Projecting New AV
Summer is not a quiet time for the audiovisual market. Vendors have unveiled their latest offerings that incorporate growing trends and meet needs ranging from digital signage to lecture recording to equipment management. Here is a sample of AV products announced at this year's EduComm and InfoComm conferences, held in Las Vegas in June.
Five 3D Ready DLP BrilliantColor professional projectors from Sharp incorporate DLP Link technology for vibrant and accurate colors. When used with compatible content, a PC/graphics card, and optional shutter glasses, the projectors can reproduce 3D imagery. They also possess many energy-saving features, including low standby power consumption and expanded lamp life when running in eco mode. An on-screen set-up guide and help function aid with installation. All of the models provide connectivity with analog RGB and component inputs, S-video, and composite video, as well as RGB loop-through, an RS-232C port, and a USB input. Most models also have an RJ-45 LAN connector. An antitheft design includes a reinforced metal security bar and a metal security plate. The models vary in lumens, from 2,500 to 5,000, and come in XGA or HD compatible WXGA native resolution. Pricing ranges from $1,095 for the PG-D2510X to $2,995 for the PG-D50X3D.
SANYO has two new ultra short-focus projectors with 3D capability that contain a one-chip DLP optical engine with a compact chassis about half the size of previous models for easier installation. Capable of providing a large-screen display of 3D material, both projectors use a frame-sequential display format that works with active shutter 3D glasses to visually provide a rapidly alternate display. They can be positioned either horizontally or vertically and can operate at a short distance from the display surface or screen. The PDG-DWL2500 ($1,995) can create an 80-inch image at a position of just over 12 inches while the PDG-DXL2000 ($1,795) requires only about 15 inches. The former has WXGA resolution with 2,500 lumens, while the latter has XGA resolution with 2,000 lumens. For those who have to watch their time during a presentation, a presentation timer function displays an optional elapsed time on-screen.
ViewSonic's PJD7382 ultra short-throw projector is equipped with Crestron RoomView software so users can connect to the projector via Ethernet to manage the device through a single platform solution. With DLP Link technology, the projector can provide 3D images; it contains BrilliantColor technology and a six-segment DLP color wheel for strong color images. The PJD7382 has a .61 throw ratio, which produces a precise image of 81 inches from a distance of only 39 inches, making it a good fit with an interactive whiteboard. Other features include a microphone input, 10-watt audio, and closed captioning. The filter-less design provides for easy maintenance with the Kensington security lock port and security bar for theft deterrence. The eco mode ensures lamp life up to 6,000 hours. The PJD7382 starts at $899.
Epson's PowerLite S9 ($499) has a number of features that are not commonly found in an entry-level projector. USB Plug 'n Play connectivity for Windows and Mac can quickly project images and presentations from a PC or Mac computer through a USB connection. It also has a built-in closed-captioning decoder and monitor out and audio out ports for connecting to external devices. Due to E-TORL lamp technology, the lamp life can last up to 5,000 hours in economy mode. The portable PowerLite S9 delivers SVGA resolution and 2,500 lumens of color and white light output for bright presentations and vibrant color. It features the latest 3LCD, three-chip technology to deliver true-to-life color and detail. A direct power on and off feature allows for an installed projector to be turned off using a wall switch. An A/V Mute Slide instantly turns off sound and images to create a quick pause in the presentation. It weighs just over five pounds.
The Christie LW555 LCD digital projector ($6,995) utilizes 3D Keystone technology, a new four-corner geometry correction tool for easier image alignment and setup, and inorganic 3LCD panels for improved, longer performance. The projector is equipped with a motorized lens shift for zoom and focus, a center mount lens design, and a one-button lens release capability. It features WXGA resolution (1280 x 800) for projecting widescreen applications and offers 5,500 ANSI lumens. With 800:1 contrast ratio and 10-bit video processing, the Christie LW555 can produce a natural color tone for a stabile picture and flawless video playback.
Sony's three new high-brightness XGA 3LCD business projectors were made for fixed installation applications. First, suitable for lecture halls, the VPL-FX500L ($7,080) delivers 7,000 lumens of color light output and is capable of having the widest shift lens in its class. The VPL-FX30 ($3,360), at 4,200 lumens, and the VPL-FX35 (pricing to be announced this fall), at 5,000 lumens, are equipped with 1.6x standard zoom lenses. Digital keystone correction prevents images from being distorted. Each model is outfitted with a white flat cabinet to blend into white ceilings when installed. A new free “projection simulation” tool will enable interactive stimulations of throw distance for different lenses and available lens shift range. It will be available through Sony's website.
Samsung and 3LCD have partnered to deliver the F10M ($1,299), a 3LCD LED projector with 1,000 lumens. The F10M can deliver a lamp life of up to 30,000-plus hours and offers XGA resolution and an image size range from 40 up to 300 inches, with HDMI input and PC connectivity. The projector also offers instant on/off functionality.
Sonic Foundry's new widescreen Mediasite ML Recorder ($24,950) offers a slim size, weighing just 13 and a half pounds, for better portability and set up. The recorder can capture and stream rich media presentations that incorporate audio, video, and DVI/VGA images. It has a plug-and-play design for quicker setup and immediate recording, with the touch of a button. Remote web-based recording is also available. On-demand presentations can be recorded for users to watch anytime. There are a number of features for playing back presentations. Users can navigate through recordings by image thumbnails, chapters, and DVD-similar video controls and can make them interactive with polls and Q&A segments. Many editing options are available, as well. The device comes with a padded shoulder travel bag.
The Polycom Open Telepresence Experience (OTX) 300 supports high-definition video by using up to 50 percent less bandwidth than most common solutions due to H.264 High Profile, a new standards-based video compression technology. H.264 High Profile lowers the costs of network bandwidth required for telepresence, and can help institutions expand their video deployment without having to invest in large-scale network upgrades. The OTX 300 also has a number of features such as a multi-functional design for more flexibility in fitting with a room's setting and offering support integration with leading Unified Communications and networking platforms. Pricing for the OTX 300 is expected to be in the $250,000 to $300,000 price range.
Ideal for video walls, digital signage, and single-screen recessed applications, Chief Manufacturing's new Fusion Series Pull-Out mounts can extend seven inches for easy cable access and servicing for hard-to-reach installations. The mounts include a variety of features to make installation and maintenance of multiscreen configurations better. Fine-tuning of plumb adjustment ensures screens are perfectly vertical, even if the wall isn't. The ClickConnect feature offers an audible click when the screens are safely engaged with the mount to signal that the installation is secure. ControlZone leveling enables the mounts to be fixed post-installation for height and leveling alignment. Good for 2 feet by 2 feet video walls or larger, pricing is $499 for the LSMVU model (which can handle up to 63-inch screens) and $449 for the MSMVU model (up to 47-inch screens).
The Digital Signage System by VBrick combines video streaming and digital signage to extend the reach of where signage content can be delivered. The system allows for digital signage content such as rich media and live and on-demand video streams to be managed and displayed across a number of displays. Content can be delivered as a video stream over an IP network and can be extended over an intranet, a wide area network, or internet, and even to wireless networks. Other recipients for video streams include LCD or plasma displays, PCs, Macs, set-top boxes, and mobile devices. Various tools aid in every task, whether it involves creating messages and designing bulletins to scheduling displays and handling screen configurations. A help section guides operators through user screens and options. An entry-level system starts at $5,595.
Wireless Pixels from Pixelture lets an instructor or administrator and other users share content from their laptop to one or more displays wirelessly and in real time. Using an existing 802.11/Wi-Fi network, the software can provide support from more than 10 displays at one time. When multiple windows overlap a user's desktop, the solution can spread them out across multiple screens. It is made up of two components. WPbasic runs on any laptop that is sharing content. WPdisplay runs on a PC connected directly to one or more displays but it also can be run on a mobile PC. Wireless Pixels is sold in a per WPdisplay host structure or an optional campuswide deployment license with support agreement. The WP client is free to download and use to connect to the WPdisplay. Pricing for the WPdisplay utility is by perpetual license and starts at $500 per unit, including a three-year contract for support and maintenance upgrades. Once the contract expires, continued support and maintenance is available for $100 per license per year.
Marshall Pro A/V, a division of Marshall Electronics, has a new line of network digital signs, featuring 10-inch ultra-bright LCD monitors. Uses can range from advertising to emergency messaging to class or room schedules. Marshall Digital Network signs allow users access control via the internet. Unlike traditional signage where content must be streamed or loaded, users can manage content from parts of a building or halfway around the world. Available in a variety of screen sizes, features include a highly visible screen and sturdy metal casing. The Ethernet-ready, all-metal monitors, with locking cabinet and user-replaceable plexi-glass screen protector, cost approximately $650 to $750.
The MDT651S LCD monitor ($11,995) from Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America is made for traditional conference room visual display plus videoconferencing and digital signage applications. The 65-inch monitor offers high-definition 1920 x 1080 resolution for accurate computer graphics and video. Both front and rear ambient light sensors detect lighting conditions in two areas that adjust the monitor's brightness level based on its readings and automatically balances image brightness for optimum viewing. It has its own networking software as well as programmable scheduling and multi-level screen saver functions. Up to seven different intervals can be programmed. A range of color temperature adjustments and a six-axis color fine-tuning function are other features.
Hitachi America, Ltd., Digital Media Division, Business Solutions Group has new projectors for digital signage applications. The CP-X10000 projector ($14,995), along with the CP-WX11000 ($17,995) and CP-SX12000 ($19,995) Professional Series projectors, range in brightness from 6,500 to 7,500 ANSI lumens and offer networking functionality with Hitachi's proprietary PJMan software.
Premier Mounts has made two mounting frames for positioning Apple's iPad on a wall or table. The IPM-100 frame ($129) leaves the iPad's display fully visible where employees should not adjust power controls or personally connect to the device, while the IPM-200 frame ($119) allows for full access, only attaching to each corner. Both versions can be attached to any VESA 100x100 mm mount, allowing for tilt, rotation, height, and directional adjustments. The frames include a theft-deterrent security feature.
LG Electronics Business Solutions has released two versions of its videoconferencing system: an all-in-one desktop and camera solution ($3,000) and a portable, room-type model ($2,500). Both offer 720p high-definition and built-in speakers and echo cancellation. The AVS2400 all-in-one solution has a simple screen layout and interface. A navigation tool lets users shift their time between calls, directories, settings, and the main menu. This version also can double-up by using the 24-inch high-resolution LCD monitor for PC needs when videoconferencing is not active. Its counterpart, the RVF1000, is designed for simple installation in a small conference room or office. It can be configured to work with a TV, monitor, or projector. A built-in speaker and microphone allows for use in just about any room setting. The device can be plugged in to any type of monitor, LCD, or CRT to make the video call.
Extron's TLP 350MV ($1,190), a three-and-a-half-inch touchscreen, is best for small applications and designed for wall or lectern use. The touchpanel gives users the power of a touchpanel control in the same three-gang form factor common for keypad interfaces. It incorporates power over Ethernet to make installation simpler. Also, the IPL 500 ($2,190), an Ethernet control processor, provides a wide range of AV control capabilities. The processor has eight bi-directional serial ports, eight configurable IR/S ports, four relays, four flex I/O ports, Ethernet driver support and four switched DC ports.
VIDIZMO Marketplace, a solution that can help monetize rich media presentations across colleges and universities, has new enhancements. Administrators can sell their institution's courses online and provide automated attendance monitoring and performance tracking for students and faculty. They can also advertise upcoming webinars, presentations, speaker sessions, and online lectures, sell user registrations, and offer session recordings. Subject categories for content can be made as well as bundled together for selling at a special price rate. Integrating with PayPal, administrators can license searched content to buyers for a specific time and to specific users. Pricing, based on usage, is available in hosted and enterprise models. The shared hosted model starts at $299 per month for up to 10 users.
Bretford Manufacturing's Juice Power System allows up to four tables and eight computer stations to be powered from a single outlet without having to conduct hardwiring or create a cluster of individual power strips. The system has a “tool-less” installation that doesn't require an electrician or building modification. Powered by standard outlets, the tables can be connected in any order to allow the room to remain flexible and easily reconfigured. The system uses existing mounting hole patterns so it can be installed on either new tables or on existing furniture. Built-in sensors can monitor the power requirements. If the system detects an electrical surge or overload, then it will shut down to reduce any risk of damage or possibility of an electrical fire. Pricing averages about $150 per table.
Also from LG Electronics, three new LG N+ Monitors can support up to 31 desktop LCD monitors on a single computer. The monitors don't require users to have individual desktop PCs and support network cables. They can render clear and crisp images and a five-millisecond response rate. This system aims to provide easy software and hardware setup and has central control support. Pricing for the line is: $274 for a 17-inch monitor, $284 for a 19-inch monitor, and $319 for a 22-inch monitor.
Vaddio has unveiled new contemporary furniture systems for classrooms and videoconferencing applications. These include Edge videoconferencing carts and Instrukt educational teaching stations. Both lines are designed to merge modern form, function, and style for any classroom, boardroom, or training facility. The Edge line includes a number of carts such as the Edge HighBoy Videoconferencing Cart (with a list price of $1,300) as well as many mounting systems and equipment enclosures. Instrukt offers lecterns and teaching stations, starting at $2,000, and the Altinex TNP121C tabletop interconnect ($495).
Tecom, inventor of the TechPod Interactive Multimedia Lectern, now has a docking port allowing iPads and iPhones to directly interact with the TechPod's integrated AV technologies.
SMART Technologies will release a beta version of the SMART Response VE interactive response system, a web browser-based assessment tool, this summer. SMART Response VE enables students to log in from internet-connected devices, from smartphones to laptops and even an iPod touch. Students can access assessments, answer questions, and receive feedback. The system supports four questions: true or false, yes or no, multiple choice and multiple answer. It works with SMART's Notebook collaborative learning software. Current SMART Response customers can sign up to participate in the beta program.