of his part of the project, but lowered the quality of all associated trades as well.

When challenged, his retort sounded like something from the Nuremberg Trials: “I was only doing my duty.” Disagreeing, I said something like, “The client is paying us to perform the best job we can, not do the least amount of work we can get away with.” It fell on deaf ears.I was reminded of that old codger and his Dichondra.

If only he had been there to argue it properly.

US Net Access Not All that Speedy

By Leslie Cauley, USA TODAY

The USA trails other industrialized nations in high-speed Internet access and may never catch up unless quick action is taken by public-policymakers, a report commissioned by the Communications Workers of America warns.

The median U.S. download speed now is 1.97 megabits per second — a fraction of the 61 megabits per second enjoyed by consumers in Japan, says the report released Monday. Other speedy countries include South Korea (median 45 megabits), France (17 megabits) and Canada (7 megabits).

"We have pathetic speeds compared to the rest of the world," CWA President Larry Cohen says. "People don't pay attention to the fact that the country that started the commercial Internet is falling woefully behind."

Speed matters on the Internet. A 10-megabyte file takes about 15 seconds to download with a 5-megabit connection — fast for the USA. Download time with a 545-kilobit connection, about the entry-level speed in many areas: almost 2½ hours.

Broadband speed is a function of network capacity: The more capacity you have, the more speed you can deliver. Speed, in turn, allows more and better Internet applications, such as photo sharing and video streaming. Superfast speeds are imperative for critical applications such as telemedicine.

In recent years, communities also have found that good broadband is essential to draw businesses and jobs.

For all those reasons, Cohen says, it is important for policymakers to act now: "In order to maintain our place in today's global economy — and to create the jobs we need — our government must act."

The CWA report is based on input from 80,000 broadband users (less than 5% of respondents used dial-up). In addition to drawing comparisons with other countries, the report ranks U.S. states on median download speeds. (Upload speeds are also rated.)

The Federal Communications Commission, which has broad sway over the emerging broadband market, defines "high speed" as 200 kilobits per second. The benchmark was adopted more than a dozen years ago when still-slower dial-up was the rule. Cohen says 200 kilobits is not even recognized as broadband in most countries today. "There is nothing speedy about it."

The FCC in April opened a proceeding that could result in the redefinition of what can be advertised as "broadband Internet service" in this country. "We're asking the question if the definition should be changed," spokeswoman Tamara Lipper says.

The comment period ended May 31, and a report from the FCC is likely in the fall.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Personal Touch


Having just returned from the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX, it struck me that one of the frontiers left in our industry is how to personalize the guest's experience.

Imagine a trip to to a theme park that automatically optimizes and adapts to your day's schedule during your day- allowing you to see your favorite rides and adding somethings you haven't seen while simultaneously shortening your wait in queue lines.

Imagine a parking lot directing you to the closest empty space; a mall signage system directing you to your favorite stores and informing you of what's in stock in your size; a restaurant with digital signage touting tonight's specials on a sign as you drive by.

None of this is a great stretch with available technology...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

University of San Marino Update


As you may know, we've been building a new type of online university lately. It's been a great deal of work. It's not up and running yet, but we hope soon. Without any advertising (it's a bit early!) we're already getting a huge level of interest. Here's one that came in today from Africa:



"I WANT TO GO FOR UNDERGRADUATE COURSE IN SAN MARINO UNIVERSITY BECAUSE I KNOW MY DREAM IS GOING TO BE FULFILLED HERE,PLS I AM EXPECTING A POSITIVE RESPONSE FROM YOU MADAM,GOD BLESS YOU AS YOU AFFECT PEOPLES LIFE AND MAKING THEIR DREAM COME TRUE. Age: 28"

Our First Digital Signage System


We were recently asked, "How long have you been in the digital signage business?"

Our first project was for the Los Angeles Metrolink system, where we sold 60 stations worth of LED signs (roughly 12 signs per station), plus the equipment rack, speakers, strobes, UPS, and monitoring hardware and installation. Almost all of the hardware was AT&T branded.

We were the AT&T authorized distributor, with general role of responding to bid requests and figuring out how to use as much AT&T equipment and services as possible in a given job.

The first station installed was in Chatsworth, and it was working until the UPS discharged after losing power from the Northridge earthquake effects in January 1994.

Although originally spec'd as a fiber backbone, we ended up using 56k dial up modems. The signs were connected via RS-485.

Seems like a million years ago, but it was only thirteen! Those LED signs sold for more than 50" plasma monitors do today...

Acoustical Noise Transmission CD

We've been asked to create a CD demonstrating the relative attenuation of different wall types with various annoying noise sources. Three different STC wall types will be evaluated. Anyone that's interested in getting a copy of the CD (nominally $20, including postage) can PayPal our account. Email me for details.

How to Make Million$ in the A/V Business


The book is coming along very well. It's a compilation of 77 of the roughly 160 articles I've written for Systems Contractor News Magazine since it's inception in 1993.

It's all written and in the hands of the publishers. It'll be available at lulu.com in July and the traditional Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com roughly six weeks later.

AC Power Cables

One of perhaps the most controversial topics in all audiodom are AC power cables that cost a fortune, look something akin to a garden hose, and typically cost well over $500 apiece. I have to admit to being one of the skeptics in this realm, wondering how changing the last few feet in a five mile distribution path from the generator will make much of a difference.

A company (which will remain nameless) sent me three power cables to test this week, with absolutely no commitment on my part to even return them. All they asked was for me to send them a copy of my test results. These things weigh about three pounds each!

I'll blog the results when I finish the testing...

InfoComm 2007
Anaheim, California

I spent the better part of two days at InfoComm this year, which is unusual for me. I try and avoid trade shows whenever possible, but this year there were lots of folks to get caught up with in the digital signage and project world.

After putting together Electrosonic's Managed Media Services group for them last year, it was incredibly interesting seeing how other firms are tackling the same issues we came up against in the Digital Signage world. It was nice to get caught up with some old friends, and enjoyed seeing their RFID triggered video source displaying clothing- something we had talked about early on.

Most of the signage engines involve a PC or Flash based device, some offered by multinationals (Cisco bought a company in December) or a whole bunch of companies that look like couple of guys working out of their garage. Functionally there doesn't appear to be much difference between the two at this point in their gestation, as neither set is truly ready to do business yet. I suspect they will be by this time next year.

Visually DynaScan's 360 degree LED signs (think a circular kiosk enveloped by 2 mm LEDs) were stunning. I suppose they should be at $30k and up each, but frankly they looked the business for a well heeled customer. I really loved their $70k model.

Scala again dominated the digital signage business, being one of the few that's figured out that advertisers need to charge their customers for playing their ads. Seems like 90% of their competitors haven't figured that out yet.

APC demonstrated some stunning new equipment rack power and cooling accessories, ironically coinciding with an article I wrote on that very subject published this week in SCN magazine. Really impressive stuff, and their sales guy from St. Louis was very helpful as well.

Steve Zink at WarrenZ Production in NYC clearly had the most impressive product at the entire show. His firm had created a custom content globe for IAC that was literally out of this world. About as close to a Killer Ap as I've ever seen in the Digital Signage world.

Spent the evening at the Astor Museum courtesy of AMX, which is about a mile from Disneyland. Art Astor must be one of the biggest collectors of antique cars (275 of them!), as well as antique televisions, microphones, telephones, and radios. I sought out the curator, who spent the better part of the evening discussing E.H Scott, Zenith, and Atwater Kent technology with us. Stunning.