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AV Golden Nuggets
By Greg Bronson, CTS-D
Recently I read an article titled The Write Stuff, in Newsweek. It’s a roundtable interview with standout writers, something of an insider’s view of what makes them tick. In it, author Elizabeth Stroud talks about “hiding” pages of her writing around her apartment so she’ll be likely to come by them in a different context. My impression is that she’s developed it as a way to make sure the part is as strong as the whole before actually using it for publication.
This struck me as similar to what I was trying to get at with last month’s tongue-in-cheek treasure hunt concept. That is, the ongoing Technology Manager activity of finding the best products through a process that is both structured and yet also a bit random. Inevitably, as we work with integrators, surf the Web and attend trade shows (like Infocomm), with specific projects in mind, we also find some golden nuggets that show promise – even if not specifically for our immediate needs. We “hide” them as clues (often sharing the find with our peers) to rediscover at a later time.
As the Newsweek article (and my travels during Infocomm week) reminded me, the obvious hiding places, and products within, might not always be the only path to treasures that lie ahead. Sometime the best clues are off the beaten path, or from lesser known sources. Here are some of the things that caught my eye: my clues to hide as potential future AV Club treasures.
GestureTek’s Cube: The application running when I saw this was/is pretty much useless for any true educational use – but as I “kicked” it around, ideas started to pop into my head. And it doesn’t stop with The Cube – check out their other interfaces also.
NEC CRVD: I noted seeing this in Stampede’s booth. Actually, when I went by, it was just sitting on a Windows log-on screen. Never the less, the 2880×900 native resolution for an immersive desktop monitor reinforces where I see room displays going – much wider.
Digital Projection M-Vision 1080p-LED DLP: I understand others had similar units in their booths, but I saw this one (thanks to my rep’s guided tour). The colors were impressive and with lower power/heat and *much* higher lamp life, I’m optimistic of LED lamp sources’ (greener) future.
TelePresence TECH: Literally, the night before seeing this I was musing with a consultant friend on technology futures; one item discussed was when would we get camera placement relative to displays to achieve better eye contact. This did an impressive job (via mirrors!) on that front.
Glasses-free 3D (autostereoscopic) displays (example at http://www.magnetic3d.com/): During the opening reception, I had an interesting discussion with an InfoComm “first timer” on digital signage, mentioning my particular interest to see status of autostereoscopic products. I was not disappointed; several products were exhibited with the costs and production processes getting within reach.
The golden nugget is something that delights when first found, but after further review, may have limited immediate application. Individually, these products need to stand on their own, but to really shine (often, in future applications) they have potential as part of an even stronger whole ProAV system. A deliberate process of seeking them out may benefit, but also being open to seemingly random access can ultimately be even a stronger test for success.
Oh, by the way, my favorite InfoComm09 SWAG (targeting broad appeal to attendees): white chocolate chip cookies… warmed in microwaves as “oven fresh.” However, even though I went back for seconds, I failed to remember, or note, whose booth it was (suggestion: in the future hand them out on napkins branded with your logo)!
The views expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the authors’ employer(s), past or present.
Greg Bronson, CTS-D, applies AV technologies in the development of innovative learning spaces for higher education. Greg spent the first 10 years of his career as AV technician and service manager, with the past 12 years as an AV system designer and project manager. Bronson currently works for Cornell University and has also worked for two SUNY (State University of New York) campuses as well as a regional secondary education service depot. Bronson is the originator of concept for Infocomm’s Dashboard for Controls and has had completed projects featured in industry publications. You can reach Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org
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rAVe Does Video (and Tweets!) at InfoComm09
With the introduction of our all-new rAVe NOW service at InfoComm last week, rAVe Publications took a major leadership position in digital publishing. In an effort to continue to make our coverage of the AV market better and even more valuable to our readers, we launched rAVe NOW as a virtually real-time way to report the news to you – filled with our observations of what’s out there.
rAVe NOW is a trifecta of services from InfoComm 09!:
• rAVe Video: In rAVe VIDEO, we posted more than 160 videos made live on the InfoComm show floor all introducing new products or technologies: https://www.ravepubs.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=115&Itemid=199
• rAVe Twitter: In rAVe Twitter, we Tweeted over 200 times about new gear on the show floor: https://www.ravepubs.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1263&Itemid=207
• rAVe Blog: You’ve been asking to have our founder, Gary Kayye, blog more often about the market, and now you’ll get more of him than you’ll probably want. In fact, his latest blog is about the seedy side of a trade industry magazine – one right here in the ProAV market: https://www.ravepubs.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=117&Itemid=204
So, experience InfoComm09 as if you were actually there through rAVe NOW: https://www.ravepubs.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1262&Itemid=206
Thanks rAVe! I’ve already, on several occasions, gone back and reviewed some of these resources for things I missed while at the show.
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Extron Launches Totally New, Modern-Looking MediaLink Keypads
Lost in all the hype at InfoComm due to the press coverage their new touch panels received, Extron quietly launched two new MediaLink keypad/controllers: the MLC 62 IR D and the MLC 62 RS D, which are elegant keypad controllers for classroom AV systems. The controllers offer eight configurable soft touch buttons for control of common AV system operations, including power on, power off, volume up, volume down, and input source selection. The new controllers can be configured with IR learning or easy-to-use configuration software, which includes an extensive Extron library of ready-to-use drivers for projectors and flat panel displays. A USB configuration port is located behind the removable Decora wall plate, which allows easy configuration access without having to remove the installed controller. The controllers serve as a replacement for a display's handheld IR remote, providing user-friendly control for a display or projector.
Both models of the MLC 62 D offer an IR port for universal display control. The MLC 62 RS D provides additional functionality with a unidirectional RS-232 port for display control, two relays for controlling screens and lights, and a digital input for interfacing with switches and sensors. Black and white Decora wall plates are included with both models.
You can check out the MLC 62 D here: http://www.extron.com/product/product.aspx?id=mlc62ird&search=MLC%2062%20IR%20D
You can read about the MLC 62 RS D here: http://www.extron.com/product/product.aspx?id=mlc62rsd&subtype=26
Simplicity is good! And, ability to get rid of wireless remotes (with a bunch of buttons the end user doesn’t need, dead batteries and their ability to “grow legs and walk”) for the basic classroom is also a good thing.
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Is Telepresence Priced for Higher-Ed Yet? The Under-$6K Telepresence System
Demoed at InfoComm and shipping now, the Polycom HDX6000 delivers Polycom's UltimateHD experience with HD video, voice and content sharing capabilities.
Telepresence is something that virtually every college wants – but still can’t afford. The concept (or idea) of being able to simultaneously teach classes (in real-life proportions) to students live and at a far-end campus, is appealing because it can not only expand a degree’s reach to smaller schools, but it can be profitable (i.e., adding a Journalism School to a satellite campus without a physical Journalism School). But, up until now, the systems have been in the $40,000 and above range – per room. Now, it’s all coming down (and maybe closer to the classroom).
The Polycom HDX 6000 is 720p HD video quality (1280×720) at 30 frames per second (fps) starting at just 832 Kbps, and DVD-quality video (704◊576) at 30 fps starting at just 256 Kbps – IMPRESSIVE. The experience is enhanced through HD stereo audio quality that enables natural, two-way conversations (Polycom 22 kHz HD Voice in Stereo Surround), and, of course, a separate input to send data from a PC or MAC to the far-site.
To see the new system, check out our rAVe NOW Video coverage from InfoComm at: http://www.vimeo.com/5235993
Or, you can see it at the Polycom site at: http://www.polycom.com/products/telepresence_video/telepresence_solutions/room_telepresence/hdx6000.html
As mentioned in last month’s column, room-based videoconferencing CODEC costs need (and as this news piece highlights) to come down. The market, and applications, are dictating it. The debate continues on what fully defines a telepresence system.
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Crestron Intros Handheld WiFi Touch Panel
Most of Crestron’s handheld remotes have been OEM remotes from other consumer remote companies where Crestron adds their software to it. This new product is 100 percent Crestron. In launching their new TPMC-3X, they are entering the handheld touch screen market with a WiFi enabled, bi-directional remote that’s compatible with a Crestron control system.
The TPMC-3x touch screen displays and controls real-time lighting and temperature levels, menu commands, channel favorites, and an alphanumeric keypad; custom WAV file audio feedback is also supported. For presentation preview, surveillance or entertainment, video from security cameras, movies, and other sources is made possible by the Crestron CEN-NVS100 MJPEG encoder, which converts video to streaming media. The 2.8" display has an impressively wide viewing angle with remarkable display brightness and contrast, providing an unprecedented level of detail for a small screen. And, it intelligently engineered "sleep mode" enables the TPMC-3X to remain connected to the WiFi network while conserving the dealer-replaceable, rechargeable battery.
It’s expected to be available later this year and you can read all the details at: http://www.crestron.com/products/show_products.asp?jump=1&model=TPMC-3X
You can also see a video we shot of it at InfoComm via rAVe NOW at: http://www.vimeo.com/5223076
The practical, back-to-basics side of the AV Club is weary of wireless (almost anything) in standard classroom applications. But, the gadget freak-ish side is in full glory commanding clubhouse systems in the palm of our hand!
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Sanyo Launches Two Auditorium/Lecture Hall Projectors
No need for double-stacking the new PDG-DET100L and the PLC-WTC500L projectors in a lecture hall to get the light output you’re looking for – these projectors are 7500 lumens and 5000 lumens, respectively.
The PDG-DET100L is literally the brightest DLP projector in its class (as we said, rated at 7500 lumens) with a SXGA compatible resolution of 1400×1050. When the DICOM Simulation Mode is activated, the PDG-DET100L projects X-ray images clearly and precisely, making it ideal for use in medical education. This mode is a format standard for digital imaging and communications in medicine. Contributing to its increased light output efficiency, the PDG-DET100L is outfitted with 330W VIDI UHP x 2 lamps.
The PLC-WTC500L LCD projector achieves a high brightness of 5000 lumens, a contrast ratio of 3000:1, and delivers a WXGA (1280×800) native resolution. Outfitted with a new optical engine using an inorganic panel, the PLC-WTC500L also features SANYO's Lamp Selection System, which automatically selects one of two lamps to project from, making it possible to project approximately 6000 hours before its time to replace the lamps.
Both models feature Picture-in-Picture and Picture-by-Picture modes, which enables the simultaneous projection of two images from separate sources. The Picture-in-Picture Mode displays a sub-screen over the main screen. So, you could be showing PowerPoint slides while simultaneously showing Internet content – side by side.
You can see all the details on the PDG-DET100L at: http://us.sanyo.com:80/Projectors-by-Market-Rental-Staging-Sub-Category/PDG-DET100L
You can see all the specs of the PLC-WTC500L at: http://us.sanyo.com:80/Projectors-by-Market-Digital-Signage-Sub-Category/PLC-WTC500L
Nowadays, for many AV Club applications, a projector is a projector… is a projector. As such we’re not always compelled to comment, and maybe sometimes take for granted… but continuous improvement on specs and new add-on features are appreciated!
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Chief Launches New Mini-Mount
At InfoComm, Chief Manufacturing announced a new line of mini projector mounts that will be available late summer 2009. Chief's new Mini RPA Elite (RSMA) is a miniature version of the popular RPA Elite (RPM) projector mount, meant for today's smaller projectors. The mini mount features a newly designed universal projector interface bracket with convenient lamp and filter access, providing faster installation and servicing of the projector. At almost half the size of the original Elite mount, the new mini mount includes the same great features, including micro-adjustments for precise registration, Centris fingertip positioning, and Q-Lock keyed locking. The Mini RPA Elite maintains registration when disconnected, has integrated cable management and supports up to 25 pounds.
Chief will also offer a Mini RPA (RSA) projector mount, which is a miniature version of the industry-standard RPA Series. The Mini RPA also includes the new universal interface bracket, and features independent roll, pitch and yaw as well as quick projector connect/disconnect. The mount supports up to 25 pounds.
To see these mini-mounts online, go to: http://www.chiefmfg.com/productdetail.aspx?MountID=279
… and those commodity projectors need commodity mounts; just educate yourself on features that stand to benefit your application(s) over and above the generic ones.
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Canon Tries to Make Impact with Two New Projectors Aimed at Medical Schools
Canon hasn’t really ever been a big player in data projectors, but at InfoComm, they just became more competitive with two new products: the REALis WUX10 and the REALiS SX80.
As a differentiator, Canon has embedded both projectors with the DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications for Medicine) standard Part 14 – which standardizes displaying of grayscales in medical imaging applications, such as radiology. The difference between the two projectors is that the REALiS WUX10 Mark II D Multimedia Projector features a native WUXGA resolution (1920×1200) with a 2.30-megapixel display, while the REALiS SX80 Mark II D Multimedia Projector is native SXGA+ resolution (1400×1050) with a 1.47-megapixel display. Both are specified at over 3000 ANSI lumens and use 3LCD technology.
You can see details at: http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ProductCatIndexAct&fcategoryid=109
You can also see a couple of videos we shot of these projectors in-action (at InfoComm) using our new rAVe NOW Video service:
• WUX10: http://www.vimeo.com/5207054
• SX80: http://www.vimeo.com/5207029
Same goes as above… taking note of the new projector features/specs.
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Well, that's it for this edition of rAVe! Thank you for spending time with us as we muse the industry's happenings. To continue getting my newsletter, or to sign up a friend, click the link below. To send feedback, don't reply to this newsletter – instead, write to Contributing Editor Greg Bronson at email@example.com, Publisher Gary Kayye at firstname.lastname@example.org or Editor-in-Chief Sara Abrons at email@example.com
A little about Gary Kayye, CTS, founder of rAVe and Kayye Consulting. Gary Kayye, an audiovisual veteran and columnist, began the widely-read KNews, a premier industry newsletter, in the late 1990s, and created the model for and was co-founder of AV Avenue – which later became InfoComm IQ. Kayye Consulting is a company that is committed to furthering the interests and success of dealers, manufacturers, and other companies within the professional audiovisual industry.
rAVe Pro Edition launched in February 2003. rAVe Home Edition, co-sponsored by CEDIA, launched in February 2004. rAVe Rental [and Staging] launched in November 2007. rAVe Ed [Education] began publication in May 2008.
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