Alpha Video & Audio, Inc., is a national integrator of audio, video and broadcast technologies that empower casinos and other organizations to better communicate with their target audience.
According to press materials, the company helps clients succeed by designing, installing and supporting solutions that improve communications, collaboration and content creation. With its extensive expertise in a variety of industries, Alpha Video is able to partner with casino operators and other clients to overcome complex visual communication challenges.
Alpha Video & Audio Vice President Lance Hutchinson recently took some time to answer questions from Casino Journal Editor Paul Doocey regarding the company’s product lines, casino marketing strategies and growth plans. Below are some excerpts from this conversation:
How did Alpha Video & Audio come about?
HUTCHINSON: Alpha Video started in 1970 as an audio duplication company that quickly grew into one of the largest professional audiovisual integrators in the Midwest.
What was Alpha Video & Audio’s original product offering and how has the company expanded these product lines over the years?
HUTCHINSON: Through the years, Alpha Video has been recognized as a national leader in designing and integrating broadcast quality production solutions for the corporate, education and government markets. Alpha Video expanded into software development to become one of the first in the country to offer content management software for digital signage. Because of our expertise in both digital media and software development, Alpha Video expanded to become a national leader in deploying digital signage and Internet Protocol Television [IPTV] solutions into casinos and sports venues. We are also a leading integrator of broadcast, AV presentation and meeting collaboration solutions.
What industries does Alpha Video & Audio currently cover?
HUTCHINSON: Alpha Video currently serves the broadcast, corporate, casino, education, government and sports markets.
How and why did Alpha Video get involved with the casino industry?
HUTCHINSON: Our ability to provide engaging audiovisual systems and eye-catching digital signage displays was a perfect fit for casinos that were looking to share all the excitement their properties had to offer. Casinos are a great place to use dynamic visual content to both inform as well as entertain guests. The key for casinos is the ability to manage the content and keep it fresh. Our systems were perfectly suited to large enterprise operations like casinos that need to have centrally managed systems that can control content at multiple properties.
Also of note… Alpha Video was one of the first AV integrators to work with casino industry partners to provide automatic floor-wide jackpot celebrations. The ability to have every screen in a casino play a jackpot celebration animation was one of the key features that helped Alpha Video grow in the casino market.
What Alpha Video products and services have been most popular with casinos? Why?
HUTCHINSON: Five visual technology solutions have proven to be the most popular with our casino clients. They are celebration systems, digital signage, video walls, IPTV and interactive wayfinding. Celebration systems use a programmed lighting and audio show to call attention to contest winners or jackpot celebrations. We can then add digital signage to enhance the experience to show stunning celebration animations and contest countdowns. Digital signage can be used elsewhere on the property for casino marketing, menu boards and much more. We have also found that nothing has more visual impact on casino guests than large, brilliant video walls. Interactive touchscreen kiosks are popular for allowing casino guests to find their favorite games, restaurants or amenities. For delivering live cable or satellite TV channels to any screen on a property, nothing beats the cost-effectiveness of using IPTV. IPTV systems use a casino’s existing IP network to distribute live TV channels as well as digital signage channels to every screen in a casino.
Please explain the development of CastNET (Digital Signage & IPTV) and the impact it has had on the casino space.
HUTCHINSON: Alpha Video is unique in the AV industry for having developed our own digital signage software called CastNET. Over the last 20 years, we have deployed CastNET on thousands of screens in casino properties all over the world. CastNET is able to manage content on any display in a casino for any application including celebrations, table game signage and cashier cages. Recently, we have expanded our digital signage and IPTV offerings to include best-in-class solutions like Scala and Tripleplay. These platforms bring incredible flexibility and scalability to casino properties that want to create a visually rich and engaging environment for their casino guests.
What makes Alpha unique in terms of what it can offer casino operators?
HUTCHINSON: Alpha Video is truly a one-stop shop for every casino AV and digital signage application. Along with our design, integration and support services, we have an in-house creative design agency called Alpha Video Creative (AVC). AVC works with our casino clients to create motion graphics and animations that engage casino guests and direct their attention. As visual content experts, we are able to consult with our clients on best practices for displaying content so they get the most out of their digital signage investment.
How does Alpha Video use audiovisual products and technology to differentiate casino space?
HUTCHINSON: Alpha Video brings three big advantages to casino properties: we offer solutions that bring excitement to the gaming floor, enhance the guest experience and help casino staff be more productive.
Our AV solutions serve to not only encourage guests to stay and play longer, but they also benefit casino employees by allowing them to present and collaborate better. From projectors and screens in meeting rooms to wireless presentation and web-based video conferencing, Alpha Video has the additional AV knowhow to improve communication in casino offices, convention centers and other staff areas.
What sets Alpha Video & Audio apart from the competition?
HUTCHINSON: Alpha Video is a leading national AV and broadcast integrator with over 45 years of experience. Our expertise in a variety of markets allows us to combine best-in-class products from across different industries to integrate a perfect solution for our clients. Combined with 20 years as a software developer, and 20 years focusing on the gaming market, Alpha Video is uniquely suited to provide a one-stop shop for casinos looking for an AV, digital signage or IPTV application.
What is Alpha Video’s growth strategy for the gaming space going forward?
HUTCHINSON: Alpha Video is committed to bringing new ways for casinos to engage their guests using audiovisual and digital signage technology. One area that combines the best of AV and digital signage are casino sportsbooks. Alpha Video’s ability to deploy large video walls and projection systems, all controlled with tablets or touchscreens, offers a substantial return on investment for casinos and a chance to make a showcase for casino guests to see what the latest AV and digital signage technology can do.
Lance Hutchinson, vice president for Alpha Video & Audio, Inc., has worked at the company for 27 years with a focus on digital signage and IPTV in the casino market. He has helped to deploy over 500 AV, IPTV and digital signage systems for clients in over 40 countries around the world. Hutchinson takes pride in working with clients to create a full-service integration, content creation and support services solution.
He can be reached at email@example.com.