40 episodes

This podcast is the audio extension of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that's been documenting the growth and filtering the BS of the digital signage industry since 2006.

Sixteen:Nine - All Digital Signage, Some Snar‪k‬ Sixteen:Nine

    • Technology
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

This podcast is the audio extension of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that's been documenting the growth and filtering the BS of the digital signage industry since 2006.

    Matthew Rubin, Futuresource Consulting

    Matthew Rubin, Futuresource Consulting

    The 16:9 PODCAST IS SPONSORED BY SCREENFEED – DIGITAL SIGNAGE CONTENT
    Matthew Rubin and the other analysts at the UK-based research firm Futuresource Consulting spend much of their time looking at the electronics industry - both the consumer and commercial sides.

    Rubin is a senior analyst with the firm and puts a lot of his working focus on the pro AV and digital signage market. His point of view is behind research reports that look at what is happening in the marketplace, and also forecasts what is expected to happen in the coming months and years.

    We had a great chat talking about where signage and pro AV are at, a year into the pandemic and a year into the brakes being slammed on a lot of planned work.

    We get into many things, including the states of direct view LED and LCD, and we also talk broadly about how businesses are doing, and when a turnaround is expected.
    TRANSCRIPT
    Matthew, thank you for joining me. Can you explain what Futuresource is all about and your methodology to some degree? Like, how do you guys do your research? 
    Matthew Rubin: Yeah, of course, so first of all it's best to explain that I'm a Senior Analyst at Futuresource covering the professional displays categories. So that's looking at LED, projection, a lot of work early on LCD and then obviously interactive now, and Futuresource tracks the whole technological scene. I work on the B2B side so very much within displays, but we have a team that focuses on the education sector and we do a lot of work on professional audio as well.
    But we have a B2C side, so really focusing on the whole range of consumer electronics but also, entertainment and how people are engaging with that across the spectrum and I think it's all really intertwined. So it gives us this really great opportunity to see the whole spectrum across the B2C and the B2B landscape. But yeah, so we, in terms of methodology, it depends on the product category, but on the display side, is a really good example: we've really perfected and spent a lot of time developing, over about two decades, particularly on projection, tracking service and that's really a vendor-led service where we get direct data feeds from about 90% plus of the spectrum of all the vendors, and they give us their volumes, down to a module level and we correlate that, really dig into some deep analysis around it and provide really detailed data back to everyone in the ecosystem, not just the vendors but all throughout the supply chain. 
    So that can be used as tracking very down into specific segmentation levels but also trend analysis, really what's driving the market. We also do a lot of forecasting, so looking out to about five years, we've got to understand what's happening in the industry, where it's going and you achieve that, not just by speaking to the vendors, right through the ecosystem, including end-users. We really need to understand who is using the technology and what they're using it for and what we think they're going to use it for in the future as well, which is really vital.
    That's one of our best-developed services and we have that across display categories, but we also do a lot of consulting work as well. A lot of our clients come to us and ask for us to really find out something very particular and an answer to that and that utilizes a lot of our existing data, but we also have great connections across the B2B side technology landscape. So we're able to get so much knowledge together from our network, from our data, and our own knowledge from working in the industry for a couple of decades now. So we're able to offer a very broad spectrum of services there. 
    It must take quite a bit of work to win the trust of the different manufacturers, because you're, as you described, asking them to send a data feed of sales volumes and everything else, so you must have some pretty significant NDAs or o

    • 37 min
    Gary Mundrake, TSItouch

    Gary Mundrake, TSItouch

    The 16:9 PODCAST IS SPONSORED BY SCREENFEED – DIGITAL SIGNAGE CONTENT

    Gary Mundrake's company, TSItouch, has a tag line that flat out says The World Needs More Touch.

    He'd like, of course, to sell the world more touch technology, but there's a larger story about his 10-year-old company's activity in the digital signage and pro AV marketplace. He and his team sell the technology, but they're also evangelists for interactive touch.

    The company sells a range of touch technologies that generally get applied as retrofits to commercial displays, making them interactive. When the pandemic really started hitting about a year ago, there was a lot of debate about the future of touch screens. Would people still be willing to use them, if they were a host for contagions?

    While there have been reports here and there suggesting the virus can live on a surface for a long time, the prevailing opinion from medical research is that surfaces like touchscreens present far, far less risk than one-to-one interactions with other people.

    So getting things done by touchscreen is likely going to be faster, easier, better and safer than dealing one to one at an order counter.

    We talk about the touch business in broad strokes, how certain technologies apply, how the past  year has been and how the next months look for TSItouch and the touch ecosystem.

    Subscribe to this podcast: iTunes * Google Play * RSS
     
    TRANSCRIPT
    So Gary, thanks for joining me. Can you give me the rundown on what TSItouch is all about? 
    Gary Mundrake: Thanks for having me, David. TSItouch primarily manufactures touchscreen and protective solutions for large format displays, as well as a lot of video walls. Obviously there’s some other ancillary things we do, but that's our primary focus., 
    avid: Oh so that's why you call yourself touch? 
    Gary Mundrake: Make sense when you think about it. 
    You have this tagline on LinkedIn and elsewhere that talks about the world needing more touch. What do you mean by that? 
    Gary Mundrake: Metaphorically, I guess in the age of COVID, we're all looking for more touch, just human interaction. But purely as a marketing tagline, the world needs more touch. We're trying to promote touch screens, but with a little tongue in cheek, just the world needs more touch in general. 
    You have in your product line, a bunch of different kinds, there's PCAP, there's IR and there's I think ShadowSense. Why are there different types of touch overlays and how do they sort themselves and how do you know what to use for what? 
    Gary Mundrake: So and we back up a little bit, I say this often I say: touch is a commodity if you think about it in the market space, it's a commoditized product. Where we differentiate is everybody wants that commoditized price, but they all want a custom solution. So when you take and compare responsiveness to features, to aesthetics, to price, you end up in a situation where one size doesn't necessarily fit all well. So while we have a run rate of all those different products, it's really matching the solution to the end customer and that means matching the touch functionality with the display functionality in the environment they plan to use it.
    So you have to have that broader selection of solutions. We do a lot of touch, obviously for Samsung, NEC, LG, and those type of display manufacturers and if you look at all of these displays they have, the reason that they have more than one 55-inch display is that they have different markets and are trying to meet with it much like we have more than one type of touch solution for that 55-inch display.  
    The theory being is to get the customer what suits their needs best not what we are trying to sell.
    When it comes to, the one I'm most familiar with is PCAP, because that's what we use on everything from tablets to smartphones, is that by far the most demanded produ

    • 35 min
    Travis Peterson, Snap Install

    Travis Peterson, Snap Install

    The 16:9 PODCAST IS SPONSORED BY SCREENFEED – DIGITAL SIGNAGE CONTENT
    Companies that specialize in deploying digital signage networks don't always get the kind of respect they deserve in this industry. 
    They can get called "hang and bang" guys, when in reality the job is complicated as hell. Getting digital signage networks properly installed and running across hundreds or even thousands of locations involves a LOT of project management and coordination, and a lot of vetting and training to ensure the techs who show up know the work, what to do and how to behave.
    Travis Peterson started Snap Install about 10 years ago, having learned his installation chops working in home AV systems. Those can be fun jobs - putting slick audio and video systems in the homes of stinkin' rich people - but to scale an installation business, you need high volume commercial work.
    Based in Minneapolis, Snap Install now has a big core staff and hundreds of trusted contractors around the US and Canada, who take on high volume digital signage deployments in venues like restaurants, retail and health care.
    We had a great chat about the challenges he always faces, and the bigger ones presented in the past year. We also get into where Snap starts and stops, and why his team does the stuff they're good at, and leaves things they probably could do to their partners.
    Subscribe to this podcast: iTunes * Google Play * RSS
    TRANSCRIPT
    David: Travis, thanks for joining me. Can you tell me, because maybe not everybody knows what Snap Install is all about? 
    Travis Peterson: Yeah, thanks for having me, Dave. Snap Install. we're a nationwide service provider. We're located out of Maple Grove, Minnesota. For those of you not familiar with Minnesota, it started in the twin cities area, and we are a nationwide service provider of skilled labor. So in other words, we're brokers of services. 
    We have 54 employees at our corporate office and then 700+ contractors across the country that worked for us directly. Businesses and manufacturers hire Snap to provide installation service solutions really from coast to coast, so our job is: we represent our clients in a professional manner and follow up on the design scope of work to get the job done. Now that job could be a thousand plus site rollout across the country or one service call in a rural area. 
    David: Are you focused just on digital signage or is it one of many things that you do?
    Travis Peterson: Digital signage is the primary focus and represents the majority of our business. But we also have two other verticals that are defined. One is the healthcare industry and then another one is the relocation of executives across the country, their residential homes actually.
    David: Oh, really? Interesting. So what do you do with that? 
    Travis Peterson:  It's actually one of the main reasons the company got started. I was fresh out of college. In my second job, I was working for a company back just over 10 years ago and that company had a similar business model, but it was B2C compared to our business model B2B, and back then you go to Amazon, you could throw a TV in your cart and you could have added installation to it. The company I was working for, we would send the technician out to the home. 
    And I started a B2B platform there and worked with some relocation companies, and executives moving across, they got expensive equipment. We would dismount their equipment, movers pack it up, ship to the new house and then we'd reinstall it. As that company as much as I loved working there and really got my first taste of a small business, it's where I became addicted to the small business platform. I realized that as it became unethical, I had two choices. One: go to sell insurance like my dad and possibly golf, probably a lot more and have a lot more freedom and residual income coming in or start a business. And I

    • 33 min
    Gary Feather, NanoLumens

    Gary Feather, NanoLumens

    The 16:9 PODCAST IS SPONSORED BY SCREENFEED – DIGITAL SIGNAGE CONTENT
    I'm just coming off a bunch of research and writing about direct view LED, so it would be reasonable to think I know my stuff.
    But this is technology that's evolving rapidly, and when you get into the weeds, there's still a whole bunch to learn and understand about LED.
    Gary Feather is the CTO at the Atlanta-based LED display manufacturer NanoLumens, which has been an innovator for many years in the large format display space. We've gone back and forth through the years, by email, discussing advances. He offered to put his headset on and have a podcast chat about some of the emerging and changing technologies he's seeing.
    We go into several things, most notably the rationale and use of displays that have engineered coatings that protect the screens from day to day abuse, whether that's accidental or intended. 
    Gary has an electrical engineering degree, so acronyms and technical terms roll off his tongue like snarky remarks do with me. The result is a discussion that's maybe a little more technical than normal. But if you are into direct view LED, you'll learn some good stuff over the 30 or so minutes.
    Subscribe to this podcast: iTunes * Google Play * RSS
    TRANSCRIPT
    So Gary, thanks for joining me. I just recently finished a big report on Direct View LEDs. So I think of myself as something of a Mr. Smarty Pants about this stuff, but you sent me an email while you're rattled through a whole bunch of things that are happening in the space, and then I thought to myself, oh I really don't know much about this industry at all. The more you learn the less, so one of the things you talked about it, and first of all, let me back up here and just explain who you are and what you do with NanoLumens. 
    Gary Feather: Sure. I'm Gary Feather, the Chief Technology Officer at NanoLumens. I've been with NanoLumens for seven years. I left Sharp corporation in the LCD business to get there, and we really had a great opportunity to see the evolution of LED display from discrete devices, SMT devices, and now the new evolutions we're seeing in the market.
    So one of the areas when I was over in China, about three years ago, I saw the first iterations of LED Display modules that had some sort of an epoxy coating on them, which is since being described in ways like an adhesive onboard or glue onboard. You're suggesting, or at least your email was suggesting that we're going to be seeing a much more of a shift to that sort of thing.
    Gary Feather: The industry is looking for wider application of LED displays and with that comes durability and reliability requirements. A surface that is coated is going to be dramatically more durable than one that has physical soldered devices. So generally the surfaces become an important aspect for both installations, as well as utilization of the display in active environments.
    Now, the idea with coating these things is because they're there, the LED chips are soldered on that they can easily be bumped off and they can be extraordinarily difficult to repair. I've seen lots of LED displays wherein the corners a few of the LED chips have been flaked off and other ones have been scraped off.
    So this certainly protects it. The concern that was being raised, at least in the early days of it was the image quality is not as good and there were worries about how the heat got out. Has all that stuff been resolved? 
    Gary Feather: Like any problem you're trying to solve, you mitigate certain aspects to make them viable.
    Let's go way back to the LCD panels space. When LCDs first came out, the reflectivity of the screen was a problem. And so we used what was calLED the triacetate cellulose film on the surface so that it looked more anti-reflective. So surfaces have been an issue we've been addressing in the display industry really since the beginning

    • 36 min
    ACE Roundtable: The Tech That Worked In 2020, And Going Forward

    ACE Roundtable: The Tech That Worked In 2020, And Going Forward

    The 16:9 PODCAST IS SPONSORED BY SCREENFEED – DIGITAL SIGNAGE CONTENT
    Just before Christmas, I moderated an Advocates for Connected Experiences roundtable that tossed around thoughts on what technologies were used to get us all through 2020, focusing on what really worked, and will continue to work into 2021.
    It was a video discussion on Zoom, but it translates nicely to audio. I had technical issues with the planned podcast for this week, but this is a worthwhile, albeit last-minute stand-in.
    The first voice you hear is Kim Sarubbi, one of the founders of Advocates of Connected Experiences, or ACE.
    Also on the discussion, Joe' Lloyd from AVIXA, Kym Frank from Geopath, Beth Warren from CRI and the DSF, Cybelle Jones from SEGD, Bryan Meszaros from OpenEye Global, Asif Kahn from the Location-Based Marketing Association, and myself.
    This podcast is produced with the kind, ongoing support of ScreenFeed, the digital signage content store. Get awesome-looking, engaging and automated subscription content for your screens.
     

    • 59 min
    Kevin Cosbey, Seneca/Arrow

    Kevin Cosbey, Seneca/Arrow

    The 16:9 PODCAST IS SPONSORED BY SCREENFEED – DIGITAL SIGNAGE CONTENT
    When I got into digital signage 20+ years ago, and for many years after that, PCs dominated the media player side of the business.

    The big questions were around whether to use Windows or Linux, and products were differentiated on things like size and ruggedization.

    That's changed in the last few years, with more and more digital signage networks going in that used low-cost embedded players in smart displays, or worked off special purpose media players or adapted set-top boxes.

    That's shifted the ground for Seneca, an upstate New York specialty computer company that's been in the game for decades. Seneca is part of the Denver-based AV/IT distribution giant Arrow.

    There's no doubt fewer digital signage networks now run on PCs, particularly when there's only simple messaging like menu boards. But demands have also changed, and a lot of networks that are based around messaging are driven by real-time data and analytics that need serious computing at the edge.

    Kevin Cosbey has also been in the industry for a bunch of years, and the last several have been with Seneca, where he leads business development in the digital signage sector.

    We had a great chat about where PCs fit right now in the industry, and we get into how and why Seneca has put resources into developing supporting software that makes commissioning PCs way easier, and gives partners new and better remote management tools.
    Subscribe to this podcast: iTunes * Google Play * RSS
    TRANSCRIPT
    So Mr. Cosbey, we've known each other for a very long time, but for those people who don't know Seneca and to a larger extent, Arrow, can you say what that's all about and what you guys do? 
    Kevin Cosbey: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks, Dave. Thanks for taking some time out of your day today. I really appreciate the opportunity.
    So Seneca has been a 30 plus year organization that has its roots in traditional technology distribution, and over the course of those 30 years, six years ago, Arrow Electronics actually acquired us, and since then we've been part of the Arrow family as it worked. Ultimately, for those that are familiar with Arrow, a lot of people might just have the normal idea that Arrow's a big IT distribution company, but we fall under the services group. So our focus still is around services as it relates to digital signage services, as it's around technology to build a real solution and not just focus on speeds and feeds of hardware. So Arrow is a big massive company but the nice thing is: Seneca still runs through our veins.
    And the company's based in Syracuse still, right? 
    Kevin Cosbey: Yep. The majority of our engineering group is in Syracuse, support’s in Syracuse, and we've got a light manufacturing facility still in Syracuse and a large manufacturing facility in Phoenix. 
    Okay, and Arrow's based in Denver, right? 
    Kevin Cosbey: You got it.
    So when I look at the Seneca website, I see that you guys are into broadcast surveillance and digital signage being the key solution you talk about. What percentage roughly, I don't need the exact number of the work that Seneca does is around signage?
    Kevin Cosbey: It's about 50%. 
    Oh, okay, so that's a big part of your business. 
    Kevin Cosbey: Yep, absolutely. 
    And how has that shifted through the years? 
    Kevin Cosbey: When we first started getting into, what I like to consider niche computing, we were really that digital signage OEM focused company. And then through the years, through those 10 or so years we've really focused and dialed into niche computing, that created the new division of the security group. And they've been growing through the years as well. 
    So we used to be like a hundred percent ish, on the niche computing focus in digital signage and over the years, security and surveillance has grown substantially. 
    Okay. And

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

Top Podcasts In Technology

Listeners Also Subscribed To