Widgets Magazine

The Friday Five: October 9, 2015

Lots of Industry News this week, some good, some weird.
Polycom’s Latest Collaboration Systems Speak to-* Future of the Workplace
Polycom held an event this week where they unveiled new and exciting technology designed for the workplace of the future. Commercial Integrator did a good job detailing the offerings and what they mean for future installations. One thing is heard loud and clear, Polycom isn’t simply relying on aging codecs (or the aging idea of codecs) for their long term product line – something that can excite us all.
Read More at Commercial Integrator
Inside the Creation of the Microsoft Surface Book
Lots to unpack here. First, Microsoft announced a laptop computer, or notebook if you will, which brings me to a good chuckle since they spent the last few years touting the Surface, Surface 2, Surface 3, etc. as “notebook killers.” Second, the-*simple message sent to Apple that they’re coming for them. From my vantage point they’re probably not going to catch them, but they’re coming for them. As a manufacturer of the device, and the software on the device, Microsoft is bringing their voice to the marketplace. I like the idea of the Microsoft Surface Book, I just wish they would have fixed Windows 10 first. Mashable has an incredible account of the ideas and the engineering that went into this sleek device.
Read More at Mashable
Where Will PRO AV be in 2020?
Pro AV has changed dramatically in just the last six years, if you really think about it. The industry went from welcoming the analog sunset and the death of VGA, to an immediate (and somewhat unnecessary) argument about chroma sampling and color depth in 4k and-*8k solutions. So what does pro AV look like another five years down the road, in 2020? Well, for starters it could be an almost $200 billion dollar industry by then (WOW). There’s some good insight, and some interesting predictions here for all to benefit from, especially since the projects we’re designing today will be ready for refresh by the year 2020.
Read More at AVNetwork
Consultants’ ‘Unaccountability Cloak’ Can’t Last Forever
Talk about a scathing headline, am I right? But also a true one. John Mayberry has a great article here, and a great larger point- the quality and consistency of consultant specifications have gone down, and not just a little, a lot. I review a lot of consultant specifications and I feel similar frustration here. Often times specs don’t match single lines, rooms created in specs/single lines that don’t show up on building plans, etc. Lack of critical information, including but not limited to cable type, or my favorite “network” cable when referencing any type of cat5/5e/6/6a/7 cable. Good consultants/firms are still a critical part of the industry, however, they’re few and far between and it always falls to every other entity to absorb the cost of re-engineering the system.
Read More at Sound and Communications
Comcast puts data cap on Unlimited Plans in Georgia*
*Not just in Georgia, but in several other states.
I honestly can’t fathom the business idea behind this. Customer satisfaction is down, people are ditching a portion of your services left and right (paid OTT television) and a large portion of your business is as obsolete as Nextel Telephones (landline telephony). Most companies would seek to reinvent themselves, offer more, attract customers and to some degree Comcast has done that as-*XFINITY is a cool tier with useful on-demand, navigation etc. Instead, Comcast has decided to cap users’ data and charge for overages. I used their handy calculator and it estimates I use roughly 450GB/month, which is astonishing since I’m only home 20 days a month. Here’s some more info, from them on this.
I’ve never been happier to not be a Comcast customer.

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