In August 2012, the Consumer Electronics Association decided to retire the term “4K” and dub the latest resolution champ “Ultra High Definition” instead. Partially defined as a resolution of “at least 3,840 x 2,160 pixels,” Sony decided the very next day to call the technology “4K Ultra High Definition,” now the industry-wide term. With the advent of 4K-UHD, there are now four major screen resolutions used: standard definition (480p/540p), high definition (720p), full high definition (1080i/p), and ultra high definition (2160p).
Today, with HD and 4K sets widely available, most television programs, online videos and DVDs are still broadcast in standard definition, which is 480 “lines” per the tube-TV-era specification. There’s a good reason that graphics and post-production pros get up close and personal with a 4K monitor rental. The benefits of 4K are even greater for professionals in design, multimedia, video, film, or post than for home theater aficionados, who are understandably excited about the new resolution, too.
4K: For doers, not watchers
TV makers big and small will release 4K models or lines in 2014, most of them in the “premium” niche, along with the “smart” TVs that display streams from your MacBook Pro rental, PC, iPad, or phone. For the kind of creatives that CRE supports with render farms and other high-powered tech tools, there is a lot of work ahead. That’s a double-edged sword: They’ll work a lot on 4K displays, creating better and better graphics and viewing experiences for others to watch on their own home theater 4K screens. (More about consumers and 4K coming soon!)
The TVs at CES 2014 revealed that manufacturers have accepted the fact that we have entered “the 4K era.” Today’s creative and production pros depend up0n the highest possible resolution for use in the entertainment industry and a 4K display offers unmatched visual clarity. CRE now offers a 50-inch ultra high definition monitor with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, perfectly suited for film editing, video, and post production with its stunning picture clarity and superior color saturation. CRE has worked closely with the entertainment industry, from music and TV shows to feature films, awards shows, and state-of-the-art animation.
Good for Business, Too
What works in the entertainment industry can also do double duty in the business world, where clear and direct communication that gets noticed is essential to corporate events. A 4K display monitor will grab the attention of conference attendees by replacing traditional printed signage with motion graphics, beautifully rendered. You can easily control messaging and everything else with a MacBook Pro or iPad rental. Since 2014′s the year that 4K screens will replace the current “high-end” 1080p models to become the latest and greatest, don’t wait too long to ask us about how they can help you, too!
You can also depend on CRE Rentals for technology rentals you need to set up a production office or to make a splash at your next corporate event or conference. Our seasoned professionals can help so complete a Quick Quote (if you know what you need) or give us a call at 877-266-7725.
Comic-Con 2012 comes to the San Diego Convention Center from July 12th to 15th (“Preview Night” is the 11th) for what has arguably become one of the most far-reaching, influential events in the entertainment multiverse. Comic-Con brings top professionals from the publishing, animation, gaming, TV/film, technology and toy industries together in one fast-paced, media-centric happening.
At past events, Comic-Con has invited the foregoing, specified media pros as well as those from “related industries” (plus aliens, Star Wars nerds, those Trekkies and assorted geeks, of course). This year, Comic-Con more precisely defined those industries as firms that “produce material based on comic book, graphic novel, comic strip, animation [or] fantasy/sci-fi properties.”
Whether you are going to exhibit or make a presentation, we don’t just have the trade show convention rentals you need. We have wireless PCs, tablets and ipads for staying in touch and on top of things. We also have some “news you can use,” especially if you want to do some pinpoint niche marketing at the conference.
Know your targets at Comic-Con
You have a range of targets this year, as Comic-Con’s registration program offered two badge categories – a “creative professional” badge and a “trade professional” one. The creative professional badge – for pros with active roles in designing, creating, writing/editing or producing animation, comic books, films/TV, video games, books or toys – is complimentary. These are the kind of pros that rely on CRE for AJA IO HD rentals and other post-production gear.
So remember: If you intend to dazzle folks on the exhibit floor with some plasma display rentals, the “creative” category also includes retired careerists from comics and other pop art industries, web “curators,” website artists and webmasters whose sites promote the historic and ongoing contributions of comics to society. If you have PDF materials prepared for both target groups, every attendee with an iPad rental can receive your message via AirDrop (very cool).
Trade badge for convention floor
The trade professional badge, says Comic-Con, is for “agents, publicists, managers, executives, marketing, sales, business development, advertising, legal representatives, and other industry professionals [attending] for business reasons.” Media pros who did not also qualify as creative professionals were eligible to purchase trade badges, but either way, be prepared with targeted materials for them, too, if it makes sense for your product or service. Get the iPad, get some tablet PC rentals – be ready for anything and everyone!
Of course, all badges to Comic-Con 2012 were gone in 80 minutes or so in early March, and the last batch of some 5,000 made available via cancellations, etc., were gone in minutes on May 31st. That means at least 130,000 people, near SDCC’s capacity. Watch for our wrap-up in about a month!
From the best in event production rentals to the most powerful post-production technology, our experienced Account Executives have the solution you need. We are ready, willing and able to help you properly exhibit at Comic Con – just call or e-mail, or a visit our Quick Rental Quote form today!
In Rejuvenate-Part 1, we talked about doing business in a bad economy and offered 5 tips to grow your business. One of the takeaways is the importance of optimism. Another important principle is “actions speak louder than words” – and the challenge humans always face is taking insights and ideas and acting upon them to effect positive change. Talk is cheap. And inaction is expensive.
As you get ideas, get right into action. If there’s a conference coming up where you will hold a breakout session, setting up one of CRE’s Audience Response Systems (ARS) gets you immediate feedback on anything “new and improved” that you incorporate into your presentation.
So what else can an organization do to grow? Here are the final five tips:
6. Marketing fundamentals. As we start the third decade of the Internet Era, many websites still lack proper menus, user-friendly layout, consistent style, etc. At the very least, use your color scheme and logo throughout all marketing materials (print and digital) and support your branding with buzzword-free value propositions. Even if your firm is small and on a tight budget, an iMac from CRE has all you need to create and maintain a clean, effective website.
7. Creative funding. Most businesses fail due to undercapitalization (not enough dough). If you need funding, think creatively, as venture capitalists are presently occupied putting out fires in their existing portfolios. Speak with friends and family about investing, and don’t forget “shadow investors” like suppliers that might offer extended terms in exchange for a long-term purchase order, special discounts, rebates and/or other perks.
8. New partnerships. Both UPS and FedEx are installing workstations like computer rentals at their larger customers’ locations. This doesn’t merely save time and money, but makes the shippers proactive business partners with their customers. If you don’t have the clout of a Fortune 500 firm, you can still approach shippers and suppliers for special terms, just-in-time deliveries, co-op ads, joint promotions, etc.
9. Honest PR. The press releases that most webmasters and editors get are full of fluff and buzzwords. What business doesn’t claim “market leadership” or “best practices”? Avoid words and phrases that editors see every day. Original, honest PR – written in plain English, please! – will separate you from the pack.
10. No boundaries. Companies should position themselves to serve customers around the world, unless it makes no sense. If your product or service fills a need in other countries, and you don’t have resources or staff there, then connect with a local manufacturer, dealer or distributor with the established presence you need.
As the U.S. economy sputters along, it’s hard to know what to believe from the financial analysts in the media. If you base business decisions solely on industry trends and financial indicators, even with guidance from the “latest and greatest” book of the moment, you’ll be depressed, confused or both.
Don’t despair! There really are ways to survive – even grow – in times of economic uncertainty, and the following 10 suggestions (five today, five in Thursday’s Part 2) will help you concoct your own, unique plan. From marketing strategies to website components, here are the first five of 10 tips to rejuvenate your business.
1. Pinpoint marketing. Who are your customers – exactly? How do you get your message to the right desktop, laptop and/or iPad rental? Your advertising, partnerships, distribution channels and retail strategy must work together to win and retain your prime customers. If you can’t readily identify them, revise your model until you can. Then consider opt-in mailing lists for pinpoint marketing.
2. Quick answers. A first-rate website answers customers’ questions, often before they ask, with a thorough FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page. Website visitors should be invited to speak with customer service personnel via their preferred means – real-time messaging, phone, e-mail, even video chat – further ensuring a positive customer experience.
3. No hype. Sure, the new wireless tablets from Apple, Acer, Samsung and others are wildly popular. But buying everyone on your conference team a new one because they’re “cool” is not a good idea. In fact, the cost-effective move is to call CRE for a deal on tablet PC rentals, not make a four-figure capital expenditure for geek chic!
4. Flexible pricing. When chaos is the order of the day for the global economy, you must be flexible. It’s a delicate balancing act, but you should be reasonable in negotiations, creative about bringing in new customers – and up to speed on how flexible pricing mixes with marketing in new and interesting ways.
5. Maximum outsourcing. Minimizing fixed costs is crucial, so the latest “efficiency expert” idea is to outsource such core functions as marketing, HR, finance, IT and manufacturing, getting specialists with greater proficiency for less than the cost of new, full-time employees. The same principle is at work in #3 above, namely: Slow down, crunch the numbers and decide whether to rent laptops or buy them, create a phone bank in-house or hire a contractor, build a new exhibit booth or repaint last year’s, etc.
What one person can you talk to about everything from laptops to exhibit booths? An expert Account Executive at CRE, that’s who. You can call or e-mail to talk about computers, tablets, audiovisual equipment rentals and everything else you may need. Already have a list? Visit our Quick Rental Quote form and you’ll be done in no time!
Don’t forget to return for 10 Tips to Rejuvenate Your Business, Part 2, on Thursday.
After Apple announced this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2012), its annual event in San Francisco, tickets sold out in just two hours. West Coasters have reason to be annoyed, too, since sales started at 8:30am Eastern time, meaning the sales door closed at just 7:30am Pacific time. So the five-day conference, being held June 11-15, is sold out, but Apple promises “full coverage” of WWDC 2012 at CBS’s Tech Talk site (and possibly other online venues). The company will post videos of all sessions “shortly after the conference” concludes.
Why attend Worldwide Developers Conference?
Thousands of developers flock to San Francisco every year for keynote speeches, seminars, product announcements and special events orchestrated and led by Apple executives, marketing managers and, most importantly, about a thousand engineers. This year’s conference will focus on iOS 5, the firm’s latest operating system (OS) for mobile devices like the iPad rental, as well as its latest one for computers, the soon-to-be-released OS X Mountain Lion (10.8).
Those 1,000 Apple engineers will conduct some 100 hands-on labs to help developers with techniques for strategizing, coding and developing applications. In addition to digging deep into the firmware of an existing MacBook or studying the specs of one on the drawing board, WWDC attendees will also benefit from an ideal networking environment – think “geeks gone wild” for a mental picture. Remember, too, that the WWDC has historically been one of the venues where Apple launches new products.
New Apple Announcements, anyone?
Some high-profile tech bloggers have speculated that the iPhone 5 will be announced at next month’s WWDC. Apple has typically launched iPhones in the summertime, and has done so at previous WWDCs (although the iPhone 4S announcement was delayed until October last year). The company has used its summer conference to announce software, Mac models, operating systems, the Xserve RAID and other non-Mac hardware. Any bets on what comes out of WWDC? Check back after June 15th and find out!
Going to WWDC? Need a dozen macbook pro rental, a rockin’ exhibit booth or complete breakout session setup with an Audience Response System (ARS)? Your one-stop shop is CRE. Every business faces different and unique challenges, so call or e-mail an experienced Account Executive and tell us about the obstacles you face – then we’ll brainstorm a solution for you (or two, or three). Already know what you need? Visit our Quick Rental Quote form and you’ll be on your way in just a few minutes!
Before today’s tablets, devices like tablet PC rentals ran the special “pen-driven” Windows OS and offered some of the flexibility – in mobility, input, display, etc. – that we now love about tablet technology. As with any “hot new product” there are now both high- and low-end tablet makers rushing to supply this growing market.
While cheap tablets rarely lead in power or build quality, they often introduce new features that, following consumer acceptance, end up on higher-end models – all of which are chasing the Big Kahuna, Apple’s iPad. Today we will take a look at the top three Android tablets from Samsung, Asus and Sony.
Samsung Galaxy Tab
Pros: Also a Honeycomb device, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 combines a complete Android experience with Samsung’s nifty custom touches. It’s (most) everything you love about the Galaxy Tab 10.1, reduced about 10% in size and weight.
Cons: Some users will miss the ports, and the plastic rear cover is a little cheesy next to the world’s best industrial designs like the iMac (and everything else with an Apple logo on it).
Verdict: Samsung is one of the leading firms working against the “one-size-fits-all” trend in technology, and the Galaxy Tab 8.9 is a powerful argument.
Asus Transformer Prime
Pros: The Asus Transformer Prime is the most like an iPad (a bit thinner, almost as light) but adds a microSD slot, micro-HDMI port and an 8-megapixel camera that numerous reviewers call the best of any tablet. The Prime runs the latest Android release, Ice Cream Sandwich, and docks on a special keyboard for laptop-type use.
Cons: The quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 CPU, powerful enough for a PC desktop computer rental, is not fully utilized in some apps and games, so video can suffer. The top-heavy Prime tends to separate from the keyboard, and both screen and bezel are fingerprint magnets.
Verdict: The Asus Transformer Prime is arguably the best of the best, a svelte but full-featured Android unit with quality materials and a superior camera.
Sony Tablet S
Pros: The Sony Tablet S is not your typical tablet. It runs Honeycomb, the OS that came right before Ice Cream Sandwich, but distinguishes itself with great proprietary apps, PlayStation-certified gaming, DLNA music/video streaming and a universal remote control.
Cons: It’s a Sony. It’s not cheap (even the charger is proprietary, so replacing it will be costly) and a few reviewers have griped about insufficient screen brightness.
Verdict: Sony didn’t rush the Tablet S to market, as it did with the ill-fated Dash. It’s solid and dependable, which should appeal to plenty of non-Apple folks.
If your company needs a dozen tablets, we can explain why it makes sense to rent vs. buy any needed technology. It’s different for every business so call or e-mail an experienced Account Executive and talk about it. Know what you need? Hit our Quick Rental Quote form and you’ll be on your way in no time!
Microsoft PowerPoint is the leading software for creating slide presentations, but the tips here can be applied to any workflow using open source, commercial or proprietary software, on a Windows PC or an iMac. Of the many commonsense tips for writing, designing and delivering an effective presentation, the top eight are below for your consideration.
1. Key phrases, essential info – Use key phrases and essential information only. Repeat key phrases from your top three or four points. Text should be short and sweet with a maximum of three bullets, as “negative” surrounding space makes it easy to read.
2. Go with the flow – Make your presentation easy to follow by having the title at the top of the slides. If you are using one of CRE’s Audience Response Systems rentals you should confirm with your audience that they can see the slide copy from the back rows.
3. No font follies – Use fonts designed for reading, like Verdana, Arial or Times New Roman. Use two fonts at most, one for headings and one for copy (no hard-to-read script). A MacBook Pro, or any other late-model Mac, will have excellent typefaces for all uses.
4. Simple language and NO CAPS! – On slides, punctuation marks diminish readability, and thus understanding, as do obscure words and all capital letters. All caps is also interpreted in our Internet culture as SHOUTING, but all it screams is, “low class!”
5. Play it safe– Themes or templates must be appropriate for the target viewers. For business, a no-nonsense layout is best. If you display your slides on a large-screen plasma display rentals, you can use any colors you like and get bright, clear, lifelike images.
6. Use images often – All kinds of images “speak louder than words” – charts, photos, graphs, even embedded video – and help keep your audience tuned in. Don’t do too many text-only slides.
7. Don’t overdo it – A reasonable number of slides ensures that the presentation will not be too long. One slide per minute is a common benchmark. Use digital recorder rentals to get your spoken presentation in sync with the slides.
8. Keep it simple – Transition effects and animation can add some emphasis (and fun), but the slides are visual aids for your presentation, not the focal point. Use a single transition style consistently.
The National Association of Broadcasters’ annual convention, NAB 2012, set for April 14-19 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, is among the premier electronic media shows and the primary one covering film, cable and TV. With a full range of trade show convention rentals – everything you need to make your best impression from booth to breakout session – CRE will help you get the most from this event.
Since everyone involved in creating, producing and delivering content across today’s multiple channels – TV, satellite, cable, smart phones, the Internet, the iPad, etc. – will be there, you need to be there, too. NAB 2012 combines 90,000+ attendees from over 150 countries with 1,500+ exhibitors, creating what it calls the “ultimate marketplace for digital media and entertainment.” From creators that use CRE’s render farms to communications firms streaming those creations to every sort of digital device, NAB 2012 is a true melting pot of innovation and progress.
Entice show-goers into your booth with an interactive presentation on a bright LCD touchscreen monitor rental. In the “interconnected world” of the 21st century, the NAB event has become renowned for solutions that, as the group explains, “transcend traditional broadcasting and embrace content delivery to new screens in new ways.” If you need some “new ways” to promote your firm more effectively at this trade show, contact CRE about NAB rentals.
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries will take over the Mandalay Bay Resort from April 15-19 for the ISRI 2012 Convention and Expo. Invited experts, attendees and exhibitors will take part in over 40 workshops, “spotlight” meetings and general sessions. That doesn’t even include the exhibits, where renting a 65″ plasma display will support your efforts to reach the 5,000+ attendees from 50 countries.
ISRI 2012 is the world’s biggest recycling industry event, with more than 250 vendors using 300,000 square feet of exhibit space to reach thousands of industry professionals. With so many people in constant motion, consider supplementing your booth outreach. Rent interactive kiosk technology to capture attendee contact data in convention areas you cannot cover with Sales staff.
The expo floor is always the centerpiece of ISRI’s yearly get-together, and organizers work hard to keep the attendees in front of the exhibitors. In fact, the Exhibit Hall Opening Gala Reception and a couple of other smaller events will be held right on the trade show floor. In addition to your booth and kiosk “virtual assistants,” your convention team will find that tablet PC rentals and other tools from CRE contribute to a successful team effort.
In addition to everything you need for conferences, CRE offers straightforward advice and solid solutions for digital workflows. From A/V equipment and powerful workstations to special post gear like the AJA Io HD, we’ve got you covered. One call or e-mail (or a few clicks on our Quick Rental Quote form) and we’re on it!
In “The New iPad: Some Nice Surprises (Part 1),” we told you about the astounding new Retina display, the faster A5X processor and the impressive camera specifications. These great upgrades, however, may not be required by every user. Are there other reasons to move to the new iPad with the early adopters, or should you play it safe until the first bug reports?
Familiar feel, predicted prices
The new iPad adds but a sliver to the sleekness of the iPad 2. It’s 3/100th’s of an inch thicker (.37 vs. .34) with about 1-3/4 ounces more heft (1.44 vs. 1.33 lbs.), nearly imperceptible increases that should have no effect on day-to-day use. Like the iMac through its history, some upgrades leave the look alone and focus on the insides. If you liked the iPad 2 ergonomically – the design, the look and feel – you’ll recognize the new iPad’s pretty face and svelte body, but you don’t need to upgrade to enjoy these features.
For the new iPad, Apple kept the starting price the same (for the Wi-Fi model with 16GB of flash memory) and lowered its iPad 2 price. You won’t be giving up much if you’re not a gamer and don’t lust for that Retina display. If you do need it, and the cameras, you’ll have the extra oomph of the A5X to get the most from them – but if you have a good cell phone, forgo the 4G model and save some dough. Apple packed every bit of its smarts, style, quality and value into the entry-level price.
What to do?
It comes down to the cameras, the display and the CPU. It’s not like Apple engineers threw everything out and went back to Square One, as they did with the mighty Mac Pro some years back. They took a great product and did a combo update-upgrade with three very powerful improvements. Everything the company learned in years of making Apple Cinema Display rentals went into creating the new Retina display. If you spend time reading and playing high-end games, you are one of Apple’s top upgrade candidates.
Two more types are on that list: people who depend on mobile data networks, and the early adopters and pioneers of tablet photography. The 4G speed jump is far too great to pass up if you work and live online. You can rent laptops to cover the territory, of course, but when you need an iPad, well, you need an iPad! A mobile photographer, on the other hand, commonly uses a PC laptop or a MacBook Pro for processing, indexing, editing and “Photoshopping” – but a solo iPad can be note-taker, indexer, editor, camera and digital lab.
Not convinced? Don’t know what your business should use? Discuss it in a call or e-mail to CRE. Our expert Account Executives know their stuff, and everyone else’s, too. Whether you need audio visual (AV) equipment rentals or high-end post-production gear, CRE is your one-stop shop. And visit our Quick Rental Quote form day or night!
Computers are not optional. They’re a way of life. But desktops, laptops, servers and other IT devices can take as much energy to cool as they do to run, so there is substantial environmental impact. Even CRE’s individually efficient Mac Pro rentals add to the challenge when you have a company full of them, plus as many (or more) PCs and other equipment.
Stanford University recently reported that 15% of total campus electricity use is for an IT infrastructure with 40,000 computers and 6,000 servers. At some firms, the IT energy share can reach 50%. The double-barreled challenge is to reduce both financial and environmental impacts.
Sustainable IT management targets both the systems and the facilities that house them. Mitigating the cost and environmental impact of IT-related activity includes
reducing the electricity demands for computing and telecom equipment,
minimizing the energy used for cooling,
decreasing the total amount of energy used to build the systems,
reallocating the resources needed for new facilities, and
reducing the electronic waste resulting from equipment disposal.
Every business is different, so you will have to consider your unique situation, but here are some things to keep in mind while doing so.
Computers and office equipment
Companies can start saving energy one computer at a time and make a dramatic impact. The iMac, like Windows PCs, has utilities to manage energy consumption, automate backups, simplify maintenance and protect against crashes. “Smart” power strips also help.
The Stanford study estimated that just dimming monitors and letting computers “sleep” saves the university over 2 million kWh of electricity annually. All computers, whether generic beige boxes or an all-in-one multitouch display PC, must meet EnergyStar requirements.
Advanced new instrumentation enables ongoing monitoring and automated temperature control. Energy requirements are reduced by “cold-aisle containment” and variable speed drives on air-handling devices.
The Satellite Server Room section of Stanford’s study indicated that, whether you use Apple’s Xserve technology or some other, how you design and manage server rooms “can make a 2x difference” in operating costs. Design matters, big time!
Server virtualization gives you multiple virtual servers on a single physical one, reducing energy use tremendously. Virtualization also means improved increased flexibility, superior crash recovery and reduced operating costs. VMware and others make virtualization products for use in any modern computing environment, from mainframes on down.
Energy savings via mobility
Various types of “work anywhere” systems allow mobile and remote access, communication and collaboration via smart phones, tablet PCs and iPad rentals. Costs (and greenhouse gases) associated with travel go down, while overall efficiency goes up.
A great deal of effort goes into planning for sustainability. CRE is part of that plan because of our own “green philosophy” and the efficiencies of renting vs. buying certain technology. It’s different for every firm, so call or e-mail an experienced Account Executive and talk about it. Know what you need? Hit our Quick Rental Quote form and you’ll be on your way in no time!