Casio
XJ-350

& Free Camera

The XJ-350 delivers an amazing 2200 ANSI lumens from a minuscule 9"x7"x2" footprint. It comes with a 2X optical zoom lens, by far the highest zoom level available for any micro-portable data projector, which makes it possible to project onto a screen as close as 32".

Casio XJ-350 Highlights:

- 2200 ANSI Lumens
- Only 3.9 lbs.
- DLP optical system
- HDTV Ready
- With FREE 4-megapixel
    digital camera

Click for more information




United Visual A/V Insider - February 2005

Table of Contents:
1. United Visual University's Next Audio Visual Seminars
2. SMART Enters Signage Market
3. All-in-One Presentation Solution from 3M
4. New Peerless LCD Ceiling Mount for Signage
5. Draper Introduces One-Person Setup for Folding Screens
6. New TV One RGB Scaler Scales up to 2048 x 2048
7. New Kramer Device Extends and Protects DV/FireWire Signals
8. ClearOne Shipping Out-of-Box Audio Conferencing System
9. New Glasses-Free 3D Digital Signage on up to 50" Displays
10. Sharp Adds to ProAV Projector Line
11. On the Surface of Things
12. Hidden Wonders

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1. United Visual University's Next Audio Visual Seminars
- February 24th in St. Charles, IL


United Visual presents United Visual University.  UVU is an education program comprised of a series of free seminars for professionals involved in planning and designing boardrooms, conference rooms, meeting space, training centers, auditoriums, classrooms, control rooms or any other space requiring integrated audiovisual systems.  More and more corporate spaces are using sophisticated audio, video and computer display technologies.  As a design/build professional you are expected to design these spaces, but often the intricacies of sound and display systems are outside your core skill set.  United Visual has an exclusive partnership with Kayye Consulting to provide these specialized seminars in the Chicago area.  The objective of the seminars is to enable design and engineering professionals to better pre-plan for the successful integration of audiovisual systems into commercial and education environments.

Three Professional Seminars Offered.

  • Planning Electrical and Infrastructure Requirements for AV
  • Understanding the AV Projection and Display Environment
  • Understanding Audio and Acoustics in AV Presentation Systems
Not only do you have the opportunity for a full day of specialized education but you can also earn up to 6 HSW credit hours towards your AIA licenses.

Visit the UVU website for more details and registration information.

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2. SMART Enters Signage Market

SMART Technologies, best known for the company's interactive whiteboard technology used in education and business, entered the digital signage market with its Actalyst interactive signage system. This product line brings interactivity to large-area fla-panel displays. The Actalys interactive overlays are mounted on plasma displays or LCDs, making them touch sensitive. Using SMART's DViT technology, Actalyst interactive overlays provide the high-performance touch accuracy and image clarity.

United Visual recently installed a number of plasma displays with the Smart Actalyst interactive overlays in the Teens Chicago exhibit at the Chicago Historical Society. Visit our website for more information.

Applications: digital signage applications and self-service kiosks in museums, retail stores, hotels, trade shows, airports and lobbies.

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3. All-in-One Presentation Solution from 3M

3M's Digital Wall Display is a large screen electronic display featuring a one-touch, easy-to-use operation and a versatile flat-panel screen. Representing a new category of meeting room solutions, this technology integrates the multiple functions of numerous devices such as a multimedia projector, digital or dry-erase board and stereo sound into a single, convenient and easy-to-use communications solution.

Designed for use in corporate meeting room environments, classrooms and business services, users need only connect the signal source to the unit, push the power button and the image is displayed without additional setup or error. The Wall Display eliminates the need for a television monitor, dry-erase board, multimedia projector, flip chart, screen, digital whiteboard and other associated costs because all these technologies are available in one product.

"For the first time, a single device can meet all presentation requirements with unprecedented simplicity, versatility and professionalism," said Robert Richards, new product development manager, 3M Visual Systems Division. "We expect this technology to bring an entirely new solution to market, providing end-users with an additional choice for equipping the meeting room environment."

The latest 3M solution for effective meetings incorporates industry-leading features:

  • 60-inch diagonal large screen with a 4:3 aspect ratio that is mirrored to business applications and viewing data.
  • Computer and video inputs.
  • Vikuiti Light Enhancement Film from 3M for clear and bright images.
  • Replaceable screen with dry erase and digital whiteboard options.
  • Weight of approximately 70 pounds.
  • Handheld remote unit controls all functions and options with presenter features of blank, reveal, freeze, pointer, magnify and timer.
  • Built-in speakers with stereo sound.
  • Eliminates the need for projection distance and allows presenters to move around the image.

For more information on this and other 3M presentation products please contact your United Visual representative.

Applications: classrooms, training & conference rooms.

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4. New Peerless LCD Ceiling Mount for Signage

Peerless Industries has a new ceiling mount for LCD panels 13-29 inches. The mount has an adjustable ¾-inch extension column and the panel can be mounted in normal position or face down.  The mount has 360-degree swivel, 20-degree forward tilt and 5-degree backward tilt.

Models with the optional cable management covers offer a sleek, stylized veneer that conceals cords and augments the mount's overall aesthetic.  All models are UL listed for up to four times the listed weight capacity and they include a VESA 75/100 compatible adapter plate.  They also include the company's Penta-Pin security fasteners for theft prevention.  They are available in black or silver.

Applications: retail stores, airports, stadiums, storefront windows, hotels and theaters, and medical and dental facilities.

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5. Draper Introduces One-Person Setup for Folding Screens

Draper introduced StageHand, a tool that lets just one person set up a folding screen, normally a two-person job.  To use it, assemble the folding screen face up on floor, leaving the feet folded flat against the legs.  Then insert Draper's StageHand under top of screen frame and pull back to hold screen frame firmly in place.  You can then lift the StageHand and screen, telescoping the StageHand as needed to support the screen.  StageHand will support the screen while you unfold and lock the legs in their normal position, following the instructions supplied with the screen.

Tear down works similarly.

Applications: anytime you need to take screens up and down, indoors or outdoors.

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6. New TV One RGB Scaler Scales up to 2048 x 2048

TV One announced its new C2-4100 RGB video scaler, which uses the company's CORIO2 technology conversion engine and handles any resolution from 640x480 up to 2048x2048, including non-standard and HDTV resolutions.

The C2-4100 is for RGB, PC-HDTV, HDTV-HDTV and PC-PC scaling, allowing seamless switching, PIP, RGB frame sync, windowing, RGB-HDTV, Genlock, logo Insertion, aspect ratio conversion, chroma keying, luma keying.

The C2-4100 has three inputs, two outputs, and a preview output. It can handle RGBHV, RGBS and RGsB both in and out. Multiple units can be cascaded to provide layer upon layer and window upon window of images. Zoom is up to 1000 percent and Image Shrink can go down to 10 percent.

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7. New Kramer Device Extends and Protects DV/FireWire Signals

Kramer Electronics introduced the VS-8FW DV/FireWire repeater/hub, part of the Kramer TOOLS line.  The Kramer VS-8FW is an eight-port DV/FireWire repeater/hub for anywhere you use additional FireWire (IEEE 1394) ports.  Several hubs can be cascaded to create a FireWire system with up to 63 ports.  The repeater/hub supports 100, 200, and 400 Mbps transfer rates for high digital video transfer rates and you can also hot-plug or hot-swap with its plug-and-play functionality.

The VS-8FW repeater/hub also features Kramer's Spark-Guard Pro electrostatic discharge protection technology on all ports.

The VS-8FW extends the standard 15-foot (4.5 meter) operation range of DV/FireWire signals, and can double the range with appropriate cabling.  The Kramer VS-8FW utilizes IEEE 1394 bus power, or it can be used with an included external 12V DC power supply for use with devices that require more power.  It is housed in a Kramer TOOLS enclosure.

Applications: extending FireWire capabilities.

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8. ClearOne Shipping Out-of-Box Audio Conferencing System

The new RAV business conferencing system from ClearOne is now available.  The system, considered an "out-of-the-box" solution, includes an audio mixer, loudspeakers, microphones and a wireless control device.  It can be used as a stand-alone conferencing system and it can also connect to common rich-media devices, such as video or Webconferencing systems, for enhanced audio performance.

Applications: Corporate and government audio and video conferencing applications.

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9. New Glasses-Free 3D Digital Signage on up to 50" Displays

Opticality introduced glasses-free 3D technology that can be used on LCD and/or plasma screens from 17" to 50".  The images appear to float mid-air as much as six feet in front of the screen.  The images can be seen as wide as 120 degrees. You can also mix 2D and 3D content.

The company also offers the content creation tools for either creating 3D content or converting 2D content as well as content management tools for scheduling and monitoring messages.

The displays can be free-standing, wall-mounted or installed in a cabinet.

Applications: retail stores, malls, airports, hotels, casinos, sports arenas, trade shows, exhibition halls and other high-traffic environments of any kind.

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10. Sharp Adds to ProAV Projector Line

Sharp has two new professional projectors in its Notevision series.  The XG-MB70X, with 3,000 ANSI lumens, and the PG-MB60X, specified at 2,500 ANSI lumens, are XGA-resolution DLP projectors.

The new projectors include Sharp's Display Manager Software for one or more LAN-enabled projectors to be connected to a PC for remote control and diagnostics.  The XG-MB70X has built-in RJ-45 as well as built-in Web server for direct control and access. The PG-MB60X has optional LAN connectivity through the AN-LS1 accessory.

Applications: conference rooms, classrooms.

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11. On the Surface of Things

It's easy to screen phone calls, it's necessary to screen job candidates, and everyone should have regular health screenings. But when was the last time you screened your projection screen?

Despite their importance to the quality of presentations, screens can be an easily overlooked component in AV installations. No matter whether your current projection surface is fixed, portable, motorized or manual, there are continuing innovations in screen technology that might have escaped the sharp eyes you normally reserve for the images that appear on them.

Whether front or rear projection, the core basics of screen selection still apply: Size, viewing angle, gain (the amount of luminance a screen transmits from the center), screen material and color, as well as ambient light will all be key considerations. But increasingly, screens are being manufactured with more features than immediately meet the eye.

Seeing and Hearing

Recently introduced to the market is a fixed frame screen with a built-in JBL Surround Sound speaker system. It's available in eight projection surfaces (depending upon application and environment) and can be customized in size. While targeted for the home theater audience, its potential for commercial usage (lobbies, consumer promotions, for example) is obvious. Choose video aspect ratio (4:3) or the 16:9 HDTV format.

Another recent acoustic breakthrough (for rear-projection screens) is a transparent fabric that requires no compensation equalization for speakers placed behind it. Unlike traditional perforated material that creates interference patterns, the acoustic transparency now possible allows users to place the center loudspeaker behind (and at optimum height) for full sound and image harmony. There is no loss of color consistency nor gain and viewing angle. The material comes in matte white and pearl grey, and can be used in fixed and electric retractable installations. Only two such screen fabrics have received certification from THX Ltd., George Lucas' company that certifies sound and image quality assurance for consumer and professional entertainment applications.

Handy is Dandy

Travel much? Or just impatient? Either way, portable screens and their operation have become simpler and faster than ever. One major manufacturer offers a screen ranging from 100" to 180" diagonal, that sets up and is "ready to show" in less than two minutes. The surface is a flexible, flame-retardant, acoustically transparent polyester that can be removed from the frame for machine washing. It comes in a wheeled case with extra pockets for storage.

Another company's portable screen travels with an infrared remote control unit integrated into the case, and gives new meaning to "compact" at less than five inches in both depth and height for easy transport. The screen itself is available from 50" to 96" wide in square, video and HDTV formats. The remote control operates the screen with a three-button transmitter.

Material Witness

In the event you've changed one or more projectors in your AV universe without changing the screen, it might be helpful to know that standard white reference screens for digital projection are now available in grey screen material that increases black levels, shadow details and overall color saturation. Image fidelity can be enhanced whether you use DLP, LCD, or D-ILA projection.

Innovation continues with unique screens made from a proprietary diffusion material which are literally "cast" at the center of ¾" slabs of ultra-clear acrylic. Frameless, free-standing and self-rigid, they come in standard sizes of 72", 84" and 100", but can be fabricated into a variety of geometric shapes, such as curves, hemispheres or teardrops. They can be used with 3-D stereoscopic projection systems for virtual (medical, product) or amusement (swim with projected dolphins) purposes. The acrylic protection makes them tough, durable and immune to traditional wear-and-tear.

Depending on the Aspect

With the various types of media you may need to display on a screen, aspect ratios (the relative size of a native image) become an issue in screen selection. Fortunately, the need for format flexibility coupled with the need for easy viewing has not been lost on screen makers. The term employed is "masking" - black panel borders that allow the screen to assume different dimensions for projecting images created in different sized formats.

There are remarkably versatile screens now available with masking systems that enable proper viewing of NTSC, HDTV, Cinemascope, and traditional television image shapes. Each aspect can be individually controlled, and adjusted for personal preference.

The Big Picture

Just to emphasize the heightened activity in screen technology, you might be interested to know of a wireless video display system with a free-standing, two-foot-wide, round bubble screen for eye-catching trade show fun. And there's also a product called Screen Goo, which allows you to "paint" a screen on any wall, anywhere. A legitimate critic even gave it a decent review. But the point is, your audience deserves to see and hear what you have to tell them in a manner that is both crisp and rich, optimizes your existing equipment, and affords you ease of operation. Let us take you on a deeper look into today's screens and find what's waiting for you under the surface.

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12. Hidden Wonders

A former detective and CEO of a startup surveillance technology company spent $35,000 with an interior designer to get the most upscale and attractive conference room on the market. When completed, the furniture, wall and window treatments, and lighting fixtures would give him just the high-class, high-tech and tasteful appearance he wanted for meeting with customers and investors.

Being a technology geek and the good investigator that he was, he then researched and bought the coolest AV systems and gadgets and had them installed around the room. He took great pride in showing off this technology to every visitor who entered the room. The visitors' first thoughts, however, were "What a mess!" as they got an eyeful of black boxes, cables, screens and remote controls.

Instead of the hip, techno look with which he began his decorating, he now just looked disorganized. Instead of making him look progressive, it made him look sloppy - a turnoff to customers and investors alike.

This was simple for us to correct. All we had to do is take the great equipment and hide it away! He can still show it off to visitors but in a way with far more impact, a way that would indeed impress the way he intended.

If your equipment is overexposed to the point where your room décor is lost in the clutter, here we offer up some of the ways we prefer to store AV.

Cables

There is not much worse you can do to a room than cross-cross cables everywhere. There are plenty of cable management solutions for behind and in front of the walls. Also, you'll want to install plenty of power outlets and LAN connections, preferably right on the conference table at each seat, which is convenient for meeting participants and just looks a lot better than cables running behind chairs.

Projectors

Rather than placing the projector on the conference table, a side table, or hung bare from the ceiling, consider a drop-down mount that will allow the projector to either retract into or hug the ceiling when not in use. Also, a three-sided enclosure can be painted to match the ceiling treatment.

Screens

Front projection screens can retract into the ceiling when not in use and that is by far the simplest approach for hiding a screen. If that isn't possible, you might want to place furniture on rollers, such as bookshelves, that can slide away when you need to use the screen.

Rear projection screens, if they are CRT technology, can run about 28 inches deep. You may want to recess it into the wall - a 4-foot or deeper space behind the wall would let you access the controls and connections on the rear projection screen and also let you house an AV equipment rack. Or get a 61-inch DLP rear projection screen, which runs only a bit more than six inches deep.

Conference Table

No, you won't be hiding the conference table, but there are components you can hide in the table itself. Along with the power outlets and LAN connections, you can mount individual LCD panels so that they pop up rather than remain upright all the time. You can do the same with control panels - touchscreens now come in pop-up designs just for this purpose. Also, if you don't have a convenient place to store remote controls, pointers, business cards and other small objects, slide-out trays are simple, inexpensive solutions.

Using wireless rather than wired microphones will also keep the table clear of clutter.

Speakers

There is nothing wrong with wall-mounted speakers when they are attractive, match the décor and have well-concealed wires. Recessed speakers, since they mount flush with the wall and ceiling, are much less noticeable. There are also ways now to hide speakers inside other objects, such as artwork.

If your conference room style is more geek than chic, give us a call.  We can help hide the evidence.

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The A/V Insider is brought to you by:

United Visual, Inc
1050 Spring Lake Drive
Itasca, IL 60143
[email protected]
www.unitedvisual.com

For information on any solution or product presented in the A/V Insider please call 800-985-9375 and ask to speak to your account representative.

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