Category AVI-SPL Partners

At Crestron Masters, a Focus on Programming

Today’s post on the Crestron Masters event is written by David Thorson, AVI-SPL’s senior manager for programming architecture. David’s a recognized expert within the AV industry, and I think you’ll enjoy his thoughts below.

This year’s Crestron Masters took place off the beaten path in Rye Brook, NY, at the Doral Arrowwood Resort. Those that remembered the fog that descended at the start of last year’s Crestron Masters appreciated the fair weather that got us off to a good start. The highlight for me was the extra event “AVI-SPL Masters” that took place when Crestron Masters concluded, more about that later.*

I was pleased to see Crestron continue with the format they instituted last year. Attendees were free to sign up for classes that interested them or delve into topics to challenge their abilities. There were also the core sessions that everyone attends, allowing Crestron to level set important technology, such as Crestron PinPoint™ and Crestron Fusion®, and focus on areas that will improve delivery, such as network streaming and deploying narrow RF (2.4 GHz) among WiFi rich environments.

The banner topic this year was Crestron Fusion, with five individual courses to choose from. Crestron is expanding this enterprise management software to the cloud and focusing more on IoT style workflows and features. We heard again and again, “no more secrets.” This message resonates on many levels, one of which is about the features and project requirements of deployments. Another level is about the best practices to ensure that end users can reap the benefits Crestron Fusion has to offer. This will be an exciting year for Crestron Fusion as we explore the integration features and benefits with customers in much deeper ways.

This year Crestron offered a programming challenge to those that wanted to participate. It turned out to be a fun exercise and let us focus on of the primary reasons we attend: programming.

With regard to programming courses, Crestron offered a new class focused on introducing object-oriented programming concepts. There was more content diving deeper into SIMPL# and SIMPL# Pro. I commend Crestron on providing the platform and tools to enable the AV programming experts to grow their skill set. Bringing true object-oriented programming to mainstream AV will have its challenges, but the benefits are immense. I think the AV programmers are quickly approaching a crossroads where each person will need to decide if they are up for challenge of developing software or deploying configurable systems in the field.

In total, an impressive 650 certified programmers turned out for the event spanning three days. The awards ceremony for Diamond master programmers was new. Crestron also recognized Platinum, Gold, and Silver master programmers.

As Crestron concluded the event they opened the floor to hear from the attendees in an open forum. This always generates feedback, collaboration, and news about features and products that may be just around the corner. It’s hard to say how Crestron will rank the requests back at HQ, a few hot button items generated fanfare from the audience, so I hope that carries back to the develop roadmap. Attendees discussed enhancements to the DMPS-3 Series firmware and changes to the touch panel development application, known as VTPro-E.

Crestron Masters 2016 is not over yet. The EMEA event held in Amsterdam begins on May 17th.

Thank you Crestron for continually improving the Masters event each year. From the registration, logistics, courses, instructors, and everything that goes on behind the scenes, we appreciate the hard work. See you again next year!

*Stay tuned to hear about the “AVI-SPL Masters” that brought together 32 Certified Crestron Programmers.

Why You Should Listen to this Talk on Workplace Transformation

Combine changing demographics, what-I-want, when-I-want-it technology trends, and new ways of thinking about work, and you have the forces that are shaping what is being talked about as “workplace transformation.”

The term carries a considerable weight — its two words implicitly promising something better than the cubicle farms that are a shorthand for the worst of office culture.

The good news is that with a little determination, unity of focus, and technology, we don’t have to settle for that kind of culture. And even a passing familiarity with business trends will confirm that plenty of businesses have evolved.

For our recent webinar on workplace transformation, representatives from Cisco and AMX by Harman offered their thoughts on why work is changing and talked about the technologies their companies specialize in and what they do to create environments where we can collaborate with those in and outside of the office.

In less than an hour, you’ll learn about the video collaboration and networked AV technology that is making it possible to create workplaces that are responsive to your needs, and to the needs of your colleagues. Some of the topics our speakers address include:

  • Importance of video collaboration
  • What is meant by a connected workplace
  • Technology that engages visitors
  • Advantages of networked AV
  • Solutions by Cisco and AMX that make improvements possible

Review “Workplace Transformation With Cisco and AMX by Harman” >

April 27 Webinar: Workplace Transformation

Still not sure what workplace transformation means or how it applies to your organization? Hear experts from Cisco and AMX discuss this timely topic Wednesday, April 27 at 1 p.m. EST.

Cisco’s John Franklin will explain what’s changed in the workplace in terms of collaboration, workloads, and the technology that brings people together to work on projects. Bob Sharp of AMX will offer his insight into the control systems that streamline and automate meeting functions like room scheduling and setup. He’ll look at the value of the enterprise IT network in managing an array of workplace source devices and endpoints.

Some of the topics to be addressed include:

  • Challenges to collaboration
  • Factors driving workplace change
  • Why you need to care about workplace challenges
  • Benefits of Cisco and AMX solutions in fostering positive change

Register for “Workplace Transformation with Cisco and AMX by Harman.”

Putting a Bow on InfoComm 2015

Polycom video conferencing at InfoComm 2015

See the other entries in this series:

The final day of InfoComm 2015, for me (and likely thousands of others), was the chance to seek out the gems I may have missed — whether hidden or hiding in plain sight — and to appreciate every section of plush, soft booth carpet under aching feet. Back at home base, the AVI-SPL booth, a number of manufacturers made 11th-hour introductions, hoping their products would be used in some of the thousands of projects we deliver for our clients each year.

Microsoft Surface Hub demo at InfoCommI saw quite a bit from AVI-SPL partners on day 3: a demo of the Microsoft Surface Hub; brilliant images shifting on an LG video wall; Polycom and its desktop video conferencing systems; Chief projector mounts; Epson image mapping; Crestron scaling systems on massive video walls; a Draper screen boom.Draper screen boom at InfoComm 2015

As soon as the show closed at 4 p.m., the booths started packing up, the electronics disconnected, and the aisle carpets were lifted to make room for the forklifts and their drivers expertly maneuvering tight turns while lightly tapping on the horn.

Epson image mapping at InfoComm 2015Crestron display at InfoComm 2015Someone announced over the intercom that this year’s event set a new attendance record of 39,500. The consensus at our booth was that AVI-SPL also had a very successful show — success measured in the parade of people who showed up to watch our demos, play our trivia game, and ask how they can benefit from partnering with a systems integrator that has been number one on the SCN Top 50 list year after year.Chief projector mounts at InfoComm 2015

To everyone that stopped by to say hello and learn more about AVI-SPL and how we work to improve the way organizations do business, thank you.

AVI-SPL booth at InfoComm 2015

Day Two at InfoComm 2015

See the other entries in this series:

My knees aren’t nearly as sore as they were yesterday. Maybe that’s because they got used to all the relentless walking. Maybe I just can’t feel them anymore. In any case, my second day at InfoComm 2015 was another fruitful one. It began pre-show with a look at Sennheiser’s wireless microphones, and continued with a tour of the Microsoft, Biamp, Tannoy, and Shure booths.

The visits to Biamp, Tannoy and Shure seemed particularly fruitful for the higher education IT manager taking our Guided Technology Tour. He engaged with the booth reps, asking them specific technology questions, and shared the AV challenges in his department.

The Microsoft stop gave me a first-hand look at the new Surface Hub, the digital whiteboard/remote collaboration device for which AVI-SPL is one of the few channel partners in the U.S. and U.K. See our Microsoft Surface Hub page to learn more about this valuable tool for education and corporations, and to place an order.

At 2 p.m., I attended a talk given by John Antanaitis, VP of product and solution marketing for Polycom. John gave a look at Polycom products like its RealPresence Web Suite and RealConnect. He also offered his thoughts on a topic covered yesterday in an InfoComm panel: the workplace of the future. During his discussion, Antanaitis gave offered his advice for organizations:

  • Drive business transformation so that an organization can thrive in the workplace of the future
  • Give the mobile worker as productive an experience as someone working onsite — a quality that Antanaitis called “equitable collaboration.”

While on the exhibition floor, I made sure to snap pics of some booths I thought were well designed or eye-catching. They included:

  • Panasonic’s projection mapping across a Tesla model S
  • Stampede’s Old West-themed booth
  • The 1950s malt shop created by Yamaha

Tesla car with Panasonic projectionStampede booth at InfoComm

Yamaha booth at InfoComm 2015