A / V, a strong sector despite the crisis

Notwithstanding all that has been said about the economic crisis, the sector audio and video seems not to have been affected by this scourge. The latest version of InfoComm was a true reflection of this segment remains strong and growing.

By: Lorena Stapff

One for all, all for one

One can say that at present the video walls are designed to meet any customer need. As the Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas work side by side in search of the same goal.

By: Hector Gomez Perez

Latin America: good market for flat screens

Representatives of two leading manufacturers of flat screens hiceron a look at what was the 2008 with respect to sales of their products and presented a description of the characteristics of the market in the region.

by Héctor Gómez Pérez

A few years ago to see a flat screen in the room of a house or in the middle of the waiting room of an airport was a real novelty; Now these teams are part of everyday life and allow the user to see from a football game, enjoy the publidad in a mall or how many people precede a dental appointment. The uses are many and the possibilities of such broad buy as colors that new models of flat panel displays are capable of reproducing.

Obviously, this multiplicity of uses and the increase in demanta has meant that more and more players enter the scene to serve a market that tends to expand and tecnificarse by leaps and bounds. AVI Latin America interviewed Maria Luiza Steiner, product manager of the display division of Samsung Electronics Latin America and Juan Carlos Chavez, regional account manager Nec Display Solutions, Inc. With them spoke of sales of products in these times of crisis, market trends and the challenges ahead for manufacturers.

Although from the last months of the previous year is talking about economic recession, sales of flat screens, at least as far as Nec and Samsung refers, did not have a negative impact. Nec, that within the region serves markets of Mexico, Caribbean and Central America, had a positive year-end balance as it introduced the brand in the region through distribution partners that promoted good way their products LCD screens sizes 32 '' to 82 ''.

Steiner said that Samsung maintained its growth and market share in the region, meeting the forecasts established for 2008 and without canceling any of the releases inmediantamente budgeted for the previous year. However, Juan Carlos Chavez hinted that although the negative impact of the economic crisis has not felt full, yes there are some aspects that highlight tangentially, especially in what has to do with a particular application . "digital signage in our region began to take off strong when it fell the crisis. Indeed, many projects were paused, but the value of digital signage is real, yes there is a real return on investment, and most are being revived, "the professional.

The region and sales strategies

Latin America, according to the two guests, plays a leading role in the commercialization of these technologies as it is considered in much market potential as Steiner said. Samsung is working on various projects in airports, shopping centers and advertising agencies, adding that "our launch plans, promotion and distribution made during this 2009 special emphasis on Latin America."

In the same vein Chavez said noting that the niche market of products of flat panel displays in the region Nec routing comes to professional integration represented in monitoring centers, digital signage, Transport terminals and finance centers that require display information in large and continuously formats.

Address the issue of advice and support personnel of these companies for the user to make the decision to purchase, the guest said that Samsung "has engaged in this business who know the product executives and are working in Latin America in conjunction with the end user identify the best solution. Our history shows that we have been able to meet the needs and demands of our consumers by providing products that meet their priorities. " Chavez said that "all our distribution partners and integration are fully advising the user regarding display technologies like everything behind each team. To this end, NEC Display Solutions, Inc., we have made Webinars and technical courses to inform our partners of different technologies behind digial signage".

Undoubtedly today's user is much more informed than some years ago, and therefore seeks teams that meet your expectations, in addition to equipment design is harmonious with its spaces and that they help conserve the environment . However, the price still remains decisive factor in purchasing decisions of many people in the region.

Trends and challenges ahead

Research in these technologies walks hand in hand with new trends, so it is not uncommon within companies important items to issues such as lower power consumption, durability of parts and thermal control intended. Among the new features of 46 Nec LCD '' unframed it highlighted in type facilities video-wall wherein the separation between the image of each monitor is 7,3 mm. Meanwhile Samsung will focus its efforts this year to manufacture larger screen sizes (larger and wider), also be functional and have a low energy consumption.

"In the case of Nec, the main challenge is to continue offering our professional products within niche. This niche is very choosy about the characteristics of the product, "said Chavez, while Maria Luiza Steiner said that the challenges are represented" certainly to respond to an increasingly competitive market and is in constant transformation, as a consumer It varies its requirements, demanding higher technology products if it comes. "

The environment matters

Concern about environmental care has touched many of the industries and display manufacturers have not been exempt from this trend. Currently Samsung is working with materials friendly to the environment and achieved through a process of dual injection an exclusive TOC (transparent color opaque, also called touch of color) that allows the screen provide a clear picture under a ecological concept and eliminating the production of VOC (volatile organic compounds).

On the other hand Nec has Epeat certification in 59 of its models; 38 also has models certified by Energy Star screens and monitors have recently released a gauge environmental impact assessment (Carbo Footprint). Besides Chavez he said that "it is important to sensitize the user who wants more brightness and contrast these aspects increase energy use. Ideally, users are informed of the actual minimum requirement and thus help the planet. "

Do not leave the train of digital signage

If you have not noticed, the digital signage business is changing rapidly. Learn about some recommendations for AV professionals do not leave the train of progress.

by Julian Arcila

When AVI LATIN AMERICA magazine published its first article about digital signage (digital signage), The main subject of that note were the different options screens and monitors an integrator could be used to install one of these applications. Without saying that the approach was not right, today, with some experience in this segment, the editor believes that talk of that concept must transcend screens and general hardware. But there is a problem: many AV integrators have not realized this and believe the business is still limited to talk about teams.

And everything seems to indicate that AV professionals have not agreed on what should be its scope, and while in the US and other developed markets talk about diversification and selling services rather than boxes, in Latin America still it thinks integrators are to assist in complex applications and for the production and content development are software developers, graphic designers and advertisers.

Before determining whether there is between these two visions a wrong, it is important to note that the digital signage market is experiencing a strong evolution that will gradually be extended throughout the world, including Latin America. This new stage suggests most AV integrators trained in IT and telecommunications segments, that is truly assisting convergence. In this sense, it is not so unreasonable to think that companies must AV integration in the near future, incorporate a division of production and development of content for digital signage, as business seems to be there.

Breaking paradigms

AVI LATINOAMÉRICA interviewed Gary Kayye, director of Kayye Consulting, who also was elected in 2003 as the educator of the year by InfoComm, and Luis Maria González, commercial manager of the company Congress Rental Argentina. Reviews professionals are quite useful to understand a trend that every day takes more strength. While on some issues the opinions seem to differ, the fact is that both professionals mentioned adaptation as the only way to remain in force.

At the end of 2008, Kayye, a columnist for the prestigious magazine Sound & Communication but also director of his own blog specializing in these matters, wrote that the digital signage should not be seen as the next big trend, but as a reality that is now present. Not understanding the whole approach made him a few questions; Kayye delved into the topic does not go more for the hardware or equipment, but by offering services. Words more words less, the proper term seems to be creativity.

"The commercial AV market is and has been throughout its existence focused on selling facilities, provide services and sell products. In the case of digital signage, AV professionals see it as a way to sell more flat screens and monitors. But in reality, this market is associated with the production of content. Today it is not impossible for us to sell content, but we have not been, at least for the last 20 years or more - even remotely good at it, "he says.

Is the leadership lost?

To read the words Kayye, the idea that could arise is that the segment lost the lead AV segment digitized signal; however, it is worth asking if ever that distinction had to pioneer. Opinions vary, but not substantially.

On the one hand, Kayye believes that the AV integrators never had that privileged place. Recalls that NEC 10 years ago and other reputable manufacturers had the vision that the digital signage (DS) would be an important topic someday. "But marketers DS used this idea just to sell more monitors. They were not creative enough (and most are not) and to sell and content production. This is a currently dominated by advertising agencies business; we should be doing that, "he says.

However, to Gonzalez in Latin America the issue has other nuances, as in the case of Argentina the integrators AV are SMEs and the sector of DS seems to become a business of great volume that left out many of the small and medium-sized companies in the market. However, this professional opinion that the DS is a business and this enables convergence that can be approached from other areas, such as telecommunications, a segment in which integrators have not, traditionally, technical and commercial strengths. "Like other times it has happened with different businesses we are witnessing a moment of paradigm shift. Adjusting, wins and not likely to disappear, "he notes.

A search of the highest bidder

And the environment involves multiple reflections. With the current competition in each of the technology segments, manufacturers will strive every day to establish partnerships with companies that can offer them a business environment of medium to long term.
In this direction, Kayye suggests that there is currently a good relationship between manufacturers and integrators, because the latter anyway sell equipment; however, the better the relationship with IT companies, because they seem to have understood the secret of what it means selling DS in the future, not now. Explains that sell hundreds of screens for a university is a business now, but sell the service to provide the content of the display screens on a daily basis is where the business is moving.

Gonzalez sees a fairly competitive environment in this field, because as DS solutions are basically applications softwareEvery day more suppliers appear from the major brands, as well as middle and small local developers. This situation began to see he says in the last version of InfoComm.

A species in danger of extinction?

To end this article and perhaps result in a concept mentioned lines back, not adapt to this new reality many companies might disappear.

To Kayye, AV integrator could be a species in danger of extinction, but clarifies that always need who sells equipment, although this business every day will become more difficult for the consolidation of E-commerce.

Similarly, González ventures to predict the future of this segment, and ensures that for the next time "we will witness a strong pressure from IT integrators and telecommunications technologies (...) Some audiovisual integrators choose to get off this business, others may remain doing some facilities, and others will specialize in the segment. "

Kayye ends inviting to be more creative. "We are very good selling boxes, but not selling creativity. I do not think that should delve much, but those who are reading this article and do not understand me yet, maybe they will never achieve. "
Quoting products and technical services for Latin America

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