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Archimedia Journal February 2014

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Archimedia Journal February 2014

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Archimedia Journal February 2014

  1. 1. The Archimedia family would like to thank everyone who has made this past decade so memorable. From the many friends who have allowed us into their homes to the many more that will come, it’s been a pleasure helping you realize all your entertainment needs!  JOURNAL NEW HIRES & ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGES Alistair Levine Regional Director of Sales Elham Mogharbel Solutions Executive David Lintin Solutions Consultant Hashem Arafat Multimedia Designer Youstina Alfons Cad Designer Mina Shohdy Cad Designer Mina Maher Data Entry Specialist Halim Greiss Regional Director of Business Development Sherif Zaki Sales Manager Shereen Edward Regional Design Team Manager Shady Petro Operations Manager, Acting Sales Manager Mina Helmy Senior System Designer Adham Hany System Designer Sherif Amir Design Team Manager Adham Shahin Logistics Coordinator Sherif El Dahshan General Manager Shereen Edward Design Team Manager Shady Petro Operations Manager Ahmed Omar Solutions Consultant Sameh Fahmy Project Manager Mina Helmy Senior System Designer Ahmed Refai General Manager Adel El Defraoui Operations Manager Lloyd Esteban Project Coordinator Andy Gorospe Jr Technician DUBAI, UAE CERTIFIED PROFESSIONALS CAIRO, EGYPT Our Dubai showroom is currently un- dergoing renovation in order to better serve you and reflect the newest industry innovations. This complete overhaul will feature some incredible solutions never before on display in the region! Some of these additions will include a Reference Auro3D 13.1 private cinema, StarGlass screen projection system, dedicated 4K room and much more. We can’t wait to welcome you to our new experi- ence centre at the end of March. New Hires Organizational Changes Resignations Auro3D is a new surround sound format providing an audio immersion experience like never before.  In traditional surround sound, the speakers are arranged around the room at ear level based on where you are seated.  Auro3D adds an additional layer near the top portion of the ceiling, as well as a speaker directly above your listening position termed “Director’s Voice.” Sound Designers and Engineers, the people responsible for creating the soundtrack and audio environments for movies, now have incredible control over sound reproduction. This is not brin- ing you ‘closer to the movie’ this is literally putting you in the movie!    Hollywood has embraced this format so soon with already 18 major titles out and much more to come! Furthermore, all of your existing movies are capable of being played in virtual Auro3D through this incredible technology. Once you immerse yourself in such sound, you will never want to experience a movie without it. We all know that things keep getting smaller. A few weeks ago Google announced what is the lat- est manifestation of our shrinking world in Google Chromecast – much to the dismay of the World’s HDMI cable manufacturers. ‘Here we go again’ I hear you all say. Another classic Google ‘throw a technology out into the marketplace and see what happens’ device. Well, I think this one is different and a clear sign of the fight for content on our TVs. The Google Chromecast. The past five years have seen us go from a pure- ly over-the-airwaves-delivered TV experience, through devices that combine some over-the-air- ways-delivery with IP delivery, and now to the ab- solute acknowledgment that the future of all con- tent delivery is The Internet. Just look at the sort of companies at work here – Microsoft with the Xbox, Sony with the PlayStation, Apple with the AppleTV, and now, Google with the Chromecast. This isn’t Google’s first bite at the Apple either (pun absolutely intended). Does anyone remem- ber Google TV? If you don’t, fear not, because it was very flawed and few people have bought one. A key difference with Chromecast is price – it is US$35. This is low enough for most people to take a punt, and is as close as a hardware device gets to a ‘freemium’ model. It is also yet another sign that hardware no longer rules our world, but a combination of commercial deals for content, and software that does. Global IPTV Already, in the US, around a third of primetime downstream Internet traffic to the home is Net- flix, and a unique thing about the Netflix platform is how many hardware (that of course, are really computers in disguise running software) devices support it – the list of big players above all do. Add in Roku, Boxee and most ‘smart’ TVs, and in Net- flix we have the closest to a universally-accepted Global IPTV delivery platform as currently exists. Netflix accounts for a huge amount of peak time Internet traffic. Making it Easy for Our Clients As integrators, our job is to present these options to our clients in as easy, flexible and upgradeable way as is possible. How many of you regularly visit your clients with older systems to discuss how to take advantage of all the new content platforms? I would wager that today many of your clients are totally unaware of what is now available and would welcome being introduced to current and upcom- ing possibilities. You will, however, need to make some technical choices. There is no reason why a Chromecast cannot simply be plugged into an AVR or an HDMI matrix switch directly, thus acting as any other source component. The challenge, however, is to balance choice with ease of use. Picture the scenario where your client’s system has a smart TV (with Audio Return channel via HDMI enabled), a couple of games consoles, an Apple TV and a Chromecast. Here we potentially have five sources for the same Netflix content. Un- less managed correctly by you, the integrator, this leads to what I call ‘content fragmentation’ where a user is unsure of which platform delivers which content. Until the commercial landscape matures further, the reality is that there will not be a single all-en- compassing hardware device that supports all platforms. In the UK, I favour a Sky and Apple TV mix – if only there were discrete control commands that enable us to go straight to specific content apps on these boxes. This would enable our UIs to have buttons for content, rather than buttons for hardware. For now, we need to do as best a job as we can to manage our clients’ ability to watch the same content on multiple platforms. All the players dis- cussed want dominance of our living rooms. It en- ables their manufacturers to supplement declining hardware revenues with increasing revenues from IP-delivered content. Providing a Coherent Media Experience All of these manufacturers, to a certain extent, make their products part of a closed ecosystem that does not play well with other products. The physical and on-screen interfaces on a games console will be optimised for multidimensional gameplay rather than simple menu navigation. Al- though we can use these devices as a platform for video content, I’m not sure I would choose to at the moment, preferring the simple and elegant UI of an AppleTV. It doesn’t play games, yet, but paired with an Apple-ecosystem-friendly disk rip- per/server provides a compelling and relatively in- expensive solution. And don’t forget, we can still make money by engineering the robust Ethernet and 802.11x networks that these types of systems crave in order to work reliably. The Outclass server fits neatly into the Apple Ecosystem. Rather than these devices disintermediating(1) us, they provide an opportunity for upgrades as discussed above, as well as thoughtful integration to give our customers an integrated and coher- ent media experience. We must also never forget about performance. Most consumer-orientated IP-delivered content is far more compressed than Blu-ray, with a very noticeable difference in picture and sound quality as a result. It is simply wrong to engineer a projector based 7.1 cinema and then feed it with highly-compressed Internet-delivered content. Recently, Kaleides- cape announced a relatively (for them) affordable media server that can access a dedicated online store to download Blu-ray-quality movies. This is limited to the studios that they have so far done deals with, but provides the convenience of down- loads, with the quality of Blu-ray. The new Kaleidescape Cinema One media server can access a dedicated online store to download Blu-ray-quality movies. Conclusion We all need to understand, and to a certain ex- tent embrace, all of these content platforms. Don’t just scream ‘but I make no money on them!’ There is still the rest of the system to make a profit on. Embrace quality, simplify the complex and in all cases ensure that your customers understand and can access all of the Internet content available to them. (1) In economics, disintermediation is the removal of intermediaries in a supply chain, or ‘cutting out the middleman’. Instead of going through tradi- tional distribution channels, which had some type of intermediate (such as a distributor, retailer or integrator), companies may now deal with every customer directly, for example via the Internet. One important factor is a drop in the cost of servic- ing customers directly. This can happen in any in- dustry where distributors or resellers operate and the manufacturer wants to increase profit margins, therefore missing out intermediaries to increase their margins. Peter Aylett is a world-renowned speaker and lec- turer in residential technology, and the Technical Director at Archimedia, a multinational high-end residential integrator in The Middle East. He is also currently Chair of CEDIA’s International Technolo- gy Council Applied Content Action Team, and a regular contributor to HiddenWires. We’re thrilled to announce that Archimedia CEO Omar Hikal has joined the CEDIA Board of Direc- tors. CEDIA is the world’s leading trade association of companies specializing in home theater in- stallation, planning, home theater design, whole-house integration and energy efficiency systems. We employ more CEDIA certified professionals than all other companies in the region combined.Omar Hikal joins CEDIA’s Board of Directors Archimedia would like to welcome Lloyd’s new baby girl “Lloraine Abrielle” * She was born on January 11 NEW BABY!NEW BABY! We’re Renovating! DUBAI SHOWROOM By Peter Aylett, Archimedia. The Fight for Control of Your Living Room Entertainment FOLLOW US THE ONLY 3D AUDIO SYSTEM THAT’S FAST, EASY & UNIVERSALLY COMPATIBLE 3D3DAURO DUBAI CAIRO RIYADH CASABLANCA BEIRUT www.archimedia-me.com FACEBOOK | www.facebook.com/ArchimediaME TWITTER | www.twitter.com/archimediaMe

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