Presentation Products, Inc. Joins SDVoE Alliance

Full service audiovisual design and integration firm looks to SDVoE technology to stay at the forefront of design innovation

MONTREAL — May 30, 2018 — The SDVoE™ Alliance today announced that Presentation Products, Inc., a full service audiovisual design and integration firm headquartered in New York City, has joined the alliance as an adopting member.

“At PPI we pride ourselves on leveraging both industry certifications and real world expertise to inform design concepts, implement best practices, and guarantee technical quality during every step of an audiovisual project,” said Orin Knopp, president and CEO at Presentation Products. “As AV and IT continue to merge, our affiliation with the SDVoE Alliance is just the latest initiative in our non-stop efforts to ensure we continue to be ahead industry trends to help our customers meet their organizational and budget goals with reliable and easy-to-use audiovisual systems. PPI staff members are already becoming certified as SDVoE Design Partners.”

“PPI’s client list includes an impressive mix of well-known corporations, universities and hospitality venues. Clearly they do outstanding work, including several existing designs centered around SDVoE,” said Justin Kennington, president of the SDVoE Alliance. “We look forward to tapping into their experience and expertise as we collaborate on projects and programs integrators need to meet the requirements of even their most demanding accounts.”

All AV distribution and processing applications that demand zero-latency and uncompromised video can benefit from SDVoE technology, which provides an end-to-end hardware and software platform for AV extension, switching, processing and control through advanced chipset technology, common control APIs and interoperability. SDVoE network architectures are based on off-the-shelf Ethernet switches, thus offering substantial cost savings and greater system flexibility and scalability over traditional approaches, such as point-to-point extension and circuit-based AV matrix switching.

About Presentation Products
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. PPI’s technical team features 50 design consultants, engineers, project managers, programmers and technicians. For more information, visit https://www.presentationproducts.com/.

About the SDVoE Alliance
SDVoE is an initialism for “Software Defined Video over Ethernet”. The SDVoE Alliance is a nonprofit consortium of technology providers collaborating to standardize the adoption of Ethernet to transport AV signals in professional AV environments, and to create an ecosystem around SDVoE technology allowing software to define AV applications. The alliance participates in tradeshows and conferences, publishes white papers and case studies and promotes SDVoE technology, and solutions based on the technology, to system integrators, designers and consultants. Training and installer certification are also part of the mandate. The SDVoE Alliance founding members are Aquantia, Christie Digital, NETGEAR, Semtech, Sony and ZeeVee. All interested parties are invited to join the alliance and work toward its goals. For more information, visit sdvoe.org and follow us on Twitter @SDVoE.

Top 50 Systems Integrators of 2017

It was a huge year for Presentation Products, Inc. (PPI) in 2017. The icing on the cake was continuing our run in Systems Contractor News Top 50 Systems Integrators annual industry compilation!

As always we delivered outstanding audiovisual solutions and managed services throughout the year, while working toward an office and warehouse move to Midtown and Long Island City locations respectively. Both locations give PPI the opportunity to showcase new and emerging technology to clients and partners.

PPI CEO & President Orin Knopp said the company worked hard to position itself in 2017 for major growth in 2018. “Our revamped managed services offerings now includes remote monitoring, ultimately giving our clients piece of mind they will have an immediate response with minimal down-time,” Knopp said. “Expanding our service and support systems greatly expands what we are able to offer to our clients, and frees us up to develop into new markets.”

PPI has positioned itself for great things in 2018. Thanks to SCN for including us in the list, and a big thanks to our project partners for helping to make 2017 a success!

Click here to read more.

 

Interesting installations completed in the past year include:

Kimpton Everly Hotel

Horizon Media Expansion

Viacom Sky Square

Lyrical Asset Management

56 Leonard

Kimpton De Witt Amsterdam

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!

Continuing Success: PPI Again Named to SCN Magazine’s Top 50 Integrators List

Presentation Products, Inc., is proud to announce that it has made the Systems Contractor News 2016 Top 50 Systems Integrators list. This will be the fifth time in the last seven years that our organization has been named on this prestigious list. For over a decade, the Top 50 Systems Integrators list has proven to be the authoritative forerunner of the commercial audiovisual industry. We are deeply honored to be recognized and we are determined to continuing our success to improve our ranking every year. PPI would like congratulate all companies included on this list for 2016.

Check out the full list here 

The Advantages of Lamp-Free Projection

Front projection has been a key element of the AV industry for decades. Even in recent years, as flat panel displays have gotten larger and more popular, projection still has still maintained a solid footing in the industry (particularly when seamless images of larger than 90” are necessary). Throughout the years, one aspect of projectors has remained consistent: lamps have always been used to create the light that shines out of the units. A few years ago, however, projectors with solid-state light sources began to hit the market. And what at first was a prohibitively expensive technology in its infancy has recently emerged to become a viable option. As of early 2016, lamp-free projectors are a main focus of almost every projector manufacturer, and solid state projection has emerged alongside the likes of 4K UHD resolution and digital audio as one of AV’s next big things. But is the hype real? Are lamp-free projectors actually worth the price tag? And how does a lamp-free projector even work? Read on for a detailed analysis of solid-state projection.

A basic understanding of projection is necessary in order to realize the differences between traditional and solid-state units. Traditional projectors rely on one or more lamps to create light. This light is then processed to turn it into an image. There are three common styles of light processing: LCD, single-chip DLP, and three-chip DLP. Rather than getting into the specifics of those technologies, we can simplify things by saying that, generally, image quality improves as you go from LCD to 1-chip to 3-chip. Regardless of the type of projector, the final step in the process is for the light to be sent to a lens that enlarges the image and shines it onto the screen.

Lamp-free projectors use the same series of processes, with one large difference: rather than using a lamp to create the light, they use a solid-state source. Specifically, there are four common types of solid-state light sources:

  1. LED: The LED projector has actually been around for a while. Though it has the advantage of a roughly 30,000-hour life cycle, it also has a major brightness limitation. The vast majority of LED projectors are around 1,000 lumens, which is only appropriate for use in a room with all the lights off. A survey from 2015 found that of 232 LED models, over 90% come in at 2,000 lumens or less.
  2. LED/Laser Hybrid: These projectors use a combination of LEDs and a laser diode, which we will describe next. A step up in brightness, these are also typically a step up in price as well. LED/laser hybrid projectors usually come in around 3,000 – 4,000 lumens.
  3. Laser Phosphor: This newer technology is the reason for the recent boom in laser projectors. Laser phosphor projectors use a single blue laser that shines into a phosphor wheel that creates yellow light. The blue light passes through, and the yellow shines into a color wheel that creates red and green. Laser phosphor projectors usually range between 5,000 and 13,000 lumens of brightness, which is an excellent fit for corporate, educational, & other professional use. Laser phosphor projectors are usually either single-chip DLP or three-chip DLP, and are typically rated for 20,000 hours of use.
  4. RGB Laser: Also called direct laser projectors, these models are used when extreme brightness is necessary. This technology uses three individual lasers – one each for red, green, and blue. These models can provide brightness upwards of 20,000 lumens, and typically carry MSRPs well into the six figures.

So, we’ve gotten technical and described what the differences are between the insides of lamp-based and lamp-free projectors. But what are the actual, noticeable differences to projector owners? Indeed, there are many implications that a solid-state light source brings with it, almost all of which are productive. Let’s take a look at the advantages of lamp-free projectors:

  1. Reduced cost of ownership: The number one advantage of a solid-state projector is the fact that you aren’t ever going to have to change a lamp. Most laser phosphor projectors are rated for 20,000 hours of use until they reach 50% brightness. Comparable lamp-based projectors are usually rated for 2,000 – 3,000 hours of use until 50% brightness. We’ll get into a detailed price analysis later, but off the bat it’s evident that throughout its lifespan a solid-state projector will you 9-10 sets of replacement lamps and the labor cost that goes along with changing them. This is a significant savings that in concept can be applied to every single laser phosphor projector.
  2. Higher perceived brightness after day one: Let’s say one boardroom has a lamp-lit projector that has 1,000 hours of use, and a second has a solid-state projector with 1,000 hours of use as well. Boardroom A is halfway to replacement time, meaning the brightness will be at 75% or less of what it was on day one. Boardroom B is only 1/20 of the way to replacement time, meaning its brightness is still 95% of what it was on day one. So while the brightness of lamp-lit projectors will dip significantly below specification before the “change bulb” notification appears, solid-state projectors will output far more consistent brightness levels for years on end. Now, it’s fair to make the argument that the end of a lamp life cycle means a new bulb and the end of a solid-state life cycle means a new projector. The numbers, however, show this to be a relative non-issue: 20,000 hours of use is a very long time, equivalent to 10 years of 40 hours / week use. Most AV technology becomes obsolete in 6-8 years anyway, meaning your projector will probably be replaced for other reasons than end of life due to half brightness.
  3. Rapid on/off: As owners of traditional projectors surely know, these models usually take over one minute to achieve full brightness, and about half that to turn off. Lamp warm up and cool down can cause annoyance and frustration during a busy day. Lamp-free models take about ten seconds to get to full brightness, alleviating this issue almost entirely.
  4. Consistency: In multi-projector applications, such as a wide-aspect ratio image that uses edge blending, consistency is key. Lamp-lit projectors introduce inconsistency through their life cycles, which can lead to images that showcase a number of different brightness levels: lamps can progress at inconsistent rates, they can blow out, etc. The consistency of a solid-state projector helps to alleviate that problem.
  5. No worries: Quite simply, lamp-based projectors can fail. Ask any projector manufacturer: they all have contingency policies for when projectors “go dark.” With solid-state projectors, there is much lower risk of your important meeting or seminar suddenly losing an image: lamps, one major failure point that causes outages, are taken out of the equation.

So far, we’ve shown that solid-state projectors have their advantages over traditional models. We’ve also mentioned that they’re more expensive. Every facet of the AV industry – and all industries, really – provide options that give better quality for a higher cost. The real question is the following: are lamp-free projectors worth the increased price tag?

For starters, we need to say that the projector world is a tough one to navigate when looking at prices. MSRPs on projectors are typically thousands of dollars higher than what the units end up actually going for. So we’ve come up with a metric called “actual value,” which is 70% of the projector’s MSRP. This will give a figure that is pretty close to what the projectors are actually selling for.

To analyze the value, we’ve taken a look at six sets of projectors made by three prominent manufacturers. Each set contains two projectors – one lamp-based, and one solid-state – with nearly identical specifications. All projectors in the comparison feature the same resolution: WUXGA, 1920 x 1200. See the below chart for the difference in price between each model. Please note: all pricing is for example purposes only & may not reflect current market value.   A

So far, it’s clear that – to varying degrees – laser projectors are more expensive than lamp-based projectors. What we’ve done next is evaluate the approximate maintenance cost of lamp-based models. The next chart shows the value of lamps for each lamp-based model, and the number of hours the unit is rated for until it reaches 50% brightness. All the laser projectors in the chart are rated for 20,000 hours. We’re figuring that a typical service call to change a lamp costs $500 – a good value, for sure. So, we’ve divided 20,000 by the number of hours each lamp-based projector is rated for, and then multiplied that by the number of lamps in the unit, the cost of each lamp, and tacked on $500 to each replacement lamp (or set of lamps) to account for labor. This gives us a “total maintenance cost” on the unit over the 20,000 hour span that its solid-state counterpart is rated for. Tack that number onto the cost of the projector itself, and we arrive at “total projector cost.” We can compare this number to the total cost of the solid-state projector.

B

The verdict? In five out of six cases, the total projector cost is lower for the solid-state model – in some cases by over $20,000. In the most extreme case we looked at, the total projector cost of the lamp-based model ended up being 65% more than that of its solid-state counterpart. This is a massive savings, and speaks clearly to the value of solid-state projectors over their lamp-based counterparts.

Furthermore, it’s clear that this technology is becoming more affordable. We’ve also included a release year column in our chart. Half of the projectors we looked at were released in 2014, and the other half in 2015. The average difference in actual value – before maintenance costs – between the 2014-released solid-state projectors and their lamp-based counterparts is 39%. For projectors released in 2015, that number drops to 12%, a huge decrease. It’s evident that the cost of solid-state projectors, thanks primarily to developments in laser phosphor technology, has decreased significantly over the last two years.

C

Based on the data, it’s clear – in almost every case, solid-state projectors using laser phosphor technology will provide better value than their lamp-based equivalents. This means that if you’re looking for a projector between 5,000 and 13,000 lumens, you should be looking for a lamp-free model. That being said, choosing the right projector is a complicated decision, and a good AV designer will take many additional factors into account before arriving on a specification. Contact a PPI Account Manager today to begin the discussion about your next projector.

PPI in the News: SCN Magazine’s AV Road Trip

This February, Systems Contractor News released a feature in print and online entitled “AV Road Trip: The Industry, Region by Region.” The article takes a comprehensive look at the state of the AV industry — both from a business & technical perspective — in various regions across the country. As one of the leading AV integrators based in New York City, PPI was asked to represent the Northeast region of the country. PPI President & CEO Orin Knopp was interviewed and is featured in the first section of the article. See the full article here! 

PPI Named an SCN 2015 Top 50 Systems Integrator

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 12.09.20 PMPresentation Products, Inc. is pleased to announce that it has been named to the Systems Contractor News 2015 Top 50 Systems Integrators list. This marks the fourth time in the last six years that PPI has been included. PPI ranked 45th, up two spots from 2014. The list, which uses total AV-systems-generated revenue as its primary ranking factor, is widely considered to be an authoritative indicator of the largest companies in the industry.

As a design/build-focused firm, PPI is particularly proud to be on a list that features many companies who focus on high-volume bid work. Presentation Products is also one of only two companies based in New York, NY, to make the top 50. PPI is honored to be included, and looks forward to continuing to climb up the list each year. PPI extends sincere congratulations to every company on the list.

See the full list here. 

 

Planar Unveils Next Generation of 4K Displays

Planar UltraRes

Planar Systems, a leading manufacturer of digital displays, announced last week the next generation of its UltraRes line of displays. These large format displays, which already were capable of supporting 4K ultra high definition (UHD) resolution (3840 x 2160), now boast several new impressive features. For a full list, take a look at Planar’s website. Here’s what’s caught our eye:

  1. A New Size: Previously available in two large sizes – 84” and 98” – Planar has added a third size to the mix: 75”. This size makes this line of displays appropriate for smaller conference rooms, where the 84” or 98” may previously have been prohibitively large or expensive.
  2. Improved 4K Support: As we’ve mentioned on this blog before, all 4K is not created equal. Frame rate, color bit depth, and chroma subsampling all play a big role in 4K image quality. And while the old generation of UltraRes could support 4K at 30Hz, the new generation supports it at 60Hz over a single HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.2 cable. This means a smoother image with more frames per second. Color bit depth and chroma subsampling specifications at 4K60 have yet to be released by Planar – we’ll let you know when they are.
  3. Advanced Built in Multi-viewer Options: Built into the display’s processor is an expanded version of something called a multi-viewer, which allows multiple sources to be displayed in various configurations across the single display. Previously, the only multi-source layout available was a 2×2 quad layout. The new generation now supports dual, triple, quad, or picture-in-picture layouts, allowing much greater flexibility of use. Furthermore, these configurations can be controlled and presets recalled from an app on your mobile device. Though it still won’t offer you the same flexibility that a dedicated multi-viewer will, it’s a significant upgrade from the first generation, and one that can save you thousands of dollars.
  4. Compact Mounting System: One unique component of the first generation UltraRes line was its ultra-slim Planar Profile Mounting System. This is a key part of the new series as well. This mounting system is the slimmest in the industry: the total depth, including the display and the mount, clocks in at under 4”. The combination of up to 98” diagonal image size at less than 4” of depth creates a stunning image on a wall.
  5. Touch Screen Support: Like the previous generation, the new models also all come in touch screen versions. With 32 simultaneous touch points, the displays provide a robust and accurate touch screen experience. The touch models are only .5” deeper than the standard versions, making these the thinnest large format touch screen displays on the market.

Planar Multi-viewer Control

Control of UltraRes multi-imaging is easy via a free app for mobile devices

PPI has successfully installed Planar UltraRes displays for clients like VICE Media, Horizon Media, and more. Contact an Account Manager to talk about your company’s 4K implementation strategy today.

PPI in the News: SCN Guide to Video Walls

Presentation Products continues to establish itself as a leader in the field of audiovisual solutions. Because each of our Account Managers is a CTS certified professional and expert in their market, PPI is often asked to contribute to great publications like SCN. Most recently our own Scott Gantkin was interviewed about video walls. See the article below, or click here for the full video wall issue.

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Skype For Business is Here!

Skype For Business Begins Rolling Out Publicly Today

April 15, 2015

Microsoft’s “Skype for Business,” which is designed to replace the company’s older enterprise communication tool Lync, is rolling out publicly today as part of the Office 2013 April update, the company announced this morning. It’s also now rolling out Skype for Business Online to its Office 365 customers who currently use Lync Online.

With Skype for Business, enterprise customers will have access to software that greatly resembles Skype’s consumer-facing client application in look-and-feel, but it comes with enterprise-grade security and compliance features that allow an I.T. organization to better administer and control the software’s use internally within an organization. Skype for Business conversations are authenticated through Active Directory and encrypted, and I.T. can manage the company’s user accounts and deployments. The system also inter-operates with company’s PBX systems or legacy video teleconferencing systems, if need be.

In addition, Skype for Business customers are now able to communicate via chat, audio and video both within their own company as well as with any of the over 300 million customers who have a Skype ID using apps that run on Android, iOS, Mac, Windows and web.

The software is also built into Office, making features such as presence, IM, voice and video calls, as well as online meetings a part of the Office experience, Microsoft notes.

It was only a few weeks ago that Microsoft unveiled the technical preview version of this software, so it acknowledges that some customers may still require additional testing time. To that end, it’s allowing admins the ability to switch between Skype for Business and the traditional Lync user interface, Microsoft explains in a blog post this morning detailing the changes. Information on how to continue to use Lync for the time being is also available .

The transition from Lync Online to Skype for Business Online will complete for all customers by the end of May, Microsoft note

See how Skype for Business is changing how you work