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5-Minute Interview: Fred Shen

President and cofounder, Shen Milsom & Wilke in New York. Shen is principal on most of the company's major assignments and is responsible for conceptualizing its project approach in integrated communications technologies. He spoke to Pro AV about the company's AV work in casinos. For more, see the insert, Guide to Doing Business in Casino AV.

President and cofounder, Shen Milsom & Wilke in New York. Shen is principal on most of the company's major assignments and is responsible for conceptualizing its project approach in integrated communications technologies. He spoke to Pro AV about the company's AV work in casinos. For more, see the insert, Guide to Doing Business in Casino AV.

Pro AV: What is the most important thing casino owners and operators look for when purchasing AV systems?

Shen: They're looking for something to create the best customer experience, and to provide information wherever and whenever available. When you go through a casino, there are all kinds of things happening. The owner wants to be sure the customer has ready access and visual access to all that information, be it entertainment, conferences, advertising, shopping, food and beverage — everything.

Pro AV: How important are network skills and knowledge for AV professionals working in casinos?

Shen: AV is converging with other technologies in the digital domain. Transport of information, be it IT or AV, happens within a network, so network knowledge is crucial.

Pro AV: How are casino projects different than other large projects in which your firm is involved?

Shen: The most distinguishing feature or factor with casino projects is that each slot machine, for example, is today a PC. You have a higher density of PCs than even in an office environment.

Pro AV: What does your firm look for when partnering with an AV systems integrator on a casino project?

Shen: Certainly they should have network expertise … and multimedia expertise, not just audio and video.

Pro AV: What does the technology future hold for AV systems in casino applications?

Shen: It's huge. Everything is AV in a casino, what you see and what you hear. And that's what owners what to put out there.

Pro AV: Are casino projects more profitable than other types of AV projects?

Shen: AV business in casino projects may or may not have any advantages in margin, because the challenges are vast, and AV budgets are extremely high. So the challenge is to earn a profit, and that can be done only with better expertise. An integrator could lose money if they don't know what they're doing. We're talking about AV budgets easily in the tens of millions of dollars.

Besides the SM58 for vocals, Tunstall also uses a Shure PSM 700 personal monitor system, and her band uses a Beta 52A on kick drum, an SM57 on snare, a KSM44 on overheads, and SM57s on guitar amps.



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