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MEDIA CENTER INTEGRATOR ALLIANCE DEBUTS AT CEDIA EXPO 2008
Rallying around Media Center technologies, industry giants form an alliance to develop and support best practices in the channel.
September 3, 2008 — CEDIA EXPO — Booth 469B — The Media Center Integrator Alliance (MCIA) announces its entrance into the custom install channel to drive adoption and raise awareness of the Media Center ecosystem. Comprised of some of the industry’s top companies, MCIA was founded to provide both integrators and manufacturers with best practices and training for technologies using Media Center.
Through the MCIA, the industry for the first time will enjoy a central point of contact and interaction for all things Media Center. The founding members of MCIA now comprise the Board of Directors and include Gabe Gravning of AMD, Fred Bargetzi of Crestron, Ameer Karim of HP, Greg Schlechter of Intel, Seale Moorer of Life|ware, Kevin Collins of Microsoft Corporation, and Brian Paper of Niveus Media.
“Based on the shared idea that the capabilities of the manufacturers and integrators that currently support or wish to support Media Center technologies are greater when combined, MCIA hopes to pool resources and ideas with the common goal of working together to nurture, develop and expand the Media Center ecosystem,” stated Kevin Collins, Chairman of the Board and President of MCIA.
MCIA members will share best practices, establish standards, and develop education and certification tools that will further the Media Center cause. In the process, MCIA will serve as a central gathering point for the Media Center movement and hopes to attract the interest, acceptance and participation of many more companies. Participating companies will have the opportunity to contribute to a unified industry-based voice within the Media Center ecosystem, while simultaneously benefiting from the best practices, education tools and certification programs established in through the alliance.
With the increased development of Media Center technologies in the custom installation channel, MCIA hopes to use the contributions of all members to facilitate Media Center’s continued growth and progress. The Media Center ecosystem is comprised of powerful, flexible, reliable hardware and software from a large number of manufacturers that span a wide variety of consumer electronics categories. These progressive manufacturers in the CE industry utilize the latest technologies from both the computer and CE industries, such as powerful, energy-efficient GPUs and CPUs, digital tuners, high-speed networking and the latest in A/V technology, to create a range of products that reside in the Media Center ecosystem. These products include media servers, extender devices, mobile internet devices, high-definition digital content, security devices, PCs, thermostats and lighting control. By assembling the right Media Center products and applications, integrators can fully serve the entertainment and automation needs of any residential or commercial installation.
Working together, MCIA members will create tools to help integrators successfully design and quickly install robust systems using components and technology within the Media Center ecosystem while profiting from its use in custom solutions.
For information on how to become a member of MCIA and learn about the different membership levels, visit the website at www.mediacenterintegrator.org.
The Media Center Integrator Alliance (MCIA) Board of Directors has provided the following quotes:
Board of Directors:
Kevin Collins, Microsoft, MCIA Chairman of the Board and President
Brian Paper, Niveus, MCIA Vice President
Gabe Gravning, AMD, MCIA Secretary
Greg Schlechter, Intel, MCIA Treasurer
Fred Bargetzi, Crestron
Ameer Karim, HP
Seale Moorer, Life|ware
“AMD recognizes the need for vested industry leaders to join together to advance the Media Center ecosystem to its fullest potential. This is especially important as the custom installation market grows more complex,” said Gabe Gravning, strategic alliance manager for AMD. “As a founding member of the MCIA, AMD plans to work with other industry leaders to address the challenges facing Media Center integration, and to help create new business opportunities for all MCIA members in the process. AMD is confident that MCIA will ensure the success of custom integrators who strive to deliver solutions that delight their customers.”
“The emergence of the Media Center ecosystem is the latest and greatest step in the quest for convergence,” said Jeffrey Singer, marketing communications director for Crestron. “In order for the ecosystem to reach its full potential however, a consistent end user experience is required. Because the Media Center ecosystem is more than just one company, Crestron believes that proper and consistent education requires the cooperation and collaboration of the most significant partner companies in the ecosystem. We intend to expand the Crestron Technical Institute curriculum to include courses designed to educate our dealers about Media Center, so they have the resources necessary to deliver the optimal experience to their clients. We fully support the MCIA’s effort to establish standards and practices that will enable integrators to ensure an optimal user experience for their customers, and maximize penetration in the custom marketplace. We believe MCIA is an essential vehicle to accomplish this.”
“HP has been on the forefront of digital entertainment products throughout the home and introduced the first Media Center solution over 5 years ago with our first Media Center PC and then continued elevating the capability by adding touch control with the HP TouchSmart PC. We have been strong believers in supporting the ecosystem, even developing numerous storage and connected entertainment devices that deliver the Media Center experience throughout the entire home in unique and intuitive ways,” said Ameer Karim, Director, Futures and Innovations Group, HP. “As one of the founding members of the MCIA, HP is excited to collaborate with world-class companies and integrators to continue to develop innovative solutions by utilizing the knowledge derived from the custom installation channel so that we can collectively build a stronger Media Center ecosystem.”
“The mounting success of professional Media Center products, the transformation of the home network into an entertainment backbone for today’s consumers, and the ever-increasing demand for high-quality internet content presents a significant growth opportunity for many custom integrators,” said Greg Schlechter, Platform Marketing Manager with Intel. “In order to maximize their success, integrators need tools, resources and robust products that fulfill the promise of that exciting end user experience. Intel is proud to be a founding member of MCIA because it is the perfect forum for developing understanding, confidence and feedback mechanisms with the integrators to develop the full potential of the Media Center ecosystem.
“We’ve based our business on expanding the Media Center ecosystem from day one,” said Seale Moorer, CEO of Exceptional Innovation, manufacturer of Life|ware. “The creation of MCIA is a huge moment not only in the history of Media Center, but in the history of the custom installation market. MCIA will generate an unprecedented level of industry cooperation, collaboration and promotion that will accelerate the adoption and development of our systems and those of all MCIA manufacturer and integrator members.”
“With market-leading companies that represent the key areas of the Media Center ecosystem, the MCIA is able to establish itself as the leading place for integrators to turn to for the latest information, training and certification,” said Kevin Collins, Director of the Custom Installer Channel in the Connected TV eHome division at Microsoft. “Windows Media Center has grown significantly over the last couple of years as a robust connected home solution for integrators. Now, for the first time, OEMs, ISVs, IHVs and integrators have a central rallying point with MCIA. Microsoft is honored to be one of the founding board-of-director members of the MCIA.”
“The most successful Media Center integrators are well-trained and well-educated. They understand exactly what they’re selling, and they know how to install it efficiently and effectively,” said Brian Paper, Niveus Media’s Vice President Operations and Co-Founder. “MCIA will provide unprecedented levels of training and certification that will greatly benefit our network of integrators, as well as give them a formal setting in which to share best practices. I strongly encourage all manufacturers and integrators in the Media Center ecosystem to join MCIA, because it gives them the best opportunity to have their voices heard as the technologies and market develop.”
About Media Center Integrator Alliance
MCIA is an open and independent non-profit consortium formed to advance and administer the support, promotion, and enrichment of the media center ecosystem. Charter members of MCIA include AMD, Crestron, HP, Intel, Life|ware, Microsoft Corp., and Niveus Media.
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