SAMSUNG TO BUY 3% STAKE IN SHARP
Samsung Electronics Co.(Soul, Korea) has agreed to buy a 3% stake in Sharp Corp. (Osaka, Japan), making Samsung the biggest individual shareholder that isn’t a financial institution and the fifth-largest stakeholder overall. The ¥10.4 billion ($111 million) investment comes as Sharp, a supplier to Apple Inc. (Cupertino CA), scrambles to raise funds and secure customers for its liquid-crystal displays in an effort to prove to its bank lenders that its business prospects remain solid. The investment fortifies the partnership between Samsung and Sharp, and also lays a foundation for Samsung to secure a steady supply of LCD panels. Samsung was once Sharp’s most feared rival in LCD panels and television sets. Sharp needs capital injections to secure its balance sheet after a planned ¥66.9 billion investment from Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (trading as Foxconn, New Taipei City, Taiwan) fell through last year. Samsung will have no involvement in Sharp's management.
Sharp is the only LCD manufacturer currently operating an advanced manufacturing facility (in a separate partnership with Hon Hai) capable of turning out TV panels from the industry’s largest sheets of glass. As a result, Sharp can lower the manufacturing costs of screens larger than 60 inches. Samsung may also rely on Sharp to supply panels for tablets.
Samsung has been shifting its focus to produce organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screens, which are brighter and more energy efficient than LCDs.


Revolabs Executive HD™ MaxSecure Wireless Microphone System Supports AES-256 Encryption for Maximum Security

Designed to provide the highest level of security for the most sensitive applications, the Revolabs Executive HD™ MaxSecure 8-channel wireless microphone system and compatible microphones support the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES-256) as defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

This encryption standard is designed for compliance with the security encryption standards AES FIPS 197 and AES FIPS 140-2, established by the United States government and approved by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) for applications requiring advanced privacy protection.

At home in demanding environments such as high-end boardrooms and large auditoriums, the Executive HD MaxSecure offers the same audio quality, versatility, and seamless integration as the 128-bit Executive HD. Each unit provides support for up to eight microphones with exceptional audio quality; multiple units can be linked together to support up to 32 (Americas) or 40 (international) microphones per area. The Executive HD MaxSecure can be integrated with all control systems via RS-232 or Ethernet, making it a seamless, natural extension of any new or existing environment. An intuitive, front-panel LCD display provides simple control and configuration on-location, while management software is available for the convenience of remotely monitoring and controlling the system through its Ethernet connection.

PEERLESS-AV ACQUIRES CIIL TECHNOLOGIES
Peerless-AV (Aurora IL) has acquired Ciil Technologies, LLC a manufacturer of environmental/weatherproof outdoor TVs and displays marketed under the UltraView and Xtreme brands. According to the company, the acquisition expands Peerless-AV's portfolio of audiovisual technology, mounting, accessory and digital content delivery solutions with a high-demand product category providing new commercial and residential business opportunities for AV dealers, distributors, integrators and installation professionals.
The company stated that Ciil's 26-inch to 55-inch products are the only outdoor displays that are completely sealed and use no external vents, exhaust fans or filters. The design holds the highest protection rating in the industry at IP 68 and NEMA 6, allowing the products to be submerged in water for 30 minutes without failure. Applications range from professional and college stadiums, public transit, marinas, cruise ships, yachts and factory floors to residential backyards and poolside patios. The Ciil line joins Peerless-AV's portfolio of outdoor solutions, including mounts and enclosures, enabling the AV community to purchase multiple components for outdoor installations from a single source.
"The market for outdoor TVs is growing rapidly in commercial settings, where weatherproof displays are replacing expensive enclosures, as well as in residential environments, where the backyard has become the new living room," said Michael Campagna, President of the Peerless Technology Division. "At the same time, this is a strategic acquisition that extends the investment in emerging technology that led to [our] announcement that we have formed a separate technology division," Campagna added. "Our goal is to build a global technology business on a par with our global AV mounting solutions business."
Ciil's manufacturing and operations will be relocated to Peerless-AV's headquarters and 320,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Aurora, and products will be produced in a dedicated 10,000-square-foot area, including a 3000-square-foot clean room for assembly and testing. All Ciil products will continue to be manufactured in the US, all personnel and management will be retained and the Ciil trademark and UltraView and Xtreme brand names will be maintained.

LG DISPLAY INVESTS IN 8TH GENERATION OLED TV PANEL LINE
LG Display (Lincolnshire IL) is investing KRW 706 billion (about US$650 million) in a new 8th generation OLED TV panel manufacturing line, to be installed at its P9 plant in Paju, South Korea. The company plans to begin investment in the line, which will focus on WRGB OLED evaporation process, in the first quarter of 2013, with mass production scheduled for the first half of 2014 at a monthly capacity of 26,000 input sheets. LG introduced what is called "the world's first 55-inch OLED TV" in January 2013. The company moves a step ahead in the emerging OLED TV market through new investments with a strategy of providing differentiated value to customers. Additionally, LG Display's adoption of WRGB OLED technology addresses limitations inherent with large-sized OLED, such as productivity and lifespan issues. According to forecasts by research firm DisplaySearch, the OLED TV market will experience dramatic growth starting in 2014, to become a US$3 billion market by 2015.



Matrox Avio fiber-optic dual-DVI KVM extenders

Operate your computer from a distance, while maintaining real-time system performance. Avio KVM extenders transmit multiple signals over a single fiber optic cable with zero compression, zero latency. Experience fast graphics, smooth HD, 2K and 4K video playback with no dropped frames. Learn more…


UNIV ACQUIRES KIT DIGITAL'S AMERICAS BROADCAST SYSTEM INTEGRATION UNIT
Unified Video Technologies' Broadcast subsidiary (UNIV, Miami FL), specialists in developing, integrating and operating complete high-performance media and broadcast ecosystems for broadcasters and enterprises, has acquired KIT Digital's Broadcast System Integration Unit for the Americas (New York NY). KIT Digital divested the Unit as part of its restructuring process. According to the company, UNIV will enhance the system integration services that had been provided by KIT Digital through its consultative approach, which focuses on understanding and addressing the needs of customers in media-rich environments by developing and implementing high-performance workflows, providing media processing and introducing managed services.
"UNIV recognizes that enterprises in almost every field, including broadcasters, must quickly find solutions for effectively managing their video assets," said Pablo Goldstein, UNIV CEO. "With media becoming essential for corporate functions, such as marketing, product development, in-house training, sales, product documentation, investor relations and more, video management solutions are a must for every company that has a growing library of video assets, as well as for companies in the media and entertainment industry. UNIV is committed to creating easy-to-use workflows that empower each enterprise to get the most out of its media assets, with the least hassle and expense."
UNIV is headquartered in the former KIT Digital Broadcast System Integration Unit facilities and staffed by unit professionals to ensure service continuity.

CLEARONE'S BOARD OF DIRECTORS AUTHORIZES STOCK BUYBACK
ClearOne's (Salt Lake City UT) Board of Directors has approved an increase in the company's stock repurchase program from $3 million to $10 million of its outstanding shares of common stock. Under the initial program implemented May 16, 2012, ClearOne was authorized to repurchase up to $2 million of its outstanding shares of common stock over a 12-month period. On July 30, 2012, the Board increased that amount to $3 million. On February 20, 2013, the Board's further increased that to $10 million. All purchases will be executed in accordance with applicable federal securities laws. "We believe our current stock price does not reflect our intrinsic value and the growth opportunities available to us," said Zee Hakimoglu, President/CEO/Chairman of ClearOne. "Our comfortable cash balance will support our decision to invest in ourselves by increasing the volume of the repurchase program,".
[ClearOne was also in the news last month (NEWSLETTER), related to the resolution of two arbitration hearings.]



A New Way to Bring YouTube and Skype Video Into Your Production

How are you taking YouTube and Skype video into your production switcher or video router?  The BrightEye Mitto™ family of high performance scan converters from Ensemble Designs provide a new way to take just about any source to 3G, HD or SD SDI video. Computer video can now be used for the most demanding applications including broadcast, high-end military, medical, classroom, church and corporate. Mitto auto-senses between a VGA or DVI input, simplifying integration with any type of Mac, PC or iPad.

Newest and best scaling technology

Six different BrightEye Mitto units, each with varying types of outputs and capabilities, allow you to choose the best one for your particular video application. Just a small part of the screen, such as a Skype window, can be selected with a mouse and converted to full screen HD. Ensemble Design uses the latest technology in its proprietary upconversion and filtering and that means you have the best looking video. Compare Mitto to any other scan converter and see the difference!
“Regardless of how quickly we need to take Mitto to air, it works famously every time. And it looks spectacular. When we covered the blizzards last winter, all of our user-generated content submissions and Skype came through Mitto.” – John Schilberg, VP of Technology, Griffin Communications KWTV, KOTV and KQCW.


ALMO PROFESSIONAL A/V DISTRIBUTES ELO TOUCH SYSTEMS
Almo Professional A/V (Philadelphia PA) is now distributing products from Elo Touch Solutions a supplier of touch-enabled Interactive Digital Signage (IDS) technology. As a result, Almo Pro A/V reseller partners now have access to Elo’s touch interactive experiences in screen sizes ranging from seven inches to 70 inches. “The Elo team is excited to engage with the Almo digital signage thought leaders and certified commercial AV technology experts,” said Craig Witsoe, CEO, Elo Touch Solutions. “Together, we will help resellers and end-users realize the possibilities for digital signage to help education, government, hospitality, healthcare and retail organizations enhance their audience experience and optimize communications efficiency.”

PSNI PLANS INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION
Professional Systems Network International (PSNI, Tulsa OK) is increasing its global footprint by adding select associates outside the US and Canada to its network of audiovisual systems integrators. The initial expansion, announced at the Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) exposition in Amsterdam, will include Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with further expansion in other regions in future phases. Expansion planning began ISE, where Executive Director Chris Miller and Co-Executive Director Tom Roberts met with top AV distributors and system integrators, executives from industry trade organizations and PSNI Preferred Vendor Partners that provide products to those regions.
“PSNI affiliates throughout North America are experiencing the need for international integration and service partners throughout EMEA to meet the ongoing and increasingly global demands of our clients,” said Miller. “Our goal is to partner with best-in-class systems integrators in the EMEA region. Also, integrators in EMEA have noted they have unique needs for peer-to-peer communications, support and collaboration similar to what PSNI does for its integrators throughout North America. PSNI will develop an international network while assisting integrators throughout EMEA to develop their own peer-to-peer network using the knowledge gained from PSNI's 26 years of experience in North America."

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