3. Marantz PMD671 Digital Recorder with Virtual Third Head Feature
The new PMD671 high performance digital recorder is an exciting addition to the widely popular Marantz Professional compact flash recorder family. An enhanced model based on the successful PMD670, the PMD671 features 24 bit/96khz high fidelity recording and includes enhanced microphone pre-amps to archive the highest quality audio. In addition, the PMD671 offers a completely new feature that we call VTH - Virtual Third Head.
This VTH allows the PMD671 to simulate a read after write procedure commonly found on professional analog tape recorders. Sometimes referred to as the confidence monitor, the VTH feature offers the user the ability to hear the audio that has been recorded to the compact flash card while recording. This same technology allows the user to listen to pre-recorded audio from any point on the flash card, while still in record mode capturing real-time audio. This feature is widely used in field recording, surveilance and courts and law enforcement.
4. Sharp Introduces New LCD & DLP Projectors
Sharp has several new projectors, including both DLP and LCD models. The DLP models include install projectors, "Educator Series," and "pico" portables.
For permanent installations, Sharp has the XG-PH50X (4000 ANSI Lumens, XGA), mid-range conference and classroom projectors including the XG-MB70X (3000 ANSI Lumens, XGA) and PG-MB60X (2500 ANSI Lumens, XGA).
The "Educator Series" models include the XR-20X (2300 ANSI Lumens, XGA), XR-20S (2300 ANSI Lumens, SVGA), XR-10X (2000 ANSI Lumens, XGA) (2000 ANSI Lumens, SVGA); and
The two ultra-compact "pico" portable models are the XR-1X (1200 ANSI Lumens, XGA) and XR-1S (1100 ANSI Lumens, SVGA).
The two LCD projectors include the XG-C68X (3600 ANSI Lumens, XGA) and XG-C58X (3300 ANSI Lumens, XGA).
5. Sonic Foundry Unveils New Mediasite Recorders, Integrates With Vaddio Cameras
Sonic Foundry, a pioneer in real-time rich media recording and distribution, announced new rich media recorders - the Mediasite 440 Series. The series now includes a new mobile Mediasite ML440 recorder, a new rack-mountable Mediasite RL440 recorder, and a new offering, the Mediasite VL440 videoconferencing recorder. The different recorders are designed to work in specific applications and now allow users to edit content captured with Mediasite.
The Mediasite VL440 Rich Media Recorder lets users record, share and reuse any visual and audio content from a videoconference with live or on-demand browser-based access. This real-time recorder extends Sonic Foundry's solutions into videoconferencing applications such as those from Polycom and Tandberg.
The Mediasite ML440 Rich Media Recorder is a portable, lightweight version of the Rich Media Recorder used to automatically capture and publish multi-source rich media content. It is especially suited for tradeshows, conferences and off-site events. It has a built-in 17 inch LCD screen, and captures, encodes, synchronizes and indexes audio and video with visual content without any pre- or post-production (common to all Mediasite products).
The Mediasite RL440 Rich Media Recorder rack-mountable recorder is designed to be integrated into AV-ready facilities such as presentation rooms, briefing centers and lecture halls. Mediasite RL440 supports the Mediasite Control Interface Protocol (MCIP) for programmable control with leading AV automation systems. Presenters can conveniently access and control the Mediasite RL440 from Crestron or AMX touch panels.
Sonic Foundry also announced an alliance with Vaddio, maker of automated camera systems. The companies will co-market the products as a turnkey system for presentation and meeting facilities.
The companies say that the Vaddio-Mediasite system allows presenters and instructors to move freely around a lecture hall or room.
6. Casio Shows New Data Projectors
The world's largest watch company took a major move towards staking a claim to the projector market with their InfoComm debut. Casio has two new mobile data projectors, the XJ-360 (2200 lumens, 2000:1 contrast ratio, XGA resolution) and XJ-560 (3000 lumens, 2000:1 contrast ratio, XGA resolution), both featuring a 2X optical zoom.
These projectors are equipped with an Inverse Meniscus Condenser (IMC) lens and aspherical Acornic Reflector (ACR), so Casio was able to use a smaller lens compared to most projectors.
The XJ-560 also includes automatic vertical/horizontal keystone correction and auto focus.
7. Sony to Ship Five New Projectors Ranging From 2000-3500 ANSI Lumens
Sony showed five new projectors at InfoComm that range in brightness from 2000-3500 lumens, some with networking capabilities and some with wireless.
The new VPL-CX20A and VPL-CS20A are LCD-based portables (4.2 pounds) specified at 2000 ANSI lumens. The VPL-CX20A is specified at XGA (1024 x 768) and the VPL-CS20A at SVGA (800 x 600).
The new VPL-CX76 and VPL-CX86 have Sony's Air Shot 802.11b/g wireless content delivery and asset management software technology. The VPL-CX76 is specified at 2500 ANSI lumens and includes a number of functions, such as Auto Lens, Auto Tilt, Auto Input Search, Auto Keystone Correction, Auto Pixel Alignment and Auto Focus.
The VPL-CX86, specified at 3000 ANSI lumens, has the same setup functions but boasts an unusually low noise factor of 28dB.
Lastly, the VPL-PX41, specified at 3500 ANSI lumens and XGA resolution, includes additional networking options, such as 10Base-T/100Base-TX Interface, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) compliance for device monitoring, and Web-based control. It enables e-mail notifications regarding status of the unit. It is shipping now.
8. Compact Flash Takes Over
Although the progression of technology generates constant change, we generally experience a drastic advancement in technology every five to ten years that compels us to alter our habits. The audio recording industry has seen this important shift to solid-state recording, which has reinvented the process of gathering audio for voice, music and analyses.
Unlike older cassette, DAT, Mini disc and CDR technologies, compact flash media records audio in popular MP3 or WAV computer formats, which and is only limited by the memory card size and recording quality selected. Affordable compact flash cards have lengthy recording times. A 1-gig card can provide up to 72 hours of MP3 recording or three hours of uncompressed wav recording.
Having the ability to record all day without interruptions has captured the attention of many markets. This convenience eliminates the need to change media every 45-90 minutes, which is especially useful for markets that record various lengths throughout the day. This innovative technology also records audio using no moving parts, eliminating the maintenance cost derived from older formats.
Another major advantage of compact flash is that the MP3 or WAV formats are capable of being downloaded directly to any computer without special software. Transferring this data in minutes/seconds instead of real time also allows immediate access to the file for archiving, web streaming, transcription, and editing.
Compact flash technology has influenced numerous markets and applications including: meeting recording for Corporations, Government and Education; live recordings for Hospitality, Houses of Worship, and Film/Recording Studios; transcriptions for Courts, Medical and Law Firms; and surveillance for Law Enforcement and Federal Government.
9. Crossing the Line
As a professional, you're accustomed to efficient, maybe even high-end equipment for your presentations. You're comfortable and understand the capabilities and operation of your AV system - whether installed or portable - even if you can't rattle off the technical specifications of every component. And when you go home, you enjoy the consumer products that deliver your entertainment media when and where you and your family want them.
Whatever works - right? Right. But whether you've thought about it or not, the steady flow of technological improvements and their availability at lower cost is blurring the lines between equipment previously labeled "commercial" or "personal." Indeed, the term "prosumer" is seen more and more often, as experience with and expectations for audio visual equipment continue to rise.
Consider that powerful projectors and motorized screens once considered state-of-the-art for corporate boardrooms are now routinely found in home theaters. Consider that quality audio production studios previously the province of major recording companies are now commonplace in schools and churches. Consider that middle-class housing developments (not just office buildings) are built today with sophisticated pre-wiring so that owners can purchase the sound and vision packages to suit their needs.
With cabling infrastructure becoming the norm, speakers can be placed in walls, equipment can be hidden from sight, and controls can be activated from various on-site locations, or remotely via the Internet or even a mobile phone.
Today's marketplace is literally saturated with high-end equipment whose applications are as wide-ranging as your imagination - whether you're at work or at home.
Fun and Profit
The modern fitness industry provides a good example of how usage of AV equipment has "crossed over" between commercial and personal lines. Because "working out" is an activity people perform in many locations, it's easy to see how much hotel exercise rooms, health clubs, and home gyms have in common.
The key word here is "multi" - in terms of sound, images, security and information. Whether you work out in a large sports complex, a company or condo fitness center, or your own converted basement, the same types and even caliber of AV installations may be at work and appropriate in all venues.
From one location to another, you might enjoy "zones" that offer different music programming, video programming, audio-from-video content, and strategically placed, mounted monitors or flat panel informational displays.
You CAN Take It With You
Scale and portability have become an enormous factor in translating pro AV equipment into applications for small business or personal use.
A recently-introduced device allows your Windows XP based PC or laptop to become an on-the-go or on-the-shelf digital television. Your own (or your company's) cable, satellite, or personal video recorder programming can be "redirected" anywhere in the home, store, office (or world) with a broadband Internet connection.
In the audio arena, the same speakers and accessories that make the office park atrium a pleasing and harmonious oasis are very likely adaptable to your backyard deck, pool area or garden. Fidelity of sound, weatherproofing and a variety of designs and mounting opportunities complete any home or commercial requirements. And if your outdoor needs involve parties, meetings, receptions, or a large gathering for any personal or business reason, there are high-quality, affordable wireless PA systems. These compact yet powerful systems allow users to amplify their broadcast clearly and crisply from distances up to 200 feet. Some include built-in cassette recorders to play music, capture speeches, or a spontaneous toast to the host.
See No Evil
Remote control cameras offering pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) capabilities, once the "meat and potatoes" of security systems, moved upstairs in corporate America when it became understood that their small size, programmability, and ease of operation made them a reliable and useful tool for presentations of all sizes.
Today, robotic PTZ cameras of all sizes and types are everywhere, allowing anyone from soccer moms to sushi chefs the hardware and control to follow and record "the action" in ways that once belonged only to professional cameramen. Features of common PTZ cameras are similar to those on professional camcorders, including selectable zoom speeds, a variety of exposure modes and shutter speeds, auto-track functions within the frame, and the ability to pre-set shots. Available in both analog and digital models, "personal" PTZ cameras can travel from the loading dock of the warehouse to the recital hall to the baby's nursery.
From Ship to Store
With the increasingly "wired world" we live in at both at home and at work, the merging of technological applications should come as no surprise. Data storage on DVD is just as available for corporate archives as it is for your personal, important documents. Indeed, it's now possible to conduct TV-quality, two-way videoconferencing from the CEO's yacht on the high seas to the houseboat moored at your backyard dock.
As you navigate the everyday AV equipment in your professional life, give some thought to how it might be adaptable, functional, pleasurable or just plain fun to apply the technology to your home as well.
10. On the Record
Presentations, lectures and meetings - these have all been one-time events and if you missed them, you missed them. More and more, however, these events are viewed as valuable content that organizations store for later reference.
The problem in the past was how to manage a huge library of tapes. If you wanted to make available hundreds of videos, those videos had to be stored somewhere, somewhere that could accommodate a growing library that could turn into a thousand tapes or more. They also had to be organized by at least one person and maintaining the organization required at least a part-time employee. Tapes are not only bulky, they are subject to damage and they require purchasing tape players that can do nothing but play tapes.
The difficulties in maintaining tape libraries prevented many organizations from recording events. But now, new technologies let you keep and easily maintain that valuable content.
Education and training benefit greatly from these new digital recording technologies. For education, recording the lecture as well as the associated presentation materials allows educators to more easily conduct distance learning. Making the lectures available later also helps students who missed a class, or those who want to review the material again.
Training is also a great use for rich media recording. In many cases, digital video files eliminate the need for a trainer to travel extensively, saving money for the company and allowing the trainer to develop more content with the time the digital recordings save. Better than videotape, digital video is easily retrieved off the network or Internet (as opposed to sending tapes via the mail service), and digital video more easily allows the trainee to backtrack to specific sections
Workgroup presentations and meetings, complete with PowerPoint or any other files used during the meeting, can be recorded then published to the Internet or retrieved off the network. This allows people who couldn't attend (and those who work in satellite offices) to view the same information as those in the meeting. Importantly, fewer people will have to take the time to write up meeting reports!
Investor relations departments have gotten good about using audio technology for quarterly or annual conference calls but rarely are annual meetings available after the fact. Digital recording of rich media is changing that, however. Videos of annual meetings are excellent tools for communicating to potential shareholders. Viewers get to see the executives speak about their goals for the company (an impressive CEO can spread enthusiasm!) and viewers can hear about current performance as well as how the executives explain it, rather than reading dry documents later.
Other applications include human resources orientations, new product introductions that can be viewed by customers, dealers and journalists over the Internet, and rich media product demonstrations.
There are also technologies that capture the video and allow you to easily create and play video clips. These are specifically designed to organize the files so that they can be played on command, which can greatly liven up speeches, for example.
These days, there's no need to lose the valuable content produced by your employees every day. Call us to see how you can easily record and use this content to improve communications at your organization.