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Innovative AV at Horizon Media

PPI brings new solutions to office buildout

High ceilings, oversized windows, panoramic views, and sprawling terraces. Those are the first things you’ll notice on the new floors at Horizon Media’s 75 Varick St. location. The second points of note are the innovative communication and collaboration technologies throughout the space.

In the spring of 2016, Presentation Products, Inc. began a year-long audiovisual consulting process, culminating in a design/build contract for Horizon’s latest office expansion. PPI once again teamed up with architect A+I Architects and client representative VVA to create state-of-the-art collaboration and presentation spaces on Horizon’s 11th and 12th floors.

In addition to standard Huddle Rooms and high-end Boardrooms, PPI had the opportunity to design and install innovative solutions requiring meticulous coordination.

The Garden

The Garden – a theater-style training room – features five displays installed inside of a ceiling mounted pentagon shroud. The unique display solution maximizes the room’s usable area and audience size in a challenging space.

Kyle Balkcom, a Principal at PPI who manages the sales and design team, said the 270 degree audience area required unique video solutions to allow functional lines of sight and viewing angles at all locations.

“We also needed to create an open, free-form area where a speaker could present without the hindrance of screens,” Balkcom said. “Along with frequent partners, A+I Architects, we designed a custom steel structure and millwork piece to seamlessly integrate five displays – each one facing a section of the audience.

Social Distillery

The Social Distillery features a 6×2 video wall with extensive presentation flexibility and advanced control capabilities. This space is used for internal creative sessions, as well as a tool intended to present social media platforms and programs to clients in a large dashboard format, with multiple preset viewing options.

The Local

The Local serves as an employee gathering and town hall space. This multi-purpose event area is designed to accommodate a broad range of uses, including staff meetings and after-hours events.

The Garden, Social Distillery, and The Local are routed and controlled from a centralized AV system, allowing for live event overflow by sharing video content and audio to or from the other spaces. Additionally, the ability to live stream or connect through live video with Horizon’s LA office, other floors in the New York location, or anywhere in the world allows simple communication and collaboration between partners, employees, and clients.

PPI has been Horizon Media’s AV partner since 2014. Jesse DeMarzo, Director of AV, Technology Service and Support at Horizon says the quality of work, the industry knowledge, and the reliability that PPI brings to the table puts him at ease when dealing with major expansions and day-to-day managed services.

“From the inception of this project, Presentation Products has been an outstanding partner; Kyle was in constant contact with us through every step of the discovery and design phase, making it painless even through our many changes,” DeMarzo said. “Once we entered the build phase, it was a seamless transition to our project manager Sean.

“Every technician and engineer on the project was extremely knowledgeable and reliable. Even with our custom spaces and unique buildout, I never felt like they were unable to meet our needs.”

PPI successfully delivered this project in the Summer of 2017. One full-time PPI employee is on call for managed services to assist Horizon with the operation of audiovisual systems on five floors.

From the Portfolio:

Horizon Expansion III

Horizon Expansion II

PPI joins forces with Zoom

The way offices are configured is evolving and has changed dramatically in the last decade. Seventy percent of companies who have repurposed their space have changed to open collaborative spaces, and 50 percent have shifted space so they have more conference rooms. (Source: Herman Miller).

Allowing teams to work in small spaces ignites ideas, engages employees, and gives companies a competitive edge. These spaces need to include systems for video, audio, screen sharing and white boarding for teams working in multiple locations. Meetings are the real work of our age.

With all this in mind, Presentation Products, Inc. is adding one of the fastest growing cloud solutions to our portfolio as a Zoom Reseller Partner.

We know your time is important and your online meetings need to work all of the time, every time.

“Our clients are looking for turnkey solutions. Along with our design and integration services, with Zoom, PPI can now also provide market leading video and web conference services,” said PPI Director of Sales, Kyle Balkcom. “With PPI deploying Zoom in meeting rooms and at the desktop, our clients can have an easy-to-use, consistent conferencing solution, all from one trusted provider.”

Founded in 2011, Zoom is the leader in modern enterprise video communications, with a secure, easy platform for video and audio conferencing, messaging, and webinars across mobile, desktop, and room systems. Zoom Rooms is the original software-based conference room solution used around the world in board, conference, huddle, and training rooms, as well as executive offices and classrooms.

Key Features:

  • High quality video and audio conferencing with up to 200 interactive video participants or 3,000 webinar viewers can join.
  • Supports scheduled and ad-hoc meetings. See your schedule of upcoming meetings and start your meeting with a single touch on your iPad.
  • Integrates with your Google or Microsoft Exchange calendar so you can instantly host or schedule a meeting from your browser.
  • Support for multiple screens and split views
  • Wireless Content Sharing
    • Zoom Rooms is the only solution that allows you to share high-resolution content over Wi-Fi or by direct HDMI connection.
    • Share iOS and Mac devices via AirPlay mirroring
    • You can even share a video clip with audio.
  • Personal room ID
  • Supports BYOD – participants can join from desktops, laptops, mobile devices, telephones, traditional room system and Zoom Rooms.
  • Multi-layer security
  • Admin can easily monitor use and validate ROI.

So clean up your conference room, broaden your reach, and never drop a conference call again. Contact a PPI Account Manager to learn more about the simple versatility of Zoom and happy conferencing!

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Presentation Products, Inc. (PPI) is a full service audiovisual design and integration firm headquartered in mid-town Manhattan. Since 1988, PPI has provided thousands of clients with reliable and cost-efficient technology solutions for their collaboration, presentation, and communication spaces.

 

Changing Technology of the Huddle Room: Our InfoComm Takeaway

Huddle rooms are nothing new, but in the past few years we’ve worked on a ton of office build-outs with a new emphasis and dedication to these little collaborative work spaces. According to research from Gartner, the proportion of video systems purchased for huddle rooms doubled from 10 percent in 2015 to 20 percent in 2016. This same research predicts a 400 percent growth in group video conferencing usage by 2019 (1).

A quick trek around the InfoComm showroom floor confirmed suppliers are stepping up their game in the world of huddle rooms, and there is a lot of new technology for adding high quality, software-based codec video conferencing features to these rooms.

Audio
For high-end audio installation solutions, many small Digital Signal Processors (DSP) are making their way to the market. Here are some products we’re excited about:

Biamp has a new 4in/4out DSP with a broad selection of audio components, routing options, and signal processing. It can handle the open standard Audio Video Bridging (AVB), or Audinate’s proprietary Dante. Plus, it supports Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) audio codec – Available October 2017.

Shure has an affordable Dante enabled 8in/4out DSP with Acoustic Echo Cancellation (AEC), made to pair with their ceiling array microphone, or two table array microphones. Shure also has a 4in/4out for soft codecs that supports one table array mic, however, this unit does not have AEC built in.

Application of either of these products allows a broader selection of microphones and speakers for installation, and for precisely tuning a room for the best audio performance. This can create a no-compromise professional audio experience in huddle spaces as they become a larger part of the day-to-day work experience.

The Biamp and Shure products operate as standalone DSP deployments. Meanwhile, QSC Audio Products is encouraging integrators to centralize DSP resources and allocate portions of large DSP servers to support several rooms, which may be more cost effective in certain deployments.

For mid-range installations, products like Biamp’s Devio and Sennheiser’s TeamConnect are designed to add quality audio into Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) spaces with minimal fuss by reducing connection requirements to a simple USB cable.

Finally, for quick, simple integrations, products like the Yamaha CS-700 and the Logitech Meetup integrate cameras, speakers, and beamforming mic arrays into a soundbar-like USB device that mounts below the display.

Video
On the video side, Atlona showed their new small presentation switchers for huddle rooms. Crestron and Extron are well established in this space, but Atlona is a new player, bringing an interesting perspective to the fold.

Atlona’s HDVS-300 incorporates a USB hub to allow BYOD equipment shared access to installed webcams and other USB hardware — a feature that’s typically anchored to a fixed PC. It also eliminates the need for a separate USB extender in more conventional builds. Additionally, Atlona’s UHD-SW-510W attempts to remove the need for wires entirely by incorporating AirPlay, Google Cast, and Miracast into one device; this allows wireless display mirroring without the need to install an extra application or driver. The unit is also one of the first – if not the first – to feature a powered USB-C port, which can be used to charge laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

Solutions for huddle rooms should be easy to install and cost effective. As always, Presentation Products is here to help you wade through the changing trends in AV conferencing. Contact a PPI Account Manager to take the conversation about your business’s huddle room implementation and strategy to the next level.

PPI Huddle Room Portfolio Examples
BuzzFeed
Horizon Media
Viacom
Dropbox

Related articles
An Analysis and Comparison of Software-Based Codecs Against the Landscape of Video Conferencing 

 

(1)     Gartner, “The Rise of the Video-enabled Huddle Room in the Digital Workplace,” December 2015

Celebrating Women in Technology

On Wednesday, May 10 the women of PPI had a blast attending InfoComm’s networking happy hour event focused on women in technology.  Our rock star employees proudly represented the diverse departments of the business.  Pictured from left to right is Project Coordinator Victoria Hamilton, Administrative Coordinator Casey Jin, Corporate Account Managers Jamie Cristafulli and Tullya Bertrand and Sales Engineer Sarah Reinold.  Overall, it was a fantastic night for celebrating women in technology and business.  Here’s to the continuing success, innovation, and progress for the AV industry as a whole!

Project in Process: Projection Screen Delivery

During a recent project for a corporate client, PPI was tasked with a last minute delivery of a 28-foot wide projection screen. Despite this being outside the standard scope of work for an audiovisual integrator, PPI rose to the occasion. Our Project Manager researched flat bed trailers and cranes appropriate for the job, and a full team of technicians executed the delivery early on a Saturday morning. This is another example of PPI going above and beyond in order to ensure project success, something that we believe sets us apart from the competition. See the team in action below.

 

 

The AV Industry: From Humble Beginnings to Las Vegas 2014

Better Technology, Better Solutions

The AV design and integration industry provides unique, simple technology based solutions for businesses that seek to advance their performance and services through increased communication and better collaboration. The AV industry has evolved rapidly and continues to propel itself into the future.  According to the most recent report released by InfoComm International, the main contributor to AV Standards, the audiovisual industry churns out an impressive $78 billion globally and is forecasted to expand to $115 billion by 2015.

Audiovisual firms can tackle one or a combination of four main categories of AV work which are the hardware (physical level), software (programming level), environment (business level), and content (data level). These components serve to meet different needs, but collectively function to meet one goal, the advancement of all forms of communications throughout an administration. The industry can be broken down into this classification system based more exclusively on services offered, as opposed to the actual merchandise provided. These distinctive services have separated IT specialists from AV professionals, whom have the necessary skills and training to provide optimal AV performance.

 

New Demands, New Frontiers

The AV industry can be categorized within a few major markets that include, but are not limited to: Corporate, Colleges or Universities, K-12 Education and Government or Military (click to see typical solutions).  Recently the AV industry has made strides to begin and further its involvement in: Retail, Sporting Establishments, Museum Showcases, Meeting Rooms, Convention Sites, Healthcare Organizations, and Places of Worship. As the world becomes more technologically advanced and interconnected, this technology will continue to gain entry into more markets and advance its presence in the industries listed above.

Audiovisual Technology emerged out of a demand for products like overhead projectors, screens, and simple audio equipment. As we fast-forward from these nascent stages, our audiovisual needs have drastically changed. Nowadays successful businesses are likely to have advanced forms of rapid communication not only to allow the business process to move swiftly, but also to display high forms of functionality. Audiovisual design and integration firms have met the challenges put forth by their customers and continue to push boundaries by now finding new applications and creative solutions for its clientele.

 

What to Expect: InfoComm 2014

Las Vegas will be home to InfoComm 2014 from June 18-20. The convention will be featuring a plethora of new, cutting edge technology from some of the AV world’s top contributors and innovators. Sponsors and partners include all the major names, including Crestron, Microsoft, SMART, Samsung, and Panasonic. This conference will be the top AV event of the year with over 950 exhibitors and 35,000 participants who collectively represent 110 countries. With a clear international presence, InfoComm will be featuring a Latin American Breakfast and an international reception, business center, and buyer program. Beyond these international showcases, there will be more than enough activities and showcases to look forward to.

Specifically, the seminars will feature show pavilions with the most desirable audio, digital signage, conferencing, and lighting and staging solutions. Audio demo rooms have been designated as testing spaces for attendees to experience some of the industries recently developed audio products. InfoComm University will be providing hands on tutorials focused on advancing AV professional’s abilities in the industry. Participants will also have the opportunity to get a first hand look at an audiovisual installation while on a tech tour. Some past highlights that will be making a return to InfoComm this year include: the rigging safety presentation, Technologies for Worship magazine’s live events stage, a production camera display, and many others. For the first time the convention will turn its attention towards a “tech-know job fair”, which will also prove beneficial both for job hunters and employers.

 

Product Spotlight

SMART kapp™ by SMART Technologies is the next evolution dry erase board that allows you to capture, save, and share all of your content. Building off its predecessors, SMART kapp™ takes the simple writing style of the marker and dry erase board, but allows users to “work and share with others in real time- all using your smartphone or tablet”. This digital capture board is taking us one step further in maximizing our connectivity with the ability to share data seamlessly in real-time and it will hit the market at InfoComm 2014. For advanced information on SMART kapp™ Sign up to receive information on the day of release.

smart-kapp

 

 

 

Portfolio Items