Category Archives: Technology

Falcons Debut ‘Halo Board’

Eye-popping 360-degree display highlights New Mercedes Benz Stadium

By Mark R. Smith from TV Technology

ATLANTA—After getting an eyeful of the massive main video boards that have been featured in new ballparks and stadia in recent years, sports fans had to wonder what the next step would be by the time Atlanta’s techno-cool Mercedes-Benz Stadium—which is billed as the most technologically advanced stadium in the world—opens this month.

The new Halo Board in Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta is a 360-degree, 62,000-square-foot circular
testament to technological fortitude.

The wonder was how much bigger a video display can get before it intrudes on the actual game that’s happening beneath it. But the crew and the contractors at AMB Group, the parent company of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, made that sentiment a moot point while going even bigger with a new idea.

For when the fans look toward the heavens when the Falcons need a dramatic score to win a game, they can send their prayers through Mercedes-Benz Stadium’s (here it comes…) “Halo Board.”

While video displays have been created in various shapes and sizes in recent years, this ensemble is a 360-degree, 62,000-square-foot circular testament to technological fortitude—under a roof that opens like a camera lens and is modeled after the Roman Pantheon. It will offer Falcon fans some interesting opportunities to share video and information, exercise the imagination and sell advertising.

NEW SENSATION
While the Halo Board in Mercedes-Benz Stadium isn’t the first circular-type screen—the outdoor board at Barclays Center in Brooklyn is similar, albeit much smaller and an irregular shape—it’s certainly something new.

“I haven’t seen anything of this magnitude,” said Tyler Jones, senior project manager with Daktronics, of the board that rests within the eight-section mega-circle of the roof that hangs under what’s known as the “Oculus.” He added that the company’s install outside of the Barclays Center gave it “something to draw on for the Atlanta project.”

That had to help the Brookings, S.D.- based company during the bidding process for the job, which commenced after the design of the stadium came back to the Falcons from HOK, a Kansas City, Mo.-based architectural firm.

“We were eventually awarded the job,” said Jones, “and there was a great deal of coordination with all of the people behind the team,” which included HOK Structural, then BuroHappold Engineering and IBM, the technical partner on the stadium that installed a passive optical network comprised of 3,770 miles of groundwork fiber cables.

The “Mega Column” vertical measures 101 feet tall by 71 feet wide.

Jones said Daktronics had “almost three dozen” workers on site; for the sake of comparison, that’s about two dozen more than the company needed five years ago to install the flat board in rightfield at Miami’s Marlins Park.


 

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Julio Jones torched the
Green Bay Packers for 180 yards and 2 TDs in the 2017 NFC Championship game.

 

The primary broadcasters for each conference in the NFL have a basic deal when a new stadium opens: If the new venue is in an American Football Conference (AFC) city, carrier CBS Sports oversees the new approach to the broadcasts; if it’s the NFC (National Football Conference), Fox Sports handles that duty.

That means that, in recent seasons, the gang at Fox Sports has had its hands full, with new stadia debuting in the Dallas, New York (where the NFC Giants share MetLife Stadium with the AFC Jets), San Francisco, Minnesota and now Atlanta
markets.


“Each stadium represents a new hallmark,” said Michael Davies, senior vice president of field operations for the NFL on Fox.

And that can call for new angles to be taken when broadcasting from the new venues. “When you think about a facility, from a TV perspective, camera positions haven’t changed that much,” Davies said, “but your look angles have to be good, which can be a challenge with field level suites being built along the low angles and within the common viewing area,” which has been the case in Dallas and is now the case in Atlanta.

The other issue, he said, is that the stadium designers wants to put the fans right on top of the action, but can go about doing so in different ways.
“If you’re watching a game in Dallas”―which is home to two 160-foot by 72-foot Mitsubishi screens, which each span 60 yards―“you’re watching TV, basically,” he said with a laugh, noting that setup is said to be equivalent to a 68-inch screen in a living room. “In Atlanta, they are blending the TV experience and a football experience a little bit more.”
With the Halo Board in Mercedes Benz Stadium located just under the roof and the Mega Column providing an exclamation point in an end zone, Davies seemed mainly concerned with the positioning along the sidelines of the LED ribbon boards.

The key in these situations, he said, is for the builders to keep an eye cast to the future when designing the guts of new facility.

 “These places will be around for the next 20-to-30 years,” he said. “For instance, there is very little copper in [Mercedes Benz Stadium]; it’s almost all fiber. There also have to be parking and loading areas for the trucks of the future.
“They have to be sure that they know that we have to prepare,” said Davies, “for what we don’t know yet.”


As far the construction of the Halo Board is concerned, its shape wasn’t quite the challenge one might think. “We can make the boards about any shape that is needed,” Jones said, “since 14.4 inches per square is our standard and we build around that. Within the Halo, the squares run 48 high and 896 wide,” totaling more than 43,000 squares.

Within the Halo, Daktronics also developed a 277V power option specific to the board, in lieu of the normal 120V power supply. “That allowed the Falcons to forgo using a number of smaller transformers,” said Jones, noting that it is embedded within the display.

The manufacturing process for the Halo Board began at Brookings headquarters in mid-October and ran until early February, and required the talents of more than 100 people to build; the install began in May, with that type of lead time necessary when Daktronics “had 616 pieces to mount in the stadium roof,” Jones said.

IN THE CORNER
Not lost in the buzz about the Halo Board is the “Mega Column,” which rests in the east corner of the stadium, by the massive end zone window that gives fans a panorama of the Atlanta skyline. The vertical display, which measures 101 feet tall by 71 feet wide, wraps around three of the four corners of that column.

“The information technology staff told me that the column has more square footage than the main boards in 17 other NFL stadiums,” Jones said, and it is fully visible to passersby outside the venue.

There is no end zone board on the east or west sides of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which does include Daktronics ProRail ribbon boards on its north and south sides. They act as the railing for the upper deck and are topped with glass and handrails.

Mike Meglathery, senior project manager for broadcast systems integrator Diversified, described setting up the Halo Board as “technically challenging” for various reasons, not the least of which was obviously its size, which he termed “the equivalent of 12.5 video screens in a circle at 60 feet high, but it’s also a quarter-mile around.

“The biggest challenge was driving an image that can go all the way around it with pixel accuracy and synchronously,” he said. “We had to get all of the boards in sync.”

The Halo Board also required a “first of its kind graphics system” from Ross Video, the Tessera platform, which was developed for the Falcons and designed to offer enhanced IP video routing and connectivity.

The two million square-foot Mercedes Benz Stadium can hold up to 71,000 football fans. Modeled after the Roman Pantheon, it features a roof that opens like a camera lens.

Gus Drosos, technical principal at HOK, Kansas City, also noted the unusual approach that all involved had to take at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. “We had a tall structure” to address, meaning the 14.5-acre roof “was 198 feet above the ground. It became apparent that if we used that real estate to integrate a smooth ellipse, we could create a ‘theatre-in-the-round’ to give the fans a full immersive experience.”

Drosos said that, initially, what became the Halo Board “was segmented, but as we worked with the Falcons, it became apparent that making it round would work.” Thus was the establishmsent of a 70-foot tall board, “with a 10-foot gap on top until you hit the flat roof would work.

“We saw the Halo Board as an opportunity to take the scoreboard out of the line of sight,” he said, and the Falcons “were excited about the possibilities of the board, because the team’s video operators can drive a car or bounce a ball around it. No one has done this, so there is an evolution of ideas going on. The potential for what they can do with this board is unprecedented.”

THE POSSIBILITIES
Drosos also mentioned a social media angle for the display. With a new stadium that features 1,800 wireless access points that allow 75,000 fans to stream concurrently, “wouldn’t it be cool if the team [and the NFL, which would have to set up a protocol] let the fans use social media and integrate them into the Halo Board, or offer them specials?” he mused. “What does this present for other activities? Can you play video games on it? Could you potentially put something on 3D on it and give fans special glasses, if the technology can allow that?”

Jones noted that “the most important thing I learned from this project was that the communication between the architects and designers, as well as the contractors and those who worked in manufacturing, was especially important. That’s what made this happen.

“It’s pushed us forward,” he added, “because there will be more interest in this type of video application. Stadiums are trying to push the envelope and we’re anticipating more interest in this type of design as we move forward.”

Meglathery agreed. “It’s stunning what it does and it will elevate the in-stadium fan experience. This the showpiece video board for America at this point.”

Mobile internet use passes desktop for the first time!

More users around the world are accessing the internet from mobile devices than from desktop computers for the first time, according to internet monitoring firm StatCounter. The combined traffic from mobile and tablet devices tipped the balance at 51.2 percent, vs. 48.7 percent for desktop access, marking the first time this has happened since StatCounter began tracking stats for internet usage.

It’s a huge moment for the web overall: this means going forward, companies that haven’t yet decided to focus on a mobile-first approach to their internet services and web properties really should, as the trend line is unlikely to reverse.

StatCounter also found that the maturity of the market impacts which is the dominant means of access, and as you might have guessed, mobile platforms are far and away the method of choice for internet access when it comes to emerging markets like India, where they account for 75 percent of use. More mature markets including the UK, the US and Ireland still see use swinging in favor of desktop, but the trend is still showing a narrowing gap.

internet_usage_2009_2016_ww

This is not surprising news, given other recent milestones. In April last year, for instance, comScore found that the number of internet users who employ mobile platforms exclusively has surpassed those who only connect via desktop in the US (this doesn’t consider users who access via both methods). And Google revealed that more searches through its engine are being conducted via mobile platforms than on desktop as of last May.

This may have been a long time coming, but it’s still astounding how many major brands (including possibly our own) favor the desktop first and prioritize mobile web second. Maybe now that this tipping point has been achieved, that will start to change a lot faster.

5 Awesome Things You Can Do With Google Cardboard

Google Cardboard turns your smartphone into a full-on virtual reality device without the high price tag. It’s made out of exactly what you’d expect, but its pieces come together to hold your smartphone in front of your face for use with VR apps.

RELATED: The 17 Coolest Things We Saw at CES

With your phone acting as the display and your homemade headset holding it in the right place, Google Cardboard presents itself as a lower-impact Oculus Rift. There are a variety of Cardboard-style headsets available for purchase from the official Google Cardboard website. Some are fancier than others, but you can expect to pay $20–$30 for your own. (May we recommend the Star Wars-themed Cardboard?) After punching out the pieces and putting it all together, there are a number of apps to use that respond to head motions, immersing the wearer in a virtual reality landscape. These apps feature a designated “Works With Google Cardboard” logo so you know that they are specialized.

The Cardboard-compatible apps are cataloged on this page of the Google Play store, and they run the gamut. Titans of Space is a virtual reality tour of our solar system and outer space. A game called WAA! immerses you in a field of asteroids. Sisters presents itself as a terrifying ghost story game, and for the more utility-minded, an app called Tilt Brush Gallery lets you view sketches in 3D. This only scratches the surface, but they all serve the same purpose: to transport the app’s user to some place that is otherwise completely impossible to get to. With that in mind, here are five cool things you can do with Google Cardboard.

RELATED: Virtual Reality Check

Take 360-degree photos and send them to friends.

The camera in your smartphone is all you need to generate an immersive virtual reality-style photograph that someone can pan and scan through from their own Cardboard setup. Google’s proprietary photo app will stitch together the many photos required to make an entirely 360-degree experience, and it will even record live audio from the scene you’re capturing.

Read the paper in an entirely new way.

The NYT VR app provides users with news stories in virtual reality format “every month or so.” Content is one of the most obvious things to be reinvented by virtual reality technology, and the New York Times is one of the first media companies to get serious about being ready to have serious offerings when VR proliferates.

Disappear inside virtual game worlds.

Whether you’re investigating the spooky scenes of Insidious Chapter 3 or falling out of the sky in Caaaaardboard!, Cardboard can embed you in a daydream escape fantasy taking place on your smartphone screen. Just don’t let your boss catch you using it at work.

Explore the real world.

Browsing Google Street View through virtual reality goggles is sure to be nostalgic or adventurous depending on where you decide to “go.” Tour your old hometown, or brave the freezing temps of Antarctica from the comfort of your current home. An app called Orbulus zooms in on destinations of note, allowing you to explore everything from the Sydney Opera House to Paris at night.

Watch regular media in a new way.

An app called VR Cinema renders your stored video into split-screen format compatible for VR hardware, like Cardboard.

Instagram Marketing: Is It Right For Your Business?

Is Instagram Marketing Right for Your Business?

For years, Facebook and Twitter have been the standard go-to’s for social media marketing. However, over the last few years there has been a palpable change in the digital landscape. The demographics of social media sites are starting to shift as new platforms begin to emerge. And as Facebook and Twitter invest more heavily in paid advertising, businesses are having a more difficult time getting organic exposure on these sites. All of this is leading many businesses to wonder if they should start casting their digital marketing nets a little wider. (Spoiler alert: most of them should.)

In a particularly telling sign of the times, in September 2015 Instagram surpassed Twitter in number of users, making it the second most used social media platform behind Facebook. Those kinds of numbers are hard to ignore and this stunning growth is part of the reason that people are starting to eye Instagram as the next great place to market their business. So how do you know if it’s right for you?

Instagram Marketing: Why It’s Awesome

While we’re firm believers that there’s no one-size-fits all answer when it comes to social media marketing, there are a few general rules of thumb that you can use to decide if Instagram is a good fit for your business. But first, let’s take look at a quick rundown of what makes Instagram marketing so great.

1. The Future is Mobile — and so is Instagram.

For years now the growing importance of mobile has been at the top of the list for every forecast of marketing trends — and we’ve finally reached the tipping point. As of 2015, not only is the time spent on mobile media (51%) significantly higher than that of desktop (42%), but there are now nearly twice as many mobile-only users (19.1%) as there are desktop only users (10.8%). Mobile is no longer just a growing a trend. It has become the primary way that Internet users are accessing online content.

This gives Instagram marketing a huge advantage over its top three competitors, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Unlike the other major social media platforms, Instagram was originally conceived as an app. Although the other social media heavyweights have invested heavily in their mobile apps, it’s difficult (if not impossible) for a platform that was originally created for desktop to have an app that functions as seamlessly and intuitively as a platform that is native to mobile. Just a quick side-by-side comparison of any of the major social media apps compared to the Instagram app makes this point abundantly clear. While other apps struggle with endless updates to more elegantly integrate multiple pages and menus, Instagram’s simple, stripped-down interface makes it easy and intuitive for mobile users.

Now that mobile is the primary digital media being used by consumers, it’s likely that emerging social media platforms will be mobile natives as well. While Instagram is perfectly positioned to take on that new competition, the platforms that were originally conceived for desktops are going to feel increasing pressure. In short, if you’re looking to invest in a social media strategy that will continue to have an impact over the long-term, Instagram should be a part of that strategy.

Instagram Marketing Mobile

2. Your posts are more likely to be seen.

The great thing about Instagram marketing is that as you gain followers you know that they are actually following you. While Facebook and Twitter give users the ability to prevent posts from certain accounts from showing up their feeds, Instagram has no such functionality. If a user doesn’t want to see your content anymore, they have to unfollow you. This means that you can be sure that your content will appear in 100% of your followers feeds, greatly increasing the chances that they will actually see it.

Ensuring that your posts are being seen has become particularly difficult on Facebook. Not only does Facebook allow users to have a high degree of control over the content that appears in their NewsFeed, but the Facebook algorithm automatically curates each profile’s NewsFeed based on their connections and interactions. This means that if your followers don’t immediately and consistently engage with your content, chances are they will stop seeing it.

To make things more difficult for marketers and business owners, as Facebook increasingly invests in its advertising services, business pages are finding it more and more difficult to reach their followers organically (i.e. for free). While Instagram has introduced ads on the platform, thus far there has been no indication that they intend to treat the content posted by business profiles any differently than they have in the past, making Instagram marketing still your best bet for getting your content in front of your audience.

3. Instagram leads the pack for engagement.

It’s not enough to just be sharing your content — it needs to make an impact. Shares, likes, RTs, and +1’s are all indicators of how engaged your audience is with your content. The more you have your follower’s attention, the more opportunities there are to get your message out, build brand awareness, and engage in some killer PR. If leveraged correctly, these social signals can even pack a serious SEO punch. That’s why engagement is the Holy Grail of social media marketing.

Instagram’s clean, streamlined interface, judicious incorporation of ads, and focus on visual content creates an intimate atmosphere that is optimal for social sharing. So it’s no wonder why, when it comes to engagement, Instagram is the industry leader. While the exact numbers can be hard to quantify, estimates suggest that Instagram users are 58 times more likely to like, comment, or share a brand’s post than Facebook users and 120 times more likely than Twitter users. Those numbers are huge and they can make an equally huge difference for your business.

Instagram Marketing Engagement

4. Businesses can brand themselves through visual storytelling.

Have you ever heard of an elevator pitch? The general idea is this: you’re the CEO of a startup or a salesperson trying to drum up new business and all of sudden you find yourself in an elevator with exactly the investor or the contact that you’d like to do business with. Basically, you have 30 to 90 seconds to tell this person what your company does and why they should want to work with you and you have to do it in a way that is interesting and compelling enough that the elevator ride ends with you getting a meeting and not an uncomfortable brush off. It’s as tricky as it sounds.

It’s also a great analogy for building your audience online, only instead of an investor you’re pitching Internet users and instead of 90 seconds you have 2 — maybe. This is where the visual storytelling aspects of Instagram marketing become a huge advantage. They say a picture is worth 1000 words and they’re right. You could probably sum up why the company you work for is so cool in 1000 words, but no one would stick around to read it. Or you could post a picture of your latest rooftop office party or your “workation” in Mexico and tell the same story in an instant.

How to Know If Your Business Should Be On Instagram

So you get that Instagram is awesome, but you’re still not sold on the idea that it’s right for your business. The truth is that despite the many advantages of Instagram marketing, it still doesn’t necessarily make sense for every business. Here’s a few rules of thumb that can help you know if it’s time for your business to take the plunge:

Your target audience is young. Approximately 90% of Instagram’s 400 million users are under the age of 35. Compare this to Twitter (where 55% of users are over 35) and Facebook (where 65% of users are over 35). The truth is that it doesn’t matter how great your product and your message are if you aren’t using the right channels to reach your audience. Trying to connect with young people on Facebook is like trying to text someone with a fax machine — it’s just not going to work.

Your product is visually compellingInstagram marketing is all about visuals. Maybe you’re a travel agency that books luxury vacations or maybe you’re a company that builds sweet custom bikes. Whoever you are, if you are selling something that people are going to want to see, you need to be on Instagram.

Your competitors are on Instagram. If you haven’t yet, you should definitely check to see if your competitors are doing Instagram marketing. Even if you still think at this point that Instagram isn’t right for your business, if your competitors are already there and developing a following, chances are that they know something you don’t. Poke around in their profiles and try to figure out what it is, then get to work building a better version in your own profile.

If you think you can tell a visual story about your business — or you are trying to target a younger audience — Instagram needs to be part of your social media marketing strategy.

Are you ready to take the plunge with Instagram market, but looking to outsource social media? We’ve got a couple of pricing guides you might be interested in, both for professional social media marketing tools and small business social media marketing.

RIP Internet Explorer (1995-2015). We Knew Ye All Too Well

Microsoft Internet Explorer, a browser familiar to many and loved by few, passed away today after a long illness. It was 19 years old.

Bowing to the inevitable, Microsoft admitted today that it had decided to remove IE from life support. (IE will, however, continue to receive tech support through at least 2016.) IE is survived by Windows, Office, and the Microsoft Mouse.

RIP Internet Explorer (1995-2015). We Knew Ye All Too Well

Photo: YouTube

At its height, Internet Explorer — known unaffectionately as IE — dominated the Internet like no other software, accounting for 95 percent of all website visits. In recent times, however, IE’s popularity waned, thanks to the rise of powerful rivals and a long string of security mishaps. But even at the time of IE’s death, one in four Web surfers were using it as their browser of choice.

Microsoft marketing chief Chris Capossela says it was a heart-wrenching decision for all concerned.

“Many of us here on the Redmond campus loved IE. Yes, he was a cad and a scoundrel and a bit of a loose cannon, and the end got mighty ugly, but he was one of me own kind,” Capossela said, inexplicably breaking into a heavy Irish brogue.*

*This didn’t actually happen.

The early years

Internet Explorer 1.0 started life as a rebranded version of Spyglass Mosaic, itself based loosely on a browser developed by Marc Andreessen when he worked at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. It emerged into the world on Aug. 16, 1995.

By then, Andreessen already had his own commercial version of NCSA Mosaic, called Netscape. Like brothers separated at birth, the two browsers became intense rivals over the next four years. When Netscape introduced JavaScript, Microsoft countered with Cascading Style Sheets. Both companies continually upped the ante, creating the most intense head-to-head competition ever seen in the technology world.

Then matters threatened to turn violent. Microsoft CEO Bill Gates’s vow to “crush” Netscape formed a key piece of evidence in the Department of Justice’s 1998 antitrust suit against Microsoft. Fearing for its life, Netscape chose to enter the witness protection program, becoming part of AOL in 1999. It has not been seen since.

Rise and fall

For years, IE’s domination of the browser market remained unchallenged, and the pace of browser innovation ground to a halt. But IE’s meteoric rise was matched by an equally precipitous fall.

In 2004, a new rival emerged: Firefox. Based on code created by the old Netscape team, it was the first browser to pose a credible threat to IE. Four years later, Google released Chrome, another nimble alternative for Web surfers. Both free browsers slowly began to eat away at IE’s market share.

Then the security scandals hit. In 2006, researchers identified hundreds of vulnerabilities that could allow rogue websites to steal information or take control of users’ computers. PC World magazine named IE 6 the eighth-worst product of all time and “the least secure software on the planet.” In 2008, the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) recommended turning off the ActiveX controls inside IE because of security concerns. In August 2014, CERT told users to ditch IE entirely until it was patched.

image

Photo: ZDNet

There were regulatory battles as well. To comply with a European Union antitrust ruling, Microsoft was forced to release a version of Windows without IE in June 2009. Those loading Windows 7 were able to choose from among a dozen browser alternatives. The browser ballot program concluded last December.

The final days

By this time, IE had plummeted from a commanding lead to a distant second or third place in the browser market, lagging well behind Chrome in nearly every survey. Even reports showing that IE 10 was actually more secure than its browser rivals could not forestall the inevitable.

If not universally mourned, IE will be long remembered for its many contributions to browser technology as well as for bringing Web surfing to the masses.

In lieu of flowers, Microsoft requests well-wishers to please support Project Spartan, the new and allegedly much-improved browser set to debut in Windows 10 later this year.

Why & How You Should Integrate Online & Offline Marketing

Use online marketing to improve the effectiveness of offline ads. by Peter Roseler 

It’s important for business owners and marketers to avoid the trap of binary thinking. Often, advice to business owners is given in black and white terms. For example, some study will show that email marketing is better than direct mail marketing or a business guru will write about why business owners should only use internet marketing. However, reality is rarely so simple. The truth is, most businesses will need a combination of multiple marketing strategies and tactics to maximize the potential of their advertising and marketing. This article will show why and how business owners should integrate their online and offline marketing campaigns.

Internet Marketing and Television
Though television advertising and marketing were unrivaled ways to reach consumers for decades, the growth of internet video demands a change in tactics from marketers. A business owner that only uses TV ads to reach their target audience may be surprised to learn that many members of their target audience watch far less TV than they think.

According to some estimates, 84 percent of internet users worldwide watch videos online. More than half of millennials watch TV shows on a tablet, desktop computer, or smartphone. Recently, comScore reported that nearly half of households with three or more people subscribe to Netflix. The report also found that 17 percent of millennials watch no original TV series on traditional TV sets. And that Americans aged 18-34 are 77 percent more likely than average to live in households that have never had pay TV.

These statistics show marketers can’t depend on TV ads to be catch all advertising channel it was in the past. In fact, no form of advertising medium is anymore. In order to reach modern audiences, need to integrate internet marketing tactics to reach more of their target audience. For example, millennials watch more YouTube than any network or cable channel. So using banner or video ads on YouTube is an effective way to reach people who don’t watch as much TV programming as others. Similarly, advertising on social media can help business owners reach targeted audiences with their marketing message.

Internet Marketing and Radio
Though it’s one of the oldest forms of mass media still in use, radio remains a useful and profitable tool for marketers. According to a recent study from Nielsen, 59 percent of US music listeners listen to traditional or online radio. Even in the digital age, there are advantages radio gives that are difficult to duplicate digitally. For example, radio remains the best way to reach consumers as they commute. Which makes radio marketing a great way to reach local consumers with relevant ads. This has been borne out by recent data. In a different study, Nielsen reported that radio ads drive 5.8 percent of US retail sales. Keep in mind that more ad dollars are spent on TV, internet, and print ads than on radio ads, so 5.8 percent represents a pretty good return on investment. Put another way, each dollar of radio ad spend generates an average sales return of $6.

Internet radio exists, but it’s not as widely used as traditional radio. Even among millennials, traditional radio is extremely popular. According to one report, 70 percent of Americans ages 18-34 listen to network radio each week. Additionally, about 71 percent of them have annual household incomes over $75,000. Internet radio apps are used a lot, but they aren’t pulling these kinds of number yet. This gap will likely shrink with time and it illustrates why marketers need to integrate their campaigns.

Running ads entirely on radio will give marketers a good portion of the local commuter audience, but a growing number of people will get their morning music and news from an app. Using banner ads that are available on generic apps or the specific audio and visual apps possible on internet radio apps helps to ensure that marketers reach a larger percentage of their target audience. .

Internet Marketing and Print Media
Newspaper and magazines have suffered a lot due to rise of internet technology. While some commentators are quick to declare print media dead and that our grandkids will consider a physical newspaper as strange as a scroll of papyrus, the truth is that there remains a value to print media that digital sources can’t completely replace. According to Harris Interactive, 69 percent of US adults trust their local newspapers. This trust in the medium can translate into action. According to Nielsen, 54 percent of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from a newspaper or magazine ad. Even national businesses recognize the usefulness of print media for local advertising. About 43 percent of national businesses use newspapers for local promotions.

Integrating internet marketing with print media is relatively simple. This can be as simple as including websites and email addresses in print ads or including print coupons for specials that are available online. Just because people use the internet doesn’t mean they don’t use of the sources for infromation A study from Shop.org also found that 63 percent of US internet users have used a coupon from a newspaper or magazine. It also helps to include traditional media sources when distributing press releases, instead of solely relying on online distribution. Though it’s easy to get a press released published somewhere online, if the intended audience is local, it’s beneficial to get the news, product, or event covered by the local news media as well. As the Nielsen study showed, people would be more receptive of the information, which can help when introducing a new product line or brand.

The growth of various forms of media have created an environment where there is no longer a catchall form of marketing that will reach every audience, not even the internet. In order for business owners to get the maximum reach and effectiveness of their marketing tactics, they will need to use an integrated campaign. Merging online and offline marketing strategies in the ways mentioned above, is a good way for businesses to increase revenue.

The Awesome Power of Mobile Devices for Local Marketing!

by Peter Roesler

Understanding consumer behavior is an important part of marketing. The way business owner see and expect from consumer behavior is shown by their actions. These beliefs about consumer behavior are normally based hearsay and intuition, since small business owners usually lack the resources need for large-scale consumer expectations survey. A new study from the Local Search Association does a lot of the heavy lifting by showing how consumers use their mobile devices.  This article will review some of the major takeaways from this study and how marketers can use them.

The information comes from a collaboration between Burke, Inc. and the Local Search Association based on 2013 statistics from their annual “Local Media Tracking Study,” The study analyzed the reach of various local media sources across computer/laptop, mobile phone/smartphone and netbook/tablet.

The study is based on interviews with 8,000 U.S. adults conducted online and by phone. The Local Search Association recently released infographics that highlight data that shows more consumers turn to mobile devices when seeking, discovering or considering local business information.

The main takeaway for marketers from this information is that mobile marketing is becoming the prefered channel for many consumers who would once have used desktops and laptops to learn about and engage with companies. This means that mobile marketing isn’t bringing in entirely new customers by reaching people who were previously unreachable. The growth in mobile device usage correlates with a decline in desktop and laptop usage.

To illustrate, the percentage of people using computers and laptops for searching for local products and services dropped from 80 percent to 73 percent between 2012 and 2013. On the other hand,le mobile device usage increased from 25 percent to 34 percent and netbook/tablet usage rose from 6 percent to 11 percent.

It also important to note that desktops are still the most preferred source for looking up information. However, the clear trend is that desktop computing is becoming less important as mobile marketing grows. Also, searches through mobile devices are more likely to lead to a sale. Searches from mobile devices were more than 20 percent more likely to result in a local purchase. According to the research, 78 percent of mobile phone searches led to a local purchase, compared to 61 percent for desktops and laptops.

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One of the reasons mobile marketing is becoming so important relates to the technology involved. While there are certainly new technology for TV and radio advertising, mobile devices offer the greatest advantage to marketers.

“As customer touchpoints expand, retailers continue to investigate other ways to diversify their marketing spend, including budgeting for increased spend for text advertisements, display ads, social, and attribution models,” said Shop.org Executive Director Vicki Cantrell.

Cantrell’s comments fit in with another takeaway from the Local Search Association study. The study found that why search was easily the most popular reason people were drawn to a retailer, there were a lot of marketing options that each brought in a significant amount of business to a company. Mobile marketing can easily be integrated with these other tactics so business owners can offer coupons, use email marketing, promote content on social media and more.

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This research shows why mobile marketing is so important to small and local business. When looking at long-term trends, it’s clear that mobile devices will become more important than desktops and laptops in the future. Also, the best way to reach a large number of consumers is to a use a diversified marketing strategy. Mobile marketing can help with this because these devices can be used as platforms for email, social and content marketing.

Forget Ultra HD: 8K is closer than you think

Sure just when I was going to purchase a 4K Camera I read this….

Enjoy this article by Steve May  – Why Japanese broadcaster NHK believes Ultra HD is just a stepping stone to bigger and better things….

2014 is fast shaping up to be the year of eight million pixels. Full HD, now ubiquitous on TVs at every price point and served up by more than 60 channels, finally has something to look up to. 4K resolution displays, built for those with really deep pockets, are finally becoming a reality. January’s International CES was a galvanising launch pad for these next-generation screens.

But 4K’s time in the spotlight could prove short-lived. An upstart upgrade is already impatiently waiting in the wings, and at least one major broadcaster believes it makes more sense to skip 4K altogether.

Pixel warfare

After 3D and Smart connectivity, everyone is talking about pixels again. Indeed, competition to drive resolution up is breaking out on display platforms large and small. For TV makers this buzz can’t come soon enough. Next-generation displays put business-saving value back into the marketplace. All the industry has to do is work out a way to sell them.

Shawn DuBravac, director of research for the Consumer Electronics Association, concedes that ‘4K is not really a product that’s applicable to everyone,’ but is optimistic that ‘consumers seeking a very rich visual experience… will want to make that move upwards as quickly as possible.’

A stumbling block to the 4K roll-out is the lack of native content. In the short term there’s been a 4K upgrade to the PS3’s PlayMemories Studio software, which makes it a lot more convenient to view still images at 3,840 X 2,160. A longer term solution involves the recently rubber-stamped new HEVC (for High Efficiency Video Coding) codec. Designed as the long-term replacement for H.264, HEVC will almost certainly be employed when SES begins a 4K Astra test satellite channel (probably this year or next), and is the obvious choice for the next evolution of the Blu-ray standard (if studios give it their blessing).

Equally hampering development has been the lack of a 4K HDMI output standard. While high-speed HDMI cables can take 4K in their stride, the HDMI interface at the source end has been inconveniently ignored. Atushi Matsui, one of the leading engineers at Panasonic responsible for the brand’s prosumer HDC-Z10000 3D camcorder, which employs a 4K pixel-shifted image sensor, says development of native 4K consumer products has been hampered because of this hiccup.

8K dawning

But even as the world’s biggest TV makers work out how best to package 4K, Japanese state broadcaster NHK has been talking up its replacement. 8K Super Hi Vision offers an image 16 x more detailed than HD. At 33 megapixels it inflates the envelope of human visual acuity, and then pops it with a loud bang.

Dr Keiichi Kubota, NHK’s Executive DG of Engineering (below), told HCC that progress with 8K has been so rapid that they’ve now decided to leapfrog 4K as a transmission standard altogether: ‘It took two decades to take hi-def from the lab to public demos. We’ve made the same progress with Super Hi-Vision in half the time,’ he says. ‘Our experts have set a target date of 2020 for experimental broadcasts, but there’s the possibility of bringing this forward. We want to begin as soon as possible.’

The ETA of Super Hi Vision actually hangs on Tokyo’s bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games. Should the city win, then NHK will bring wide-scale trials forward to 2016.

Dr Kubota concedes that panel makers have to move to 4K as a business imperative in the meantime, but says firmly that ‘NHK has no plans 
to use 4K. We will move directly to an 8K system.’ 
The engineering chief insists it makes little financial sense to begin an expensive 4K upgrade of broadcast infrastructure when 8K is so near. ‘It would mean another big investment, and we can’t afford to do that. So we’ve decided not to take a step-by-step approach. Will go directly to 8K.’

NHK, in conjunction with the BBC, used the London Olympic Games as a field trial for 8K, and the resulting footage astonished all those who saw it, including us. NHK describes the technology as uniquely immersive. ‘This kind of advanced system gives us an unrivalled sense of presence,’ says Kubota. ‘It enables a viewing experience that is as close to reality as possible.’ Primitive cultures once believed that a camera could capture the soul in an image. 8K actually does.

NHK has been developing Super Hi Vision since the mid-nineties. ‘At that time we had just started digital HD broadcasting [in Japan],’ I’m told. ‘Our scientists were wondering what to do next…’

First-generation Super Hi Vision ‘cameras’ were essentially movable equipment racks tethered to 
a lens. ‘Our crew used the original 80kg Super Hi-Vision camera to film a mother and her child playing in the back yard of our laboratory,’ he reveals. ‘Since then we’ve made crucial advances.’ Today, the latest Hitachi 8K shooter weighs a mere 4kg and can be shoulder mounted for use much like any other piece of pro video gear.

Dr Kubota admits not all broadcasters are as keen as NHK to pursue 8K, but he says there is solid interest from the BBC, Italian broadcaster RAI and the big American networks. Just as with 4K, it’s the HEVC codec which is central to getting 8K out of the R&D ghetto. Indeed, the man from NHK says that HEVC is so efficient it will even allow 8K to be streamed across the internet, which could change everything.

Even so, he maintains that there will be the need for an 8K turbo-charged disc format to accompany it. ‘NHK may predominantly be a broadcaster,’ he says, ‘but our subsidiary company sells Blu-ray discs of NHK programmes. I’m sure the same thing will happen with the Super Hi Vision system. We will produce 8k programmes for broadcasting over terrestrial and satellite channels and our subsidiary will make an 8K disc version for home use.’

Dr Kubota also reveals that the system’s expansive 22.2 sound system (below) is being adapted for home use. ‘Our audio expert is working on that right now,’ he continues. ‘22.2 speakers is too much in the living room, so we’re working out how to reduce the number of speakers, but retain almost the same effect – we’re developing a new type of down-mixing technology.’ He adds that even a 7.1 physical speaker deployment may be unnecessary: ‘We’re thinking 5.1 or even less…’

Still frame sequence shot in raw 8K bounced to 4K to You Tube. Blow this up and it still looks spectacular, almost like it’s computer generated!


Don’t forget to use 2160 4k = setting!

BASIC 3 POINT LIGHTING FOR VIDEO & FILM

Poorly lit scenes can leave your project looking flat and lifeless. But if you can get the lighting right, it will help establish a tone, and bring the depth and texture to your footage. In this segment, we talk about the basics of 3 and 4-point lighting including key lights, fill lights, backlights and set lights. Plus, some insight into hard light and soft light, and high key and low key lighting styles. Knowing the fundamentals of basic lighting setups can help breathe life into bland scene.

Creating the Film Noire Look (High and Low Key Lighting)

Color Temperature and Lighting

Gels and Diffusion: Everything You Should Know

Creating online awareness with video slide shows and HD Templates!

Video is still the most popular media that is viewed on the internet. Giving that everyone is turning to online video…. a good video is the most effective way to educate the user about your product or help promote your business. This video slide show produced by Kelsey Media Productions features a variety of Valentine’s Day Cupcakes from Nancy The Cupcake Lady located in Bellmore, New York.

We recommend our custom templates to clients because it’s fast and easy to add professional, customizable motion graphics to a project. These high quality Animated HD Video Templates can help build awareness to your business, products and services. The custom template samples from our website can be included in your production. Our HD Templates can utilize Video Footage, Content, Photo Stills, your selected Music and company logo. Your completed video production can be viewed on your Website, Blog, YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook used within a Presentation or added to a television spot. In addition to being a great marketing tool these animated templates are visually stunning and professional.

Are you looking to add some excitement to your products, services or business – then give us a call at 781.365.4800 or visit Kelsey Media Productions!