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Future Proofing Your A/V Projects
Posted by Kelly Ahern on 23 April 2014 03:01 PM

As a distributor and developer, BlackWire is often asked for advice and suggestions as to how best integrators and end-users can "future proof" their projects. Of course there is no concrete way to predict what new technologies and applications will impact our future, but we can actively reducate ourselves and our customers on anticipated new developments, trends, and turning tides within the market.

We recently came across one of Commercial Integrator's latest white papers, "5 A/V Technologies That Will Definite the Next 5 Years", which details out the top trends and technologies sure to shape present audio video installations, and those to be designed in the near future. Although the white paper doesn't predict future technologies, it does a great job highlighting and summarizing key market forces that are making a series impact on general A/V integration, check out a few hihglights below:


DisplayPort is a digital display interface standard developed by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) designed to facilitate the transfer of vido, audio and data, between a source and sink device. DisplayPort 1.2 is capable of emitting HDMI or DVI-D TMDS signals through the use of a simple passive converter. DisplayPort has been HDCP compliant since the DP1.1 standard. The DisplayPort 1.2a standard was released in January of 2013 and includes support for Multi-Stream Transport (MST), Ultra HD resolutions and many more performance enhancements.

According to International Data Corporation (IDC) analysis, DisplayPort market penetration will experience a compounded annual growth rate of 106% between 2009 and 2014 -- it is quickly becoming a key technology of the A/V market, with no end to its growth insight.


HDMI LLC was founded by Philips, Silicon Image, Sony Technicolor S.A, RCA, Toshiba and Panasonic in 2002. Their goal was to create a connector for digital A/V devices that featured a small form factor and was capable of transporting uncompressed digital video, multi-channel digital audio and control signals while maintaining backwards compatibility with the existing SVI-D standard.

On September 4, 2013, HDMI LLC released the much anticipated HDMI 2.0 standard. HDMI 2.0 is backwards compatible with earlier versions of the HDMI specification, but addressed several paramaeters that provide increased performance and functionality -- it specifically includes 4K@50/60, (2160p), which provides compatibility with emerging Ultra HD and D4K video performance levels -- as well as a wealth of additional benefits.


Mobile High Definition Link (MHL) is an HD video and digital audio interface for connecting mobile phones and portable devices to HDTVs and other display devices. MHL is, essentially, a technology that adapts USB connection on a mobie device to an HDMI jack. An HDMI cable is then used to connect the dongle to a display. It is most emphatically not an HDMI signal, however. MHL is a 5-pin or 11-pin topology that requires an MHL-enabled display device to funtion. Since the HDMI connection is ubiquitous, it is only logical that it was chosen as a convenient physical layer connection. Many new flat panel displays and Android smartphones are including MHL technology. Today, MHL capability is included in more than 330 million devices.


There are a number of factors that will drive HDBaseT adoption, making this one of the key growth technologies in the A/V industry. HDBaseT is positioned to support Ultra HD, a high performance system that delivers more than 4x the resolution of current HD display technology. HDBaseT's Ultra HD (D4K) compatibility, relaible connectivity at distance well beyond the typical 21-meter limitation of HDMI's mative connectivity and its use of a single category cable (Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a) are all factors contributing to its intense growth rate

 To discover more trends and growth areas in A/V integration visit Commercial Integrator.

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How Do You Leverage IP-Based Surveillance Solutions?
Posted by Kelly Ahern on 21 April 2014 02:46 PM

IP-based security applications are not realitively new to our industry; however many end-users remain unaware of the array of benefits these products can provide.

IP-based surveillance solutions deliver a variety of enhanced features for the end-user; as well as major benefits including reduced costs and improved efficiency. As many businesses are transitioning from physical security departments to digital solutions, IP networking technologies can provide a more robust, quick-to-access solution -- there's a lot of flexibility when working with your integrator to build out a custom system. IP-based systems allow for faster incident response, invesitgation and access to live and recorded video anywhere, at any time; a huge bonus for many commericial clients. Furthermore, IP solutions offer greater image clarity and sharpness via High Definition 1080P resolutions and have the capability to capture jsut about any signal that comes through; a serious advantage over older analog models.

When broken down, the benefits of IP-based surveillance solutions include:

  • Superior image quality
  • Future-proof integration
  • Flexibility and scalability
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Remote accessibility
  • Easy and reliable installation

Overall, integrators can also help business owners capitalize on IP surveillance solutions by tailoring their systems to evolve accordingly with buisness growth as well as to serve new needs and security requirements.

At BlackWire, we want to know, 'how are you uisng IP-surveillance in your installations?' -- send us your thoughts and case studies!

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Video Surveillance Trends to Watch in 2014
Posted by Kelly Ahern on 11 March 2014 01:11 PM

Surveillance solutions have been getting a lot of buzz this year already, from predictions surrounding big data and crowd sourcing to cloud-based initiatives, it's excitingto see where the security industry is headed. Just ahead of the new year, IHS released its annual whitepaper outlining the top trends it expects to see in the video surveillance market throughout the coming year. As Q1 quickly draws to a close, we chose a few of our favorite trends and predictions to share with you:

Panoramic Cameras Provide the Full Picture

IHS believes the big surveillance winner this year will the 180/360-degree panoramic network cameras. Specifically IHS predicts that these cameras alone will gain impressive market share in verticals such as retail, airports and casinos, where monitoring wide indoor areas is critical to the safety and security of the public and patrons. The panoramic view is incredibly useful in detecting activities in large-scalre areas as well as tracking the flow of people, while improving overall area management.

Changing View Points on Live Video and Mobile Access

IHS also points out that there has also been a renewed focus on the idea of facility security managers securely sharing live video footage with law enforcement in the event of an incident; unfortunately much of this is a result from the string of horrific incidencts our country has faced this past year. According to the whitepaper, "the technology needed to provide this already exists, yet issues over ongoing costs - and more importantly who pays for the system - have meant that market penetration has been limited." With the unfortunate increase of public incidents that threaten the safety and security of innocent bystanders, specifically children, 2014 could be the year where live streaming of video surveillance to law enforcement becomes the norm...that's certainly something we would support and get behind.

Security Cameras to Make Serious Noise in 2014

According to new analysis from IHS, more than 70% of network cameras shipped globally in 2013 had either uni-directional or multi-directional audio capability.However, the resulting feedback from security systems integrators was that these capabilities were rarely being utilized. However, IHS predicts that with increasing awareness of embedded audio analytics and even sound source localizations, adoption could be on the rise.

Video Surveillance Grows at a New Rate

Probably the most exciting trend for us at BlackWire is IHS' prediction on the overall growth expectancy for the video surviellance market. Over the last 10 yearsthe surveillance market has grown leaps and bounds, some years at a double digit rate - and 2014 will be no exception. IHS forecasts that the global video surveillance market will grow by more than 12% in 2014 alone..truly exciting for our dealers and partners!

Where do you expect to see the most growth and evolution in the security industry? Have you begun to work with any of these new trends? what woudl you consuder to be a big win in the video surveillance realm? We want to kow! Share your thoughts with us via Twitter or on Facebook. And in the meantime, feel free to browse the variety of custom security solutions BlackWire has to offer.

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Case Study 101: How to Leverage Your Custom Install Projects
Posted by Kelly Ahern on 03 March 2014 01:11 PM

Across our industry, the media (and consumers) are constantly turning to real-life use cases to help shed light on the benefits of custom technology. Case studies give us an outlet to explore the beauty, simplicity and various possibilities afforded by working with a custom integrator to design a high-tech solution that meets the needs of a unique space or lifestyle. Whether it be residential installations or light commericial applications, sharing your projects allows us to give consumers a sneak peek at how automation, streaming music, lighting control, security, energy management and more can fucntion together to create one of a kind experiences.

At BlackWire we are eager to share your work with the media, our current customers and partners, as well as prosepective end-users. We want to help you acheive the recognition you deserve, while collecting testimonials that highlight how the products and servies you recieved from BlackWire helped you to achieve installation success. Aside from media coverage, our industry is chock-full of installation award opportunities, giving you the chance to submit your favorite projects for prestigious honors and accolades -- and we are here to HELP!

We've place a renewed focus on gathering case studies from our dealers, and to help you get started below we have provided a quick checklist on how you can submit materials to BlackWire so that we may add your projects to our on-going PR and marketing initiatives. You'll aslo find some handy best practices as well. Any questions, please reach out to us, we are excited to share your work with the CE world!

Submitting Case Studies to BlackWire:

  1. Dealers may submit case study materials directly to BlackWire via the Support Site, here:
  2. By filling out the online form you provide us with a project summary which highlights your installation, goals achieved, etc.
  3. We also ask that you submit a detailed equipment list so that we can refer back to other products included in the complete install
  4. Quotes from you as well as the end-user are always an added bonus and help to give the press testimonial content they can use, as well as allow prospective customers to hear from you and your clients
  5. Images, images, images! These are beyond important, the more high-res the better. They help to visually tell your story - without them most media outlets won't consider running your project story

Helpful hints, tips & tricks:

- Keep your audience in mind! Remember, especially when reaching prospective end-users, many do not understand the technical jargon we use in our day-to-day discussions. When filling out your online form, try to keep responses simple and engaging. Think about how the home or businessowner will interpret what you are writing. 

- What makes a succesful case study? Anything that is interesting and intriguing! Does the project you worked on comprise a unique theme? Include high-profile clients and/or brands? Did you work with a new, emerging technology such as 4K, HDBaseT, etc.? Solution-based installs are also a great way to tell a story. Did your project solve a specific, distinct problem for the end-user? (i.e. handicap/disability, aging in place, frequent traveler who needs advanced security, rennovating an older bar or restuarant to attract a new demographic, etc.)

Intersted in learning more? Have questions? Feel free to submit a Case Study ticket and we'll be in contact with you as soon as possible.


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2014 CE Pro QUEST for QUALITY Awards - Voting Now Open!
Posted by Kelly Ahern on 26 February 2014 03:32 PM

Each year CE Pro hosts their QUEST for QUALITY awards program, a great way to highlight those manufacturers and distributors across the CE industry that go above and beyond to provide stellar, quality service -- and this year's awards are really uping the ante with categories for tradeshow presence and social media presence!

At BlackWire, we strive to deliver personal service each and everytime you contact us, whether it's to place an order or seek answers for a technical questions. It's our focus to make certain you are comfortable with the way the products we deliver are built, function, and can be integrated so that you can maximize the performance of each custom installation you complete. We at BlackWire, also pride ourselves on being a knowledgeable, approachable partner you can rely on. Have a technical questions? Need advice or best practices for proper installation techniques? The detailed help you seek is always available when you need it -- providing you with the peace of mind that comes with knowing that our team is merely a phone call a way.

As you complete your nominations for this year's QUEST for QUALITY awards, we hope that you will consider recognizing BlackWire. We thank you for your continued business and look forward to working with you all throughout 2014! For more information on the CE Pro QUEST for QUALITY program, and to vote today, visit this link:

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