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Content Is Almost Certainly King

Surely, becoming a content creator takes a fresh skill set, but to the extent an AV integrator or consultant can offer content services when he's working on a digital signage project, for instance, he'd bring a level of value to the project that even the client may not have realized was required at first.

You say you don't take the weekly Pro AV newsletter poll? It couldn't be easier (sign up for the e-newsletter at www.proavmagazine.com; then when the new edition hits your in-box each Wednesday, look for the Quick Poll down the right-hand side). I know some of you do, and this month's issue got me thinking back to a poll we did in March where we asked readers if they would start getting into content creation to help feed a new generation of AV applications. While admittedly the sample size wasn't huge (did I mention how you, too, could answer Quick Polls?), two-thirds of the respondents said they were "very likely" to get into content creation.

Surely, becoming a content creator takes a fresh skill set, but to the extent an AV integrator or consultant can offer content services when he's working on a digital signage project, for instance, he'd bring a level of value to the project that even the client may not have realized was required at first.

Take the 7Cedars Resort and Casino, which recently brought online a retail market that's integrated with its Planar CoolSign-based signage network (see "Not Your Average Deli"). Great project, but when 7Cedars was ready to flip the switch, it realized how hard it would be to pump enough fresh content through the system apparently a problem that's increasingly common in ambitious signage projects. With the right skills in-house, or strong relationships with partners, an AV integrator can offer a solution.

Then there's HD content creation. Customers want HD video, and they'll need help getting it. As integrator TV Magic's Pat Thompson writes in "How to Make HD Pay," that can mean helping them build their own HD production capabilities, or it can mean offering HD production services of your own. The latter scenario also opens the door to upselling opportunities (give 'em their standard-def video today and sell them the HD version tomorrow).

How skilled an HD content practitioner could you become? The sky's the limit, as demonstrated by the Niles Creative Group, which not only built the AV delivery system for the Comcast Center videowall that graces the cover of our August 2008 issue, it also produced the photo-realistic content itself.

Maybe that level of production is too much to ask, but doing nothing about content could prove a losing formula down the road.

Brad Grimes, Editor

e-mail: bgrimes@hanleywood.com



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