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More InfoComm Education Sessions at ISE 2017

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InfoComm International announces it will offer Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) study courses at ISE 2017, as well as over 80 professional development sessions, all available with a single pass.

ISE InfoCommStaff instructor Marcus Yarborough will lead the 2.5-day CTS Prep Course at ISE in a collaborative environment where students can explore the exam format and learn test-taking strategies. Following the course is an optional half-day CTS Study Session providing more preparation time in a group environment with the instructor. CTS testing takes place on 9-10 February, and InfoComm recommends early appointments, as seats are limited.

“The CTS designation has become the universal mark of professionalism within the AV industry,” the organisation says. “At InfoComm, it’s our role to elevate our vocation, and that is done by continuing to educate our workforce. We’re excited about the CTS program we’re bringing to ISE 2017. It will allow people to prepare in a group environment and take the exam alongside their peers.”

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Samsung Buys Harman in $8 Billion Cash Deal

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Samsung Building

It's the biggest acquisition in Samsung's history: $8 billion for Harman International in an all cash deal.

And for Samsung it is less about audio/video and much more about automotive electronics.

Harman leads the connected car solutions market, with more than 30 million vehicles equipped with its connected car and audio systems, including embedded infotainment, telematics, connected safety and security.

Approximately 65% of Harman’s $7.0 billion of reported sales during the 12 months ended September 30, 2016 are automotive-related-- and its order backlog for this market at June 30, 2016 was approximately $24 billion.

Upon closing, Harman will operate as a stand-alone Samsung subsidiary, led by Harman’s current management team.

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CEDIA Confirms Global Integration

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The majority of CEDIA members vote in favour of the formal integration between CEDIA and CEDIA EMEA, confirming the association's plans to unite all global operations under a single "Better Together" umbrella.

CEDIA "Operating as one global organization is an important step for CEDIA as we seek to strengthen our global voice and influence," CEDIA CEO Vin Bruno says. "Our increased operational efficiencies will ensure that we are able to continue to deploy the resources CEDIA members need to be successful in every region."

While CEDIA HQ will be based in the US, the association will retain offices in Indianapolis and Cambridgeshire, highlighting the importance of regional benefits and connection points in local markets.

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ISE 2017 To Be Biggest Yet

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February 2017 might still be some time away but Integrated Systems Events already can announce ISE 2017 will be the biggest in the show's 14-year history, thanks to an increase in show-floor space, exhibitors and halls.

ISE ISE 2017 sees 135 first-time exhibitors and over 3000 square metres of additional show-floor space compared to ISE 2016, the result of an additional hall and pavilion. The new hall is named Hall 9, and accessible via Halls 8, 10 and 11, while the new Pavilion occupies the Congress Square. It provides 1500 square metres and connects with the Exhibitor Foyer, Diamond Lounge and Auditorium, making a combined area known as Hall 14.

“Making sure that we can feature all of the world’s leading AV vendors and service providers has always been a priority for us in delivering value for ISE attendees," ISE managing director Mike Blackman says. "With the expansion of the show I am delighted that we are able take the attendee and exhibitor experience to the next level for our 2017 event.”

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Razer Buys THX

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Gaming accessory maker Razer makes a surprise acquisition with THX, the venerable audio certification unit founded by George Lucas 33 years ago. Financial details of the deal are not available.

THX LogoAccording to the new buyer THX should retain both its management and employees, and will continue operating as an "independent startup" under the Razer banner. The company will continue working on audio standards for both cinema and the home, but will also branch out into "new categories in order to address evolving consumer needs."

"Our focus has always been on ensuring that anyone can experience high quality entertainment, regardless of their medium of choice. With Razer, we can now continue to strengthen our core lines of business while delivering excellence for our customers’ ever-changing needs," THX says. "As a standalone company, THX will work with Razer but will primarily continue to service our partners in the industry in order to deliver great products to consumers."

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