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How’d We Get Here?
How’d We Get Here?

How about a visit to one of 2019’s Audio-Visual Trade Shows? See for yourself - the newest, most advanced, ear & eye-popping AV products of the year. Below are just a few of the industry events being offered over the next few months: (And, we’ll continue to post information about future conferences throughout the year.) NFMT: Baltimore, MD, March 26 – 28, nfmt.com/Baltimore DSE (Digital Sign Expo): Las Vegas, NV, March 26 – 29, digitalsignageexpo.net NAB Show: Las Vegas, NV, April 6 – 11, nabshow.com Crestron Masters US: Uncasville, CT, April 9-11, crestron.com/Events HTSA Spring Conference: Chandler, AZ, April 15 – 18, htsa.com/events/ OneSight Summit: Boston, MA, May 28 – 30, 1nsightsummit.com Infocomm: Orlando, FL, June 8 – 14, infocommshow.org SUNY Technology Conference: Lake Placid, NY, June 17 – 20, stc.suny.edu Cisco Live: San Diego, CA, June 9 – 13, ciscolive.cisco.com/us/ As time marches-on, expectations grow ever higher. This has never been more evident than it is today – as is exemplified by the ever-dynamic world of technology. With the invention of the first practical telephone, Alexander Graham Bell opened-up communication in a way that the world had never before seen nor could have even dreamed-of. Bell was awarded the patent for his talkie-triumph on March 7, 1876…& the telephone has since metamorphosized many times over. Although the basic premise of the telephone itself has never changed - as the device itself gets smarter, more convenient, & more multi-functional - consumer expectations increase with every new iteration. Long gone are the days when phones were used for, well…just talking. Today’s personal communication devices have more computing power packed inside of them than the Apollo 11 spaceship - which took our Astronauts to the moon & back. Some Tech Trivia: Believe it or not, Alexander Graham Bell himself played an important role in the history of Video Conferencing – by first developing the concept in the late 1870s. The Bell Telephone Company – along with AT&T – then began actual work on Video Phones in the late 1920s. In Germany in the 1930s, initial experiments with Video Conferencing began in earnest. Fast-forward to the early 1970s, when still photos were sent over phone lines – which was when AT&T introduced its “Picturephone” service to the public*. Although far removed from the technology of today, these rudimentary steps were the building blocks that went toward creating the current state of the Audio-Visual industry. My, how we have grown! (*Source: UK’s “Business Matters Magazine,” January 8, 2015.) Through the ages, the Audio-Visual industry has developed by leaps & bounds, & one of Captus Systems’ preeminent missions is to consistently be on the cutting-edge of collaboration technology. The products offered by AV manufacturers today are astonishing, & can certainly be likened to the wow-factor of Bell’s very first telephone. With the advancement of telecommunications moving at the speed of light, Captus Systems prides itself on the ability to stay on top & ahead of the curve. Because we approach all projects from an IT Core, we have both the expertise & eagerness to outfit your organization with THE MOST MODERN Audio-Visual tools available today! So…if you can, get yourself to an AV Trade Show - & we promise you’ll be amazed! Check-out the goods, kick the tires, & take your favorites for a spin - then give us a call at Captus Systems. We’ll outfit your enterprise with whatever your Audio-Visual dreams desire! You can contact us at 212-400-1616 - or via e-mail, at [email protected] Thank you!


A Little Bit of Luck + A Lot of Ingenuity
A Little Bit of Luck + A Lot of Ingenuity

St. Patrick’s Day 2019 has come & gone, & people of all backgrounds & cultures were once again proud to proclaim themselves “Irish for a day.” Along with all the green revelry associated with this holiday, it also brings LUCK to mind. Although the expression “The Luck of the Irish” was originally not meant as a flattering one when it was first uttered back in the latter half of the 19th century, it means only good things in modern times. In Gaelic, the phrase “Go n-eirí an t-ádh leat” is one of the many ways of wishing someone ‘good luck’ - with its literal meaning being, ‘That luck may rise with you!’ And speaking of luck - it seems that a good measure of it has been following the Audio-Visual industry for the past couple of years, as the increasing demand for tech solutions among both commercial & residential users has consistently trended upward. According to Sean Wargo – Senior Director of Market Intelligence for AVIXA, "The pro-AV industry's continual growth trend shown in the Index supports our Industry Opportunity and Trends Analysis forecasting year-over-year growth. In many ways, the health of the commercial audiovisual industry tracks with U.S. GDP growth. Enterprises are enjoying economic expansion, and many are investing in technology and services that create communication experiences and drive business outcomes." (Quoted from an October 2018 Avixa article.) Collaboration has become the most important factor in pro AV, & Captus Systems delivers the most successful solutions suitable for any type of organization. Meetings are of obvious importance to any enterprise, because that’s where the “business of business” gets done. Goals are set, budgets are determined, processes are created - & even sometimes – milestones are celebrated. As is noted by “Commercial Integrator” in a March 12, 2019, article – following is a list of what’s involved in collaboration at the conceptual level: - Shared Focus/Purpose - Participation & Sharing - Consideration of Alternatives - Discussion & Negotiation - Problem Solving - Consensus Building - Proactivity - Time Sensitivity Over the past decade, that which has defined the “meeting experience” has changed drastically in order to fit today’s economical, ecological, & technological requirements. Gone are the gatherings of yesteryear when one presenter took the helm while attendees sat attentively – just listening & taking notes. The modern meeting consists of many participants – all contributing in some way or another – whether they’re right there in the room, or halfway across the globe. This is not just the “meeting formula” of the future…it’s fast becoming the standard protocol of today. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Diligence is the Mother of Good Luck,” & manufacturers in the AV space are working hard to accommodate today’s rapidly changing demands. Luckily, there are already countless tools out there that allow for collaborations to run seamlessly & effectively. Whether it’s for large boardrooms or smaller huddle spaces, Crestron offers leading-edge technology that facilitates the very best in productivity. From display screens, to control hardware, to interconnects, interfaces, & infrastructure – Crestron has it all. (Crestron.com) Ceiling mics are highly desirable apparatus for any modern collaboration space, & they’ve come a long way, baby! Shure & ClearOne are among the manufacturers who offer cutting-edge audio devices. (Shure.com & ClearOne.com) And - with Cloud-based platforms like Starleaf, Cisco Webex, & Zoom - there’s no longer the need for people to fly thousands of miles to attend meetings. (Starleaf.com, Webex.com, & Zoom.us) The term “face-to-face” has truly taken-on a whole new meaning...Close Encounters of a Brand-New Kind! Today, enterprise collaborations bring together diverse groups that probably would not have been in the position to meet in the past - & when a group of diverse-thinkers gets together, inspiration & ingenuity often flourish. Thinking & being outside of the box naturally lend themselves to openness & creativity. Meetings go beyond the confines of a given space, & at Captus Systems - we’re excited about the direction in which they’re going! So…“Sláinte!” (Cheers) to you on this day after St. Patrick’s Day! May the road always rise-up to meet you, & may the wind ever be at your back. For information on how Captus Systems can help make all of your Audio-Visual dreams come true, please give us a call at 212-400-1616 – or e-mail us at [email protected] Thank you!


The Green New Deal
The Green New Deal

Green is in the news a lot lately – especially with the recent introduction of “The Green New Deal” to Congress, by NY’s Junior Senator, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The Senator has taken-on this platform because of her firm belief that climate change is the “single biggest national security threat for the U.S. & the single biggest threat to worldwide industrialized civilization.” Although met with some opposition, Ocasio-Cortez’s plan really does mean well. It calls for eventually meeting 100% of national power demand through renewable resources, & completely eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from transportation – over a period of 10 years. In order to make this happen, it will involve major changes to much of the US’ infrastructure, & to many industries & how they do business overall. The world of construction is going to look very different a decade from now, & buildings will be more energy efficient than ever before. From the modern-look of exterior facades - to more modern interiors, both in appearance & functionality - organizations are asking for new systems & processes to be put into place. This new & greener construction mindset includes all of the infrastructure that goes into a new build - & the Audio-Visual industry is right in the middle of it all! Captus Systems is proud & poised to be on the frontline of building the future. Because the “Green New Deal” calls for the renovation of buildings to make them eco-friendly, more & more organizations are doing their best to become LEED-Certified. (LEED = Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design.) LEED takes into account the entire building - from soup to nuts. The Audio-Visual Industry is taking the positive steps necessary to comply with LEED-Certified organizations, & Captus Systems is right there on the forefront. One of Captus Systems’ recent projects involved the design & installation of AV spaces within a Silver-Certified LEED building for Adelphi University, in Garden City, NY. To achieve this, included in the specs were smart bulbs, lamp-less projectors, the removal of unnecessary rack elements, & “Power-down” programming – all of which are in-line with Adelphi’s green initiative. Interested in how LEED Certification Works? Take a look… Each LEED project earns points by addressing 9 fundamental areas covering the main aspects of becoming Green Buildings. They are… - Integrative Process - Location & Transportation - Sustainable Sites - Water Efficiency - Energy & Atmosphere - Materials & Resources - Indoor Environmental Quality - Innovation - Regional Priority There are 4 rating levels that an organization can receive, based on the number of points accrued per the above checklist: LEED Certified, LEED Silver, LEED Gold, & LEED Platinum. LEED works for all building types at all phases of development – from new construction, to the renovation of existing structures. In order to apply for LEED Certification, an organization must follow these steps: - Register Your Project - Submit Your Application - Your Application is Reviewed by GBCA (Green Building Council of America) - And if Applicable – Your Project Becomes Certified! (An accomplishment that would surely make any organization proud.) You can visit the LEED website for more detailed information - http://leed.usgbc.org/leed.html Companies that are LEEDing the way with certifications include Wells Fargo, Starbucks, Goldman Sachs & Co., Deutsche Bank AG, Marriott, Kohl’s, Novo Nordisk - & many more. With all of this greening in mind it’s best for any organization looking into new construction or renovating existing structures, to discuss it in the initial stages of planning. Any of the trades involved in designing a new construction project will do their client(s) a great service by helping them to understand the importance of “thinking green” at the very early stages of a job. Architects, general contractors, & AV integrators alike, are all in the unique position to do just that. Working towards attaining LEED Certification definitely involves more research & time put-in to the planning phase of a project, but the results are well-worth the extra time spent. Besides the obvious benefits of creating a healthier & more eco-efficient environment, ROI is also a positive outcome, as creating a LEED building reduces the cost of energy consumption overall. For instance, including products from Crestron’s line of Shading Solutions help greatly in reducing the bottom line. Shading works directly to lower utility bills in that the automated system functions in conjunction with sunlight, to optimize light filtration – which helps with the natural cooling & heating of a room. Another example of a manufacturer in the AV sector that’s genuinely vested in the Green Movement is Extron. This is made evident by its commitment of ample resources put towards the design of products that are energy-saving. Extron offers Energy Star-qualified power amplifiers & power supplies, along with ultra-efficient CrossPoint Ultra matrix switchers – which draw only 52 watts under a full load. Additionally, their MPX Series of multi-format media presentation switchers use only a fraction of the power of traditional switches. Major developments in AV technology have vastly improved occupational health & safety, & are helping organizations around the globe to attain their green initiatives - which will ultimately garner LEED Certification. Because so many companies are including AV spaces in their construction projects, this is a substantial step towards accomplishing environmentally-meaningful goals. Thinking about becoming LEED Certified? Give Captus Systems a call to find-out how we can help your organization achieve its Green Dreams! You can reach us at 212-400-1616, or by e-mail at [email protected] Thank you!


The Greening of Technology
The Greening of Technology

With March upon us, the color green immediately comes to mind. Is it because we’re yearning for the gray of Winter to melt away to expose the promise of fresh, new grass? Maybe it’s because the official start of Spring is later this month – or possibly - it’s because of that fun & frenzied holiday that many of us celebrate on the 17th. No matter the reason, it got us thinking about how technology is trending greener to meet the growing demand of the environmentalists & concerned citizens of the world - that we all be kinder to Mother Earth. The Audio-Visual Industry is a leader in the greening space. Innovations in products & processes are being developed by the designers, manufacturers, & integrators of the AV sector, so that we can all play a more active role in the green crusade. The very nature of today’s AV industry as a whole is one which encourages greening, & this is accomplished in several ways across the Audio-Visual spectrum: Organizations are choosing to deploy virtual conferences for global connectivity – rather than having their people travel on emission-spewing planes, trains, & automobiles for face-to-face meetings; AV integrators are designing systems which use less rack space for control modules - resulting in the use of less metal; & - smaller racks generally means smaller spaces in which to house them. At Captus Systems, we are proud to be active participants in the green movement. We do this by streamlining the way we design, deliver, & support systems for & to our clients - which helps to diminish our carbon footprint. Cleaner & more efficient design is good news for the environment, as is the thoughtful scheduling of our technicians & engineers out in the field. Reducing the use of vehicles by slashing the amount of travel to & from locations inevitably cuts-down on greenhouse gas emissions. One example of a company that makes being green an important part of its mission is the Ecler Audio Products Company – headquartered in Barcelona, Spain. It was recently announced that Almo is now partnering with Ecler in order to offer its merchandise to the U.S. market. Ecler has been designing & manufacturing global & integrable audio solutions since it first opened its doors in 1965. Experts in all-things audio, their products run the full gamut of tools in this space: Speakers, audio players, matrixes, amplifiers, unique products like the TRAIL line - &, all accessories needed for any type of installation. Offering its expertise & wares in 60+ countries, Ecler has enjoyed its longevity by being flexible & adapting to changing standards through the years - & the criteria of today definitely calls for being more environmentally responsible. Per Ecler’s own statement: “Every day we are more green. We take care of the environment (by) saving energy, using non-contaminant components, & recycling materials.” Higher Efficiency – By using SPM (Shock Pulse Method) patented technology (74% more efficient than the 50% of traditional bipolar transistor technology & Class D Amplifiers.) NonContaminant Components – All of which are leadfree Recycled Materials – 70% of Ecler’s packaging is recycled Energy Savings – When NXA amplifiers are used, 61% of energy is saved as compared to that of standard amplifiers Planar is another very good example of an environmentally-conscious organization. Their displays are outfitted with energy-saving features which use LED technology that’s mercury-free, & - according to the company’s website - “Planar uses an EMS (Environmental Management System) to establish goals related to regulatory compliance, resource usage, transportation, material selection, & waste disposal.” (This is all reported annually in the “Corporate Environmental Report” published on Planar’s website – planar.com) More & more companies are jumping on the bandwagon, creating a plethora of products which support the green campaign. From flat panel screens that feature CO2 sensors…to interactive touch screens that are overlaid with protection against bacteria & germs…to using solar panels for powering AV technology…to automatic shading control…the list goes on. This is great news for all of planet Earth’s inhabitants! All in all, it looks like the AV industry as a whole is moving in the right - & green direction. Besides the obvious positive ecological effects that being green offers, there’s the additional gain of cost effectiveness. Sure - it may be that the initial output for greening is slightly greater, but in the end, the savings over-time is astonishing - & well-worth the higher up-front price tag. The benefits reaped come mainly from the overall savings in an organization’s power bill, as the direct result of choosing to employ more energy-efficient AV technology. Putting all of this in-place can increase ROI, simply by decreasing annual expenditures on material, travel, & resources. Below is a list of just some of the manufacturers who are offering more environmentally-conscious solutions: Crestron Ecler/Almo Extron Hitachi Lab.Gruppen Panasonic Planar Samsung Sharp TOA Want to learn more about how to make your organization more AV-Green? Contact Captus Systems to find-out how we can help make your Audio-Visual goals a reality. We’re here to answer any questions you may have. Give us a call at 212-400-1616, or e-mail us at [email protected] Thank you!


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