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Automation Unplugged

Automation Unplugged is a Facebook Live show recorded weekly with our host Ron Callis, Owner and CEO of the digital marketing agency, One Firefly. In each Automation Unplugged episode, Ron speaks with leading industry personalities and technology professionals to discuss all things business development, technology trends, and more. These interviews are designed to help our clients and members of the custom integration industry keep up-to-date with the latest news as well as learn from experts in the field.

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Home Automation Podcast Episode #56: An Industry Q&A With George Walter

Helping customers wrap their head around projects

Home Automation Podcast Episode #56: An Industry Q&A With George Walter

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing George Walter. Recorded live on Wednesday October 24th at 12:30 p.m. EST. 

About George Walter

George Walter is a distinguished industry leader with more than 30 years of industry experience. Began his career in Video with General Electric’s Projection Display business unit. Held positions in Sales and Product Management for GE’s Video projectors. Moved to Atlanta to join the newly established US subsidiary for Barco Projection Division. Held several positions in Product Management, Sales Management and Business Unit manager for Video projectors, Broadcast Monitors and Cable and Satellite products. Launched Home Entertainment business unit for Digital Projection. Launched Home Entertainment business unit for Christie Digital (Largest Digital cinema projection company in the United States). Received BSEE and MBA from Syracuse University. Held Board positions for CEDIA and Azione Member of CEDIA’s Strategic Advisory Council

Interview Recap

Here are some of the topics Ron had the opportunity to discuss with George:

  • George's background in the industry
  • Resurgence of Home Theaters
  • Technological advances driving home theater resurgence
  • Simplification of home theater selling, ordering and installatio

SEE ALSO: Home Automation Podcast Episode #55: A Custom Integration Industry Q&A With Steven Weber

 

Transcript:


Ron:  Hello everybody. Ron Callis here with another episode of Automation Unplugged. This is episode 56. You probably can already tell, I am using some new software today and we are checking out the BeLive.TV streaming software. So this is like some of my shows is going to be maybe a little bit of a science project, but I'm super pumped to be trying out this new software with you. And it's gonna have all sorts of cool new features. Like I'm going to be able to hopefully be able to bring in screen shares. So you know, if I want to share someone's website, I should be able to do that pretty easily. I'm also going to be able to bring in imagery. So if we're gonna have imagery and my guests so that we can in fact talk about things and you should be able to see us. I also will be able to share your comments and feedback on screen. And that's pretty cool. And here, I'll show you. I can put my name up there and I can do this. Isn't that fancy? All right. So now let me go through a couple other things here. Nope. Where do I want to do, I don't want to do that. No, I wanted to show you something, but it looks like I don't know how to do that. So I'll do it this way. There we go. Don't forget One Firefly is now on Instagram, so please follow us. We're almost at 200 followers on Instagram, which is pretty cool. So that's at One Firefly LLC. Don't forget to do that. And then just a little bit about what I have been up to. I was just at the Azione conference, so here you can see this is. I was on stage talking in front of a Richard Glikes group and had a lot of fun. I spoke to the group about website design and online best practices. And we actually did an audit of all of the Azione member websites and presented the findings and the accumulated kind of data and statistics around that to everyone. And it was a ton of fun. So that was that's what I was up to just in the last a week or two that was out in Denver. And in the meantime, I am back, I'm happy to be back and I am just before I bring in our guest, Mr. George Walter I am gonna, let's make sure we're actually streaming into Facebook. Let's make sure the technology is working. And if you are out there please like please share please comment. And in fact, if you're out there watching now, why don't you tell me where you're coming from, type that into the comments and then I'll show you how I can share that on screen as we test out our new software here. So let me come over to our page. If you are out there in the comment section type and tell me where you are coming to us from and there we go. There's a share. Appreciate that. No one's going to cooperate, huh? All right. I see how it is. All right. Well soon as I have somebody that is going to follow some directions and place a comment, then I'll put that on the screen and I'll show you guys how that works. In the meantime, let's go ahead and get started and let's bring in our guest. There we go. Here he comes. There's George. Woo. George, how are you sir?

George: I'm great. Ron, looking forward to this.

Ron:  Yes, it's going to be fun. There we go. I put your name on screen. And George, you are the president of Rayva Theaters and, and you have had a long storied career in this industry and even outside of this industry. I was fascinated to learn. You came from General Electric and that's where you got your start. So first of all, thank you for joining me today.

George: Thanks. And thanks for having me. You know, it's really cool over the years to look at how we can use technology, not just to benefit our customers, but to benefit our community and share ideas and share experiences and hopefully move the needle in the right direction.

Ron:  Oh, I agree. And as fast as you know, for example, this technology live streaming it can be problematic. There is no doubt anyone that's a regular listener and follower of the show. We've had our ups and downs as we've fought the technology gremlins and trying to get content stream live out there into the ether. So I appreciate you being brave and going on this voyage with me.

George: Sure, sure. We'll call it a voyage.

Ron:  We'll call it a voyage as long as you have a destination. So, George let's start with you if you can kind of tell my audience a little bit about yourself and, and, you know, take as much time as you'd like. I always find it fascinating, the backstories that lead to you ultimately being where you are today. So do you mind doing that?

George: Sure. No, that's great. So, you know, early on in my career I went to work for General Electric back when they were making television sets and video projectors. And you know, some people remember that, you know, there was a time when General Electric was one of the big consumer electronic manufacturers in our industry. And that's kind of where I cut my teeth on this industry. And it was a time where GE took kind of the consumer direction and started moving that into the commercial world. And so a good portion of my career, I had one foot in the commercial side and one foot in the residential side. And so from General Electric, I went to work for Barco back in the early days when Barco was really very, very strong in projection technology, both in the kind of one of the leaders and bringing projection technology into the home initially under the Barco name, but later branded under some other names, which I can't mention, but everybody would notice right away. And then during the Barco time, again going back and forth, I was in their broadcast side and cable and satellite and kind of all the different peripherals which touch on the residential community. And that really was the thing that got me so interested, you know, in the the residential CEDIA type channel. And when digital projection started to take off in their first couple of years I went to work with digital projection and a bunch of my ex Barco colleagues. But I launched the residential CEDIA group. And initially that was really when things were taken off and our component was high end clients that were studio producers and understood the future of commercial film was going to be transitioned over to DLP and you know, high end video technology and they want head screening rooms, high-performance screening rooms. And from there we went to high end theaters and I spent a lot of late nights and early mornings with integrators in the field resolving problems in clients' homes and understanding the challenges. And during those years I spent a lot of time developing relationships with speaker manufacturers and amplifier and receiver manufacturers and control manufacturers and all of us used to spend time out in the field with clients and faced those same kind of technology challenges. And so as time went on, you know I kind of always had this thing in the back of head, which was, you know, if somehow all these manufacturers could come together and work things out before they showed up at the dealers, customer's location because as we all know, the majority of initial home theaters were like science projects and you collected a bunch of different things and you went out there and you put them in the test tube and hope that you didn't get smoke. And yeah.

Ron:  Aren't many of them still science projects?

George: Sure, sure. And you know, the thing about that is it makes it exciting and challenging and all those wonderful things that you know, asz a technologist, you know, it drives us and gets us excited. Unfortunately for a lot of customers that it makes them very nervous. So, you know, at a point in time, I was having a discussion with Theo Callamaracas and you know, many people know Theo for all the, he's done almost a thousand super high end theaters. And we were chatting and Theo said, you know, I've done so many of these really high end theaters and I kind of had this vision, I've always had a vision of if we could simplify it and make it easy to install it, easy for consumers to wrap their heads around, we could open up a new, you know, component of the home theater space. And I kinda shared my vision, which was from a hardware and technology point, if we could kind of pre engineer it, you know, how much easier that would be and really put efficiency into the system. And so, you know, when all the stars aligned, you know, we've formed Reva almost two years ago and you know, that's really what our charter is. And it's really just taking all of the experience, the good, the bad, the networking, all the friends I've made in this industry. And learning from those challenges and trying to move the needle.

Ron:  So what is a Rayva solution when an integrator partners with Rayva? What is it that they are purchasing? Is it the interiors? I know that, you know I've spent some time with you guys at CEDIA this year. I know there's a lot of different designs and designers that you guys have pulled into the fold and they've designed all this beautiful interiors. Is it the interiors? Is that the product or is it the interiors plus the electronics? What is that combination?

George: So there's actually two different answers to your question. One, which is within the community and one which is outside of the community. First let me talk about outside of the community, we want the customer to see a Rayva theater. Our Rayva solution is a turnkey product. So what they actually do is they buy a product, not a project. So we want to be able to market to them and demonstrate to them a kind of a what you see is what you get. Imagine this exact room in all of its performance in your home. Now there's opportunities to personalize that, you know, with colors and some unique selections. But for the most part it's not customized. It's personalized. That's the message we want to send to the end user. Within the community, what Rayva brings is interior design and engineering on the technology side. So we see ourselves is that a organization that bridges the gap between design and technology. So we leverage our relationship with, you know, over 50 manufacturers who bring hardware to the industry along with some really cool designs that Theo is either doing himself or curating with the dozen or so different designers and architects that he works with to bring the look and aesthetics. And we bring the acoustic elements and we allow, or I shouldn't say allow we work with the manufacturers that the integrator already as a dealer for. So the integrator actually provides the electronics. We just make sure that they're engineered into the total theater experiment in the right way or experienced in the right way. So they get predictable and reliable results and that's most important to the integrator who does a handful of jobs a year. So every time they do it, you know, rather than to start from scratch, they know that they've got a trusted partner who's concentrating on this every day and can help smooth out some of those bumps.

Ron:  So bringing all of your experience to the table, George, what do you think in your past was most helpful for you to take this project on, to take leading this company and really carving new paths and you've got your machete and there's a rainforest in front of you and you're inventing, you and your team are inventing this new solution. Or at least that's how I'm interpreting it. If that's not an accurate analogy, please correct me. But from your background, what do you think you were able to bring to the table today to best prepare you for the challenges and opportunities you have?

George: Yeah. Well I'll tell you, and it's part of the success formula that I've had, you know, with the past couple of companies which was to become a trusted partner with the integrator community, you have to embrace their problems and challenges and you have to be a solution. You know, so early on in digital projection. You know, we sold a projector, but as it turns out, the projector was the window to any potential problems in the whole system. If the AVR wasn't switching the HDMI signal properly, you'd see it in the projector. If you had a kink in the cable, you'd see it in the projector. You know, and I can go on and on with that. And so what we quickly found out was we would get the first call, something's wrong with the projector, but if we could help that integrator figure out where the problem was in quickly, then, you know, we were a hero and our projectors were good. That was never a question, but we were front of mind, which was the most important thing. And so I put together a small team of application engineers who really focused on this. And then we started documenting and it's to no one's surprise that we would see the same consistent results, you know, and AVR would upgrade its firmware and we'd start getting calls from dealers who had that AVR with the same problem. And if we could get ahead of that curve and right off the bat, be able to go to that integrator, yes, we're aware of this. It's not a projector problem. Here's where the problem is and here's where the fix is. You know, it was just a huge benefit. And it's a benefit to the community, not just did the dealer benefit from it, but the end user benefited from it. And everybody who had a home theater had a bad experience because of it. So you know, the whole premise behind Reva is to do just that. To spend all of our time and effort trying to get ahead of some of these challenges, whether it's, you know there's new 4K HDR, and what does that mean as far as bandwidth on cables? So we can give recommendations on what works and what's effective new content, whether it be streaming and what's the required bandwidth on your internet service to effectively do streaming new screen materials, new projector technologies, all of that. But to be this trusted resource within the community. And the deliverable is the finishing touches on the room. One of the things that I've found out within about the past year was that over 50% of the theaters didn't have acoustical treatments. But interestingly, when I talked to a lot of the installers in the integration principals, you know, I said, have you been in a room with acoustic treatments? And they said, yeah, they're great. And they make the performance of all the electronics so much better. And I said, well, you know, why don't you make it a mainstay? And they said, well, it's not really what our expertise is. It's more on the design and the styling. Now I'm not saying that they don't do it or they can't do it because they certainly can. It just wasn't, you know, kind of in their wheelhouse. So from a deliverable perspective, we think by Reva providing that again, it, along with the engineering, those are some opportunities that we can, the integration community kind of move the needle and make it easier to sell, easier to install, and easier to give a great experience to their customer, which is ultimately what drives every one of us every day.

Ron:  Amen. George, I've got a question that came in and I'm gonna put it on screen for you.

George: Sure.

Ron:  So there, can you see that? Perfect. Oliver is asking, what are some of the major design trends you've seen in the home theater industry? Could you take a swipe at that?

George: Sure. So when you talk about design, you know I'll make an assumption that we're talking about aesthetics. If you're, if you want something outside of that, you know, just let me know and I'd be happy to address that as well. But from an aesthetics point of view, you know, a lot of the original theaters had columns and the reason why they had columns was to hide these big speakers. But now we have low profile in wall speakers and even low profile on wall speakers. And we can make those columns go away and it makes the overall room feel a lot more natural and a lot more stylish. So that's, that's one of the things we've seen go away. The other thing which I think is pretty exciting is the addition of led lighting. You know, led lighting is so flexible and so efficient and you know, you can power it even with a cat five or cat six kinda activity. So in the past when you looked at theater design, used to see columns with sconces on those columns, right? Because that was practical way of wiring and adding lighting. Now we can do really almost invisible led strips that can be underneath the seating. It can be hidden behind the acoustic elements to provide soft, complimentary lighting. And it can be controlled as far as intensity, color, anything to completely change the mood of the room. And with some really cool automation, you know, it can be tied to what it does at different times. The movie you see even led lighting behind the screen, which changes the perceived, you know, contrast, but it adds a really super cool effect. So all those design elements have made their way into home theater. And I think quite frankly, it's just the start.

Ron:  I want to follow up on Oliver's question and pick your brain? George, you are probably one of the more consummate video experts that I've ever spoken to. What are the trends happening in the world of video resolution in theaters? I mean 4K 8K what is the latest in best practices right now for theaters?

George: Yeah, so, you know, it's a great topic and it's one that people pick my brain. And quite often I talk too much about it, but there's a big difference in, you know, flat panel resolution and theatre resolution. In flat panel resolution we see things ramping up pretty quickly to 4K and beyond whether we need the pixels or not, that's a different discussion. But they're accessible and they're not exorbitantly more expensive. So keep adding pixels and the theater environment, you're starting to see much more of a trend towards immersion. You know, multi multichannel sound, 32 64 channel sound and bigger screens. There's a new technology which started in Europe and a couple of places in the United States, which is actually three different screens stitched together. So you've got a center screen, a left screen and a right screen to create, you know, total immersion. Because now we can do so much more with manipulating the video content. And now you just pretty much have endless pixel density new products like the Samsung wall, which is a direct view led. You know, as they tie all those elements, we have endless pixel density. So you know, why stop at 4K 8K you just add as many pixels as you need to create a total immersive experience. And I think within five years people will stop even talking about resolution in the form of pixels. Much like, you know, in printer technology, people stopped talking about DPI when it was really important because printers weren't all that good. They wanted to know, how many dots per inch can your printer do? Now it's irrelevant because it's more than you need. Okay,

Ron:  The image looks perfect when it comes out of your printer. So what do the dots matter?

George: Yeah, what does it matter? And I think that's where we're going with, you know, video resolution. We're quickly, very quickly, within the past 10 years we've so much closer been able to recreate the image in the same way that your eyes sees reality with technologies like HDR and wider color gamut, you know we're making exponential growth in the ultimate point is where when you look at a recreated image, it appears exactly the way when you look out a window it real life. So the color space is the same. The resolution is the same. And the perceived contrast ratio is the same.

Ron:  I have another question, George that's just been posed. It looks like it's been posed by a member of my team that is logged in or watching, so I don't know who it was cause it just says One Firefly. But there are 30 fireflies now, so I don't know which one of them it was.

George: Okay.

Ron:  So let me post this. There you go. What do you think a 4K Blu-ray versus streaming 4k movies from Voodoo and iTunes in terms of current adoption in theaters?

George: Yeah. well, the beauty of Blu-ray or fixed content is you get predictable results. Same way if you have a big enough buffer. The problem with streaming or the challenge with streaming is consistency. And we talked about that a little bit earlier. Even when you're broadcasting like this you know, I have a certain size pipe that allows data in and out of my home or my theater. And that pipe is occupied by a whole lot of things security. You know, the internet of things world becomes bigger and bigger and bigger and they're all sharing that. So at a point in time, there may not be enough room to get all my 4K content, especially if I wanted high bandwidth, which is lossless with HDR and potentially 60 Hertz refresh. You know, my requirements are beyond 18 gig. If I want all those, so streaming becomes questionable. But if I've got hard media, I'm guaranteed results. So in a theater where you can't even remotely take a chance on inconsistency is you'll always see hard media.

Ron:  Got it. I want to have some fun here, George, with one of our new capabilities with our software here. And what I wanna do, look at that. There we are. And there's your website. So I'd love if you could I'm gonna drive here a little bit, but can you take our audience here through your website and what resources are available for people that want to learn more about Reva? What would be some places you'd point us?

George: Yeah, so one of the things we have on our website is a configurator. And we developed the configurator, again based on a lot of experience that we have in the industry. And we really sat down with integrators and manufacturers and designers and architects and we tried to understand how this process works and how they think. And this is a process that you can step through in about 15 minutes and get a really good idea of how home cinema works and how much it costs and how it would look for you. And what we call it is three easy steps. And step one is how big is your room going to be? And what we find is there's two variables that are pretty consistent. Number one is the client has a room that they've already got in their mind to convert into a theater. And number two, they want the biggest screen and the most seats possible. So what Theo's done is he's created a template based system. He's got 12 templates here. And the first step, which is very easy, is you find the template, which is closest to the room size you have. And so as an example, you want to pick a medium short, think of what I'm going to put in my next house. I'm going to think about myself here. What are we going to do? So you'll see that it's 14 by 16, and we've put the maximum number of seats in there and the largest screen. But the key element is we're using CEDIA's best practices. So you'll notice that none of those chairs are up against the wall. None of them are up against the back walls. You get proper audio dispersion, the right down stage. The first row of seats is properly distanced from the screen. All those kind of engineering things, but we just make it simple, right? So the client just comes in and says, I've got roughly a 14 by 16 foot room. Boom. Here's what I can have. So that's step one. If you select that, we'll go to step two.

Ron:  All right, I'm here.

George: And now what we've done and we work with our integration partners on the, the actual details of this, but we've created three different preconfigured packages and you'll see that everything is in there, screen, projector, audio receiver, amplification, power conditioning, cables, source, everything including the rack is in there at three different price points, you know and this can vary a little bit based on what the integrators products are. But it is a reference point, you know, bronze, silver, gold, good, better, best. The electronics package, 20,000, 40,000, and you know, roughly 100,000 and the client can quickly look through there without getting too technical and understand what the three steps are. So if you select silver as an example, now we go into an array of different interiors that are all either curated by Theo or actually designed by Theo. You'll see Soundscapes there is done in conjunction with one of our industry favorites, Noah Kaplan from Leon. Some of our other designs are curated by sculpture, wrists. Illuminations is an example. If you click on Illuminations, you'll see Alaina is a Greek sculpturist and she makes these wonderful glass sculptures. And she exhibits and galleries in Paris. And Soho and Theo met her and asked her if she would collaborate with him on adding some of her designs into our acoustic elements. So it's more than just the performance. There's actually art that's built into this. And Dimitri, who's a graphic artist he has done origami, which is actually one of our more popular ones. And you'll see a theater that we just recently did profile that our Facebook and website page utilizing origami.

Ron:  What did you have at CEDIA?

George: We had light edge and you'll see that on top of cells. There you go. Okay. so we're actually adding some art and you'll see there, led illumination, all four walls and the ceiling are all acoustically treated. And the performance in those rooms is really exciting. You know, and one of the things that I pointed out was we were under construction of a theater and nothing had been done. And I met with the client, we went into the room and as you would well expect, it was a pretty lively room with a lot of echoes. And even before any of the electronics was activated, but all the acoustic elements were brought into the room. The client went in there and he's like, wow, this is night and day difference. You know, I can hear myself think this is really exciting. And it just allows the actual electronics to perform at a much higher level. So step three is selection of the seats. And we've got some examples in there from a couple of different manufacturers. But as you know, there's almost an endless supply of seed options and we work with the integrator to populate this page with the specific seats that they sell and price points that meet their customer's needs. So if you click on that California for an example and now it should be a little arrow down in the corner. I don't see it, but hopefully you do. So this is kind of the exciting thing. And we can't completely demonstrate this here, but if you've got a client that would be comfortable with VR goggles I put their phone number right in that little box that you've highlighted and we send them a text that's a link to allow their phone, their personal phone to become a VR engine. And you just slide their phone into some inexpensive VR goggles. They put those on and they're like completely immersed a virtual reality tour of the theater that they just created. And for those that are comfortable with it, they are just completely blown away. If that's not what you're comfortable with, you can press click on light edge up there and it will open up a new window and we can do a 360 tour. And you can move that around. So maybe if you're doing your presentation on like a 65 inch flat panel or something.

Ron:  And that has the Californian that I just chose?

George: I think this one's going to show you a generic six seat theater.

Ron:  I see. And but if I had given the phone number, it would show the exact configuration that I had submitted.

George: Yeah. That's where we're going to be. But you can click here and you can look at some other designs and and kind of play around with it. And again, in about a five or 10 minutes, you've kind of created a theater. You can visualize what you're, you know, what your room would look like.

Ron:  Which one is this? What is this called?

George: That's called movement. Ah, that's so cool. And there are some, you know, some subtle led lighting, much like I talked about before that just kind of glows from out behind the acoustic elements. And again, the intensity and the color of those can be changed with a touch of a button.

Ron:  And this features, this is acoustically treated on, you know, all the walls, ceilings or?

George: Yes, absolutely. And you know, the, the magic behind that, some of those panels are absorption panels, some are reflective, some are diffusion. We employ some of the experts in the industry that specialize in acoustics on our templates to tell us exactly, you know, what those elements have to be for optimal performance. So all that's again, we make it easy, we do as much of the heavy lifting as possible and we allow the integrator just to do what they do best, which is keep a great relationship with the client and install a wonderful system.

"I couldn't think of a better conversation to want to include onscreen embedding of a website into a conversation. Then being able to view and demo this."

Ron:  This is so cool. I couldn't think of a better conversation to want to include onscreen embedding of a website into a conversation. Then being able to view and demo this. This is pretty fantastic. That is cool. All right, well let me close that down. George, thank you for taking us through that. Configurator on your what? Hey, there, we are looking at that. We are back, by the way, if you're out there, don't forget, Luis how are you sir? Thanks for hanging out with us. I appreciate the thumbs up. Thank you, Luis. Luis is an integrator here in South Florida. He's in Fort Lauderdale,

George: So wonderful, it's a great time to be in South Florida.

Ron:  There you go. We got George Tucker. He's hanging out and I appreciate you joining us. George. Thanks for joining us yesterday. Don't forget if you're out there like this chair, this give us a comment or a question for George and that way we can do that live and we'll get him to answer your questions live. So George, let me ask you, what makes for a good Rayva theater integrator, right? So what's a great partner for Rayv? What are you guys looking for? You know, you've been out there doing this for how long? How long has the company existed? One year, two years?

"The most important thing, you know, is an integrator who wants to make their customer happy. Because our ultimate goal is to create an environment where the client comes in and he's excited about the way the room looks."

George: Well, officially we were formed two years ago. We really didn't start promoting until January of 2017. So yeah. So the early January of this year, we'll officially hit our two year Mark. But that's a good question. You know, we actually have had really good conversations with integrators from different aspects. As an example, you know, there's some integrator friends of mine that do incredibly nice high end theaters that are very custom. And when I chat with them I say, how often do you get opportunities for just, you know, standard kind of run of the mill theaters? And they're like, well, you know, that's not really where our efficiency is. So we tend to walk away from those. And I talked to him about Rayva and I say, you know, what if the solution were easy and you could get in and out of that customer site in a matter of days, rather than, you know, months like you're used to with your custom theaters, you know, would that allow you to actually expand your market penetration? And they see us as a huge benefit because that's exactly what we can do. We can allow them to do more theaters just because the efficiency we bring. On the other side, you know, I have had discussions with many integrators that specialize in automation or shades or lighting and they generally say, you know, we don't do that much with theater. And then they listen and understand about the Rayva concept. And, you know, because we do so much of the engineering and we make it easy and efficient for them to do the installation, we allow them to do theater projects that otherwise they wouldn't have been able to do. So we're actually appealing to a broader spectrum. And from our side, you know, the most important thing, you know, is an integrator who wants to make their customer happy. Because our ultimate goal is to create an environment where the client comes in and he's excited about the way the room looks. And then once the room starts, you know, operating, they get super excited. And that operation could be movies, it could be sports, it could be gaming. You know, we've had more and more people that, especially in smaller theaters, like the one that you just created, you know, it may only have three seats, but there's one of those that's the ultimate gaming location. You know, it's a big screen, totally immersive audio and you can just lose yourself in there. And the acoustic elements make it really exciting.

Ron:  My nine year old is super into Fortnite. And so I could just imagine if we gave him one of those rooms, we'd probably never see him again. And I might get pulled in there too, and it could be a lot of fun for sure.

George: So one of the things that I just wanted to add, you know, traditionally a lot of people think of theaters as being a big room. And, and I personally think that theater or a home entertainment room has to be right for you personally. You know, and it might be a 10 by 12 foot room and it might be a 18 by 16 foot room. Right? And it's based upon how you live your life. Especially in some high density areas like San Francisco, New York, Miami where you know, your lifestyle may mean that, you know, you go to the movies with another couple, so there's four of you. So a four seat theater may be ideal for you. And it doesn't have to be big. It, it just has to be immersive and give you an experience, which is really special. Conversely, you know, you may have a big family and you want to have 12 seats so the entire family can come in and enjoy, you know, a sporting event or a movie at the same time. So you shouldn't necessarily think of the room based upon size. It's what size is right for you.

"Whatever [space] is available can be converted and can be really an enjoyable place to spend time."

Ron:  Right. And I imagine there's so many people around the world that have that extra room or that spare area in their basement or that extra guest bedroom, whatever that is. And maybe they have reservations about what exactly it would take to get that converted into a theater. And what I'm hearing from you is whatever is available can be converted and can be really an enjoyable place to spend time.

"That's what we want to try to create, a visualization tour where people can imagine that room and their house. And when they make that choice, that's what they get. That room and their house just like they saw it just like they expected it. Predictable results."

George: Yeah. And that's what we want to try to create, you know, through our configurator and other things is to create, you know, a visualization tour where people can imagine that room and their house. And when they make that choice, that's what they get. That room and their house just like they saw it just like they expected it. Predictable results.

Ron:  Predictable results. George it has been a pleasure having you on show number 56 of Automation Unplugged. And I really appreciate you spending time with us today.

George: Well, thank you very much. I mean, I had a great time. You know, I love telling stories about all the experiences I've had and the time I've had working with integrators and it was great sharing it with everybody in the audience.

Ron:  Awesome. Thank you George. George, what is the best way, I'm actually going to put it on screen here. We're going to use one of our new features here. What is the best way for people to get ahold of you? And I'm going to have it scroll on the screen.

George: Sure. I mean, you can always contact me directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. but if you forget that, just go directly to our website, very simple. www.rayva.com and reach out to us. We're always anxious to have a dialogue and, and understand what challenges are and how we might be able to help.

Ron:  Awesome. Did I get that right? Do you see that on screen there George?

George: You got it. Perfect. Thank you.

Ron:  Awesome. all right. Let me hide that. There we go, ladies and gentlemen. Well there you have it. That was another episode of Automation Unplugged. Thank you for bearing through, I know we had a little bit of audio sinking issues, but what I'm super excited about is this is the first show in a little while where if it looks like maybe the stream was not interrupted for the whole length of the show, which is pretty fantastic. So thank you for joining me. What I am going to put up on the screen is don't forget to jump over to Instagram if you have not already and like or follow us. We're going to be putting all sorts of neat content up there and then what else do I have for you? I also have, don't forget if you want to find out more about One Firefly or if you have any questions, go over to our website. Never hesitate to give us a call. If you want to speak to me directly, I'd be happy to speak with you. Just call us at the number there on the screen. And thank you again for joining us today. It was great to spend time with you and I'll see you next week.

Show Notes

George Walter is a distinguished industry leader with more than 30 years of industry experience. He began his career in video with General Electric’s Projection Display business unit. George held various positions in Sales and Product Management for GE’s Video projectors. George moved to Atlanta to join the newly established US subsidiary for Barco Projection Division. George is currently working with Rayva Theaters focusing on home theaters and home entertainment.

Ron Callis is the CEO of One Firefly, LLC, a digital marketing agency based out of South Florida and creator of Automation Unplugged. Founded in 2007, One Firefly has quickly became the leading marketing firm specializing in the integrated technology and security space. The One Firefly team work hard to create innovative solutions to help Integrators boost their online presence, such as the elite website solution, Mercury Pro.

Resources and Links from the Interview:

You can also learn more about Rayva Theaters at https://rayva.com/ Make sure to follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

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