Newsletter: March 2022
SIGNAL BOOST NEWSLETTER
The news is out and we’re so pleased to share it with you – ZeeVee has opened a dedicated European headquarters in central Europe (Augsburg, Germany) to better serve our partners and clients in the region. ZeeVee Europe GmbH is headed up by Jan-Arne Rosenstein, who comes with 14 plus years’ experience in the pro AV industry and has been instrumental in our European success story.
The interesting question is why did we do it – and why now – with Europe just emerging (hopefully) from the pandemic?
ZeeVee Europe comes seven years after we first opened a UK office from where we have supported the whole of EMEA. Then in 2020 we decided to focus specifically in the DACH region – Germany, Austria and Switzerland. During the time when many of our competitors were pausing due to the pandemic, chip and other supply chain shortages and an uncertain marketplace, ZeeVee was building the foundations for growth. In the early days, AVoIP was very much a new concept, so we put a great deal of effort into educating and training the channel and end users. Today, however, AVoIP is widely accepted, and our growth is rapidly accelerating with pro AV integrators and end-users catching on to ZeeVee’s advanced technology and unique approach and selecting ZeeVee for some of the biggest and most prestigious projects in the region. So simply the time is right to invest further in Europe.
So, what can our clients expect from the new ZeeVee Europe? It’s actually quite significant.
Our new European warehouse will be providing locally inventoried products – all of the mainstream ZeeVee products. This means lead time for receiving physical products will be dramatically reduced. Secondly, we’re expanding local technical support from Germany in local languages, making it more convenient for integrators and end-users to get the support they need. We’re also investing in broadening our sales team to help explain the benefits of our solutions and further educate the European marketplace.
What’s different about ZeeVee and driving our growth in Europe? Well, lots of factors, but three in particular, which I will expand upon:
- Focus on AVoIP and streaming
- Most comprehensive AVoIP line-up
- The move towards “Gold standard” and “Green” AVoIP
We are uniquely focused on AVoIP and streaming, giving us deep knowledge and expertise. This becomes critically important on complex projects, where we get involved supporting clients from initial concept to final sign-off. The end result is installations that are trouble free and low on support demand. We have many large 100-plus end-point installations that have been running for four years and longer without any hitches.
Secondly, we are proud to have the most comprehensive lineup of AV over IP products covering both compressed (H.264 and JPEG2000) and uncompressed (SDVoE) solutions. This means that we can have a conversation with clients about projects while taking into account the network, application and of course budget, so that we can supply the best solution for their needs and not just force a solution onto them. In some cases, that may mean a combination of CODECs on a single network, all managed via our ZyPer Management Platform. No other vendor can offer that.
Probably the most significant driver of growth for us here has been ZyPer4K-XS, the latest addition to our established SDVoE based, ZyPer4K line-up. This has the industry’s best price/performance ratio and is fast becoming the “Gold Standard” for AVoIP. Like the rest of the ZyPer4K range, it offers uncompressed video with perfect video quality along with built-in video processing capability, but at a price point which is no more expensive – and in some cases, cheaper – than the one 1Gb solutions offered by some of our competitors. Quite simply it’s a game changer.
The final factor that carries considerable weight here is ZeeVee’s efforts towards a green footprint. The power consumption of all our AVoIP solutions are significantly lower – as much as 75% less than our competitors. In addition, POE and video processing capability means less additional hardware, which avoids waste and saves more power. All major European institutions are looking to save CO2 emissions and for more sustainable solutions – ZyPer4K-XS delivers on both counts.
On a closing note, we thank all our partners for choosing ZeeVee as an increasingly preferred solution provider. We never take your support for granted and with our new local headquarters, local management and expanding team, we pledge to further enhance our support to you.
EMEA Director, ZeeVee
- March 10: Advanced Imaging: This session, hosted by Art Weeks, will provide a technical dive into how ZyPer4K (SDVoE) and ZyPerUHD (JPEG2000) AVoIP encoders and decoders, as well as the ZyPer Management Platform, work together to enable visually spectacular multiviews, blended projection images and video walls. Attendees will earn one AVIXA CTS credit.
- March 17: ZeeVee Certified Solution Partner Training on AVoIP and RF Modulation: Are you a system integrator or AV installer looking to become an AV over IP and RF expert? Join us for this informative session and receive up to 3.5 AVIXA CTA credits.
You can get additional information and register for these webinars, and other upcoming events, via this link.
Our SIGNAL Partner website provides access to past SIGNAL Session and Certified Solution Partner Training webinars. To learn more about becoming a ZeeVee SIGNAL Partner, go to this link or contact email@example.com.
Oneida Casino, Green Bay, Wisconsin: The Oneida Casino, located in Green Bay, Wisconsin, is the first and only casino authorized to offer sports betting in the state. In order to provide its customers with quality sports viewing and betting experiences, the casino’s management decided to upgrade its sportsbook.
The casino enlisted Camera Corner Connecting Point (CCCP), a world-class technology solutions provider based in Green Bay, to create an AV system to better deliver high-quality video content with low latency across multiple screens. CCCP needed to have the system up and running before the 2022 Super Bowl, which was only a few months away from when the project was awarded.
CCCP called upon ZeeVee to deliver its award-winning ZyPer4K-XS encoders and decoders to distribute AV content from Spectrum and DIRECTV receivers to monitors throughout the venue. The ZeeVee models, which have a two-week delivery time, were ordered, received and installed in less than two months. Additionally, the CCCP team found that configuring the ZeeVee gear was significantly easier than it was with competitive products.
“CCCP worked with ZeeVee because of our ability to quickly deliver products that allow high-quality video content to be played across multiple TV screens in the sportsbook,” said Jim Chordas, ZeeVee’s territory manager, eastern United States and Canada. “Our ZyPer4K encoders and decoders are also simple to configure, with the whole process taking hours rather than days, which significantly reduced CCCP’s install time.”
AV over IP is rapidly gaining traction as integrators and end-users grow tired of inflexible, inefficient and expensive matrix-based AV distribution systems. For those who choose ZeeVee’s ZyPer4K or ZyPerUHD to transition to this scalable and non-proprietary solution, we are here to help.
Like any new technology, there is a learning curve that cannot be addressed in a single newsletter column. However, in this month’s Pro AV Tips, we look to start providing you with a basic sense of what is required in setting up a ZyPer System in a multipoint environment. Beyond that, we share some tips for configuring ZyPer encoders and decoders.
Setting Up a ZyPer-Driven Multipoint Environment
A multipoint, or switched, environment connects many sources to many displays. Our ZyPer platform allows you an unlimited amount of flexible and scalable input and output options. For example, in a 24-port configuration, you can configure a system with one source and 23 displays or 12 sources with 12 displays or any variation your customer requires.
Here are the key steps to setting up a multipoint environment with our ZyPer solutions. To start, you will need an appropriate 1Gb or 10Gb managed network switch, as well as the ZyPer Management Platform to configure our encoders and decoders. Beyond that, you will need to:
- Connect the ZyPer Management Platform (ZMP) to the network switch;
- Determine the IP Address of the ZMP (see our Management Platform User Guide for details);
- Go to https://www.zeevee.com/support/firmware-updates/ and get the latest firmware for your ZMP, endpoints, ZyPer Pads, etc.;
- Connect all hardware to the network switch;
- Connect your computer to the network switch;
- Make sure the computer is on the same IP subnet as the ZMP;
- Open a Chrome browser and enter the IP Address of the ZMP (this opens the ZyPer Management Platform GUI); and
- Login to the ZMP using the default username and password. “admin” / “admin;” and all devices (encoders and decoders) will automatically appear in ZMP.
- Configuring ZyPer Encoders
Configuring ZyPer Encoders and Decoders
For those new to AVoIP and our ZyPer encoders and decoders, we’d like to make your first attempt at configuring them as painless as possible. Below we give you some guideposts, as well as a checklist, to get you on your way.
First off, it is strongly recommended that you use a single switch or switch stack if possible. Second, after all the gear is plugged in, start trying things. The universal system is designed to enable simple and easy configuration, not programming! Once you have done some testing and verification of ZyPer system functionality, you can explore using the ZMP API commands. Those API commands let you work with your favorite third-party control system.
Here is a checklist of what else can to be adjusted, depending on your application/use case:
- Setting the IP address for the units (DHCP or Static)
- Providing “logical” names for the units
- Setting up video walls
- Setting up multiviews (ZyPer4K only)
- Configuring baud rate, stop bits, and parity for RS232 communications
- Selecting default or custom EDID for encoder units
- Enabling or disabling the 1Gb utility port (ZyPer4K only)
- Updating units to the latest available firmware
- Setting decoder units to the desired resolution output if needed
- Creating zones (grouping decoders together)
- Creating “Presets” which are lists of commands that can be executed on demand or scheduled. They are also useful for returning a system to a desired state
- Scheduling “Presets” to run at specific days/times on the calendar
- Creating additional user login credentials and roles
For everything discussed here, you can find additional information via this link to our ZyPer Installation Best Practices primer. As always, my technical service team members and I are here to help you. If you have any questions regarding the configuration of ZyPer encoders and decoders, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Managing Updates for ZyPer4K and ZyPerUHD Products and ZyPer Management Platform
Each ZeeVee product line has its own requirements for completing updates due to varying interfaces and the nature of the products. For instance, for ZyPer products, firmware updates are required for both encoders and decoders, as are software updates for the ZyPer Management Platform. It is imperative to have alignment with the right server version with the right end-point update to get the full benefit of the latest update.
The ZyPer4K and ZyPerUHD have separate sets of updates and each can be enacted via the graphical user interface (GUI) of the ZyPer Management Platform or through a command line in scripting when external control systems are being used. ZyPer4K and ZyPer Management Platform updates are not made available to the general public and must be accessed through the ZeeVee Signal Partner Program portal or by contacting ZeeVee customer support. Another reason for contacting ZeeVee when updating the ZyPer Management Platform is that different updates are required for each of its three versions (VMWare virtual machine, ProServer enterprise appliance and NUC)—and you’ll want to make sure you are using the right one.
Updates to all other ZeeVee product firmware and software updates can be found on ZeeVee.com by clicking on “Support” and “Firmware Updates.” Here you will access a page that lists the supported platforms and version specifics, as well as a link to ZeeVee’s latest comprehensive release notes. In all cases, it is important to read the release notes—which are the most detailed yet for all of our products—as it outlines everything that has changed in each update version.
Managing RF Modulator Updates for HDbridge3000, HDbridge2000 and ZvPro
On the RF side, there is a whole other set of firmware updates for each of the modulators, but updates are simpler in that you only need to perform the task for the headend.
It is important to understand the relationship between the last update of your RF device and latest one you are trying to install. Visitors to the RF firmware update pages on our website will see a message that states: “if your last firmware update is older than v2.9.x, contact us before you proceed to update version 2.14.4.” The issue with skipping intermediate updates is that devices and software have undergone significant changes that may not be able to be reconciled by the latest version. For this reason, we would help you employ a “stepped” approach to performing a series of updates to get your device up to date and functioning properly.
Questions about updating our products will be quickly addressed when you contact ZeeVee customer support at 877-493-3833 between 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM ET or via this link
Professional System (German)
AVoIP: 4K uncompressed and zero latency
Zyper4K-XS from ZeeVee in review
February 10, 2022
In installations, planners and integrators are increasingly planning “AV over IP” structures. With increasing complexity, signal management also includes a larger number of audio/video endpoints with encoders and decoders for the desired sources and sinks. This enables flexible signal routing of all rooms and media feeds and streaming for the operator/user of the installation, because all sources are networked with all sinks. Conversely, this also means that a corresponding number of encoders and decoders are in use on site.
In large installations, the number easily increases to the order of several hundred, which are networked via network switches. For this audio/video infrastructure, planners and, above all, the end customers concentrate on choosing products that are as future-proof as possible and cost-effective overall. With this in mind, ZeeVee developed the Zyper4K-XS product and launched it at an attractive price. Read the full article
Covid & Chips Part 2: Further reflections on the global supply chain crisis
February 17, 2022
The first part of Installation’s examination of the global supply chain crisis made it clear quite how extensive its impact has been across pro-AV. From manufacturers facing protracted delays for vital components, to integrators having to rework project schedules already made problematic by the pandemic, it was apparent that the shortages had generated plenty of unwelcome challenges. Opinion varied on how long the shortages were likely to endure, although even the most optimistic forecast suggested it wouldn’t be before late spring that the problem was likely to recede significantly.
Bob Michaels, CEO of intelligent AV distribution technology specialist ZeeVee, indicates that one specific inventory decision served to mitigate the impact. “ZeeVee has managed very well during the past year having made a strategic decision, eight to 10 months ago, to produce additional inventory of a number of our IP-based product offerings to meet what we thought at the time would address post-Covid demand,” he says. “As a result, we continue to be able to satisfy short-term needs for many of our integration partners and are now even moving stock to our new European subsidiary to reduce shipment times to meet local requirements.” Read the full article
Here is a sampling of some of the AV industry stories that caught our eye.
How NSCA is Tackling Business-Crushing Legislation
February 22, 2022
A few years ago, the integration industry witnessed a trend whereby state and local governments began to introduce bills and propose regulations that could potentially have a negative impact on the business operations and revenue potential of AV integration firms. NSCA, whose purpose is to serve and benefit integrators, immediately took note of the trend.
Swinging into action, NSCA formed an advocacy page that detailed its priorities and that presented policy statements pertaining to the legislation. It also formulated a tracking page, encompassing all relevant legislation across the U.S., so that integrator members could gather information on pending matters that could impact their business. Read the full article
Risk Mitigation Strategies for Evaluating New AV Products During Supply Chain Issues, or Anytime
February 27, 2022
Implementing new products is an important and healthy part of the role of all AV professionals. Whether they are innovative upgrades from legacy models, cost-effective alternatives, creative solutions, or offerings from a new vendor—new products represent opportunities for evolution, efficiency, and an enhanced experience.
The need to work with new and unfamiliar products is especially relevant while supply chain issues continue to impact manufacturing and logistics. Despite the promise of future provisions, clients with pressing requirements or scheduling restrictions must act to avoid facing indefinite wait times. When the default or backup option is not readily available, considering alternatives becomes absolutely critical. In doing so, however, it is important to remember that availability is far from the primary factor in satisfying needs and achieving successful outcomes. Read the full article