Phil Reigh made his first $5 when he was 14, installing Memorial Day sound services for a cemetery in Bellwood.
“We’ve been full-time for about 16 years, and I started this in the ’60s, so I’ve been doing this on the side and then full time for most of my life,” Reigh said. “They called me this morning to book me again this year.”
Reigh was one of 16 vendors at Penn State’s annual MediaTech Expo Monday at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel. About 120 people attend the event each year, according to David Bagley, the university’s Media and Technology Support Services department head.
Reigh’s business, Phil Reigh Sound, installs and rents sound systems and stage lighting, provides technical support and offers design-build services. He displayed standby analog products at the expo, but he also provides digital signal processing.
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“What’s important for me as a small business is to provide the best services I can with quality products at an affordable price,” Reigh said. “There are some equipment product lines I won’t handle, because I feel they simply aren’t up to our standards of quality.”
International vendors like Barco, a display hardware and software manufacturer based out of Belgium, also demonstrated their products.
Barco channel manager Michael Reilly said products like a 6,000 ANSI lumens laser projector have become popular in the last two years.
“It’s a laser projector, so it doesn’t have any lamps or mercury, making it a much greener product, and there’s no filter or maintenance,” Reilly said. “Most companies or schools have major costs for replacement lamps and filters, and a big hurdle for audio visual departments is replacing equipment and properly recycling lamps, so this eliminates that.”
Reilly showed how the laser projector could be used with another Barco product called ClickShare, which enables people in a meeting or classroom to wirelessly share content from their computer, Mac, iPhone and Android devices.
It’s the kind of product Bagley believes would interest people from the university, local schools and community.
“As an example, for the university, a lot of departments don’t have the time or funds to travel far for these kinds of expos, so I bring everything here for them to see what is new and current,” Bagley said. “And we invite everyone from other schools and colleges and the public, because it gives them the opportunity to come out and ask questions, too. I want everyone to know about this, because technology is so important to education and daily life.”