Inlighten Adds Whitebox Full Of Signage Gear

December 18, 2014 by Dave Haynes

gI_84268_Whitebox LogoI’ve been aware of Inlighten for years – given they’re just down the road and over the Niagara in Buffalo – but have never bumped into them in person or been at their digs near the airport.

The company has tended to operate pretty quietly, but that’s changed in recent months – first with a low-cost Android offer for digital signage networks and now with an interesting spin on the infrastructure stuff behind the screens of networks.

The company – also a newly minted 16:9 advertiser – has debuted something it calls Whitebox. It’s an effort to extend the company’s offer to all the AV cables and components that tie screen networks together by getting clients using ones Inlighten labels and trusts enough to back up with a 2-year warranty.

Says a news release:

The Whitebox product line is the result of a multi-year development effort by inLighten, whose digital signage and audio products have been deployed in tens of thousands of locations over the past 25 years.

According to CEO, Dan Snyder, “The thousands of installations performed by our audiovisual division have given us unique insight into the differences between high-quality AV components that enable commercial applications to perform consistently at a high level and those that aren’t up to the task. All too often, we’ve come across cases where clients that decided to take on their own installation or use a third party find themselves with splitters, amplifiers, baluns or other under-performing AV components that need to be replaced a year after they were installed.”

Snyder continued, “inLighten has built its reputation for excellence, in part, by standing behind its products and making ongoing warranty assurance and dependable support a central part of every client relationship. Nothing is more uncomfortable for us than explaining to a client that the failed part they or their installer used isn’t under warranty and that they’ll have to pay to have it replaced. In recent years, a growing number of clients have asked us if we planned to provide audiovisual components made to the same exacting standards as our digital media products. As the requests became more frequent, it became clear to us that there was an unmet need for a high-quality line of audiovisual components and equipment backed by superior warranty coverage, service and support. More than two years ago, inLighten made the strategic decision to produce these items, and since that time we’ve been working intently to deliver a collection of splitters, amplifiers, adaptors, baluns and other components built to operate under the most rigorous conditions of commercial use.”

inLighten VP of Operations, Jeff Taylor, who has been involved in the performance testing process for inLighten’s componentry initiative, described how Whitebox products will not only set a new standard of excellence for performance, but will also offer the best assurance to clients who use them. “The audiovisual componentry that has been available within the industry, even the best of it, typically provides end-users a 90-day warranty or, on occasion a 1-year warranty. Well, that’s about to change. We’re so confident of the quality that’s been built into these components, we’re providing a 2-year warranty on all Whitebox products.”

According to inLighten SVP, Doug Braun, “We initially contemplated leveraging Whitebox products as another point of competitive advantage by making them available exclusively to inLighten clients, but upon careful consideration we decided that undersupported A/V parts and equipment shouldn’t be the weak link that hinders the continued growth of our industry. We know that when our industry expands there’s more opportunity for everyone. That’s why we’re making Whitebox products available to the providers of all digital signage solutions, as well as installers, integrators and other audiovisual professionals, for use in their applications.”

Braun added that Whitebox audiovisual components will be available for purchase beginning in the second quarter of 2015 with an initial offering of 50 core products.

It’s been a while since I’ve run ops on a network, but I’ve certainly been around enough projects that were troubled not by the major things like screens and players, but the stupid little things – like networks where the cables and other bits seemed to vary in type and quality location by location. So I can see the attraction of this, as well as the higher level business thought of adding more stuff to sell when the margins on things like Android sticks would be teeny.

I’m guessing the folks a few hours down the road at Pittsburgh-based Black Box Network Services – which also sells a line of digital signage infrastructure gear – will have interesting reactions to Inlighten’s offer.

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