3. Samsung Electronics Develops Flexible LCD Panel
As Philips and HP continue development of flexible panels, Samsung announced they, too, are working on a flexible display. Samsung developed a seven-inch, 640 x 640 TFT LCD that has enough resolution to display TV content.
This could be a lower cost (and more rugged) display for notebook monitors and cell phones and Samsung also expects it to be used for wearable electronic display products as well.
This is different from the Philips and HP developments, which are basically electronic paper display panels that can be rolled up, recharged for new content, etc. But all these announcements show how the heavy, breakable LCD displays we're accustomed to now could be replaced.
4. NEC Adds Five New Projectors
NEC introduced five new projectors recently, some with wireless capabilities and some with plug and play setup. The NEC LT280 and LT380 LCD projectors feature integrated wired and wireless LAN compatibility so they can be connected and monitored via the network. The new VT48, VT480 and VT580 LCD projectors feature higher light output, quick set-up, wall color correction and keystone correction.
5. Peerless Introduces $99 Articulating Wall Arm Mount
Peerless has a new flat panel articulating wall arm for 10- to 22-inch flat panels for both home and commercial use. The $99 LCS-KLA LCD weighs two pounds and has a two-link arm that can extend from the wall up to 15.25 inches, then fold flat to two inches. It also has an adjustable three-hinge pivot system with tension control, a one-touch tilting mechanism that ranges +/- 35 degrees and up to 180 degrees of swivel.
The LCS-KLA mount includes a VESA 75/100 mounting plate and comes pre-assembled out of the box with all the hardware required for installation. It has a scratch-resistant fused epoxy finish and comes in silver.
6. Two New DLP Projectors From Mitsubishi
The new SD205U and XD205U DLP projectors from Mitsubishi are entry-level models that weigh just 5.3 pounds and have pretty good specs (2000 lumens, 2000:1 contrast ratio) for the pricing.
The SD205U is specified at SVGA (800 x 600) resolution and the XD205U with XGA (1024 x 768) resolution.
7. New Preconfigured Pop 'N Plug Tabletop Connector Box From Altinex
The new PNP417 Pop 'N Plug from Altinex comes preconfigured with 4 power receptacles, 2 VGA connectors, 4 RJ-45 Twisted Pair connectors, 2 RJ-11 modem connectors, and 2 3.5mm audio connectors. It pops up when connections are needed, then blends in with the table when it's closed. Altinex says it is designed to match the surface grain to become as inconspicuous as possible.
Using a table cutout, the PNP417 is attached from underneath, and can be configured to hold rectangular, round, or square tabletops and opens and closes with a press on the lid. The new Sectional Plate was designed especially for the PNP417C, and the four Altinex Snap-In openings may be configured to customer specifications. The PNP417 will lift custom cutouts up to 1.4 lbs.
Plates come with a 6-foot connector cable assembly for power, AV signal and data connectivity depending on the pop-up configuration.
8. Plasmas Preferred for Public Displays
A study conducted of the second quarter of 2005 indicates that for public display applications, plasma displays ranging from 40 to 43 inches outsold LCD public display products. The bulk of those were enhanced definition versions of 42-inch plasma displays.
The next most popular public display was the 50-inch plasma. LCD 40-inch public displays were the third best selling size and technology.
Fast on the move in terms of growth, however, are large-format LCDs, such as 26-inch panels.
The public displays that will work best for you depend on your application - we'll be glad to help you decide.
9. TVOne Extends VGA Over CAT 5
TVOne introduced new products designed to send VGA signals over longer distances using standard CAT 5.
The 1T-VGA-CAT system, which has both a transmitter and receiver, is capable of encoding and decoding VGA signals with resolutions of up to 1280x1024 into a bitstream for remote viewing using a single CAT 5 cable.
A single transmitter/receiver combination can travel up to 590 feet and can be used to provide an image to a single VGA monitor or projector.
The 1T-VGA-CAT-XL doubles the range of operation to 1,180 feet, and offers a transmitter outfitted with VGA loop-thru. For applications requiring multiple displays, the product group's model 1T-VGA4-CAT-TXL and model 1T-VGA8-CAT-TXL transmitters are built to handle the encoding of VGA signals with up to 1280x1024 of resolution, and feed four and eight CAT 5 cables respectively over distances of 1,180 feet. VGA loop-thru is provided with these units as well.
Designed expressly for use with the 1T-VGA4-CAT-TXL and 1T-VGA8-CAT-TXL transmitters, the model 1T-VGA-CAT-RXL receiver-just like all other receivers within the TV One-task CAT 5 VGA extender family-is equipped with its own equalization and gain controls. A dedicated 1T-VGA-CAT RXL receiver is required for each VGA display device used in a given system.
10. Pegasus Wireless Releases New WiJET 802.11G Wireless Presentation Solution
Pegasus Wireless released its newest version 2.5 of the WiJET.G and WiJET.Video wireless presentation solutions.
The WiJET series of products lets you replicate the computer screen wirelessly at remote displays, such as projectors, LCD displays, and plasma flat panels without the need for cable connections. It uses wireless technology based on the IEEE 802.11g standard and can be used with any 802.11b/g, Wi-Fi equipped computers.
The WiJET 2.5 enhances the WiJET support of screen resolution to 2048 x 1536 and has a new scripter function, which allows you to build a presentation script, automatically carrying out various presentation tasks in sequence. The WiJET 2.5 also includes an enhanced Moderator/Scheduler function that allows the wireless connection between the computers and the display device to be centrally controlled.
11. Electric Avenues
IT managers are just getting used to the whole wireless craze. WiFi, WiMAX - it's all fairly new. And it just may be in danger of extinction already. Well not extinction, exactly, but there is another technology in development that could mean some serious competition to wireless, and it comes from a surprising source - your existing power lines.
There are four different groups working on standards for Broadband over Power Line (BPL). Some have delivered specifications, moving the technology closer to reality. So far, most of the focus for BPL has been for broadband access in the home. But just as the wireless trend began in the home and then moved to the workplace, you can be sure will BPL follow the same migration path.
BPL's most obvious benefit is that the infrastructure of power lines already exists! Sure, the power companies will need to make some adjustments, but for the most part, all the homeowner or IT manage may need to do is be sure BPL modems are available to users and to other connected devices (appliances in the home, for example, and IT servers and AV equipment in the workplace). So there is an elegant simplicity about BPL that is very appealing.
Another benefit is that you can cut down on the cost and bulk of running cables everywhere. You well know the hassles of adding cables to existing buildings - it's time-consuming and expensive. With BPL, you won't need to run any more lines than you already have.
Security was much easier with a cabled LAN than it is with wireless technologies. Corporations live in fear of hackers getting into their wireless networks. BPL will take the security threats back to the levels of cabled systems since wired communications are inherently closed systems. Someone would have to actually access your power lines to get into your system, and usually that means they'd have to enter your building. The level of security with BPL is far easier to control than is wireless.
Availability is a huge benefit. This is a big issue when it comes to consumers, especially those in rural areas who have no access to cable modems or DSL. The government is highly concerned about providing access to everyone and BPL does solve that problem. Access in the corporation is eased as well. Typically, there are only one or two network connections in a room, which limits where a person can sit, and limits where furniture can be placed. Or more recently, pop-up boxes are installed into all seating positions at a conference table so that each meeting participant can plug their laptops into the LAN. BPL allows so much more flexibility in a room.
While there are four different standards in the works, in theory anyway, BPL will provide one standard, whether you're using your computer at work or your laptop at home. Whether you're sending email or streaming video. So, if BPL does truly catch on, the way you connect to broadband will be the same, no matter where you are.
BPL advances are coming quickly. The entire city of Manassas, Virginia, already implemented city-wide availability of BPL to all 35,000 residents in the first deployment in the United States.
12. The Stage is Your World
Presenting live on stage in front of an audience - whether 50 or 500 - is a serious matter. The formality of a stage, even if it's only a temporary, portable one gives rise (if only subtly) to higher professional expectations.
Regardless if you're a keynote speaker at a conference, a featured presenter at your company's annual sales meeting, or launching a new product to your distributor network, for the amount of time you're "on" - the stage is your world. And you need to make the most of it.
According to the Stage Managers Association in New York, the role of a professional stage manager, although it will vary with each job, is to be "the eyes and ears" of the production. The SM makes sure that every cue, every change, every technical element, prop and transition are noted and communicated to the appropriate people or department.
Although your message is the true "star" of the show, as the messenger, you must take charge of the environment in which this happens. In other words, become your own stage manager, to ensure a smooth production that has no distractions, gaffes, or glitches that result in poor reviews afterward.
Scouting the Location
Maybe you've spent six months on the road giving the same "canned" presentation in small venues. Suddenly a potential new client (or interested organization) invites you to address a large group of employees or constituents in their corporate theater or auditorium.
Do your homework well in advance. How large is the stage? Is the venue itself flexible? What equipment and technical support will be available? What else might you need to request or supply yourself? Will you need to customize (or dramatize) your presentation in some way to accommodate the environment?
Most facilities maintain a list of their fixed and portable equipment. A quick, random check of "for hire" meeting facilities in a major city turned up a wealth of information, for example, the number and type of microphones available, screen ratios, single or dual projection for slides via touchscreen, document camera, a variety of video and audio playback formats, mounted projector models, as well as several choices of lecterns and specifics on the power supply.
A little more digging revealed that some rooms could be divided, enumerated their wheelchair and audio-enhanced headset capacities, and that seating could even be removed in order to extend the stage.
On With the Show
Put yourself in the audience. What "layout" or stage design will be most effective and attractive for them to look at, and for you to manage? Where is the best location for the screen, the lectern? Would a TelePrompTer aid your presentation? And where should it be placed so you can read it easily (with or without your glasses?) Can cables be hidden, or at least secured so they aren't likely to be tripped over?
If your Stage Management responsibilities include the option of one of today's, multimedia-command-and-control "smart" lecterns, become familiar with and practice its operation. The ability to manage everything from an interactive tablet to a DVD player to a plasma display from a single source goes a long way toward producing a seamless look to your presentation. Most are adjustable for those among us who are height-challenged.
But if the stage really is too large for the size and scope of your presentation, find out if it can be "masked" or visually "downsized" with drapery or portable flats, so that you and your message appear bigger.
Know where everything on stage is located, use every opportunity to rehearse, and solicit feedback from colleagues ahead of time.
The Final Act
You might be surprised to know that the meetings, conventions, exhibitions, and incentive travel industry, taken as a whole, generates more than $120 billion annually in direct spending - making it the 29th largest contributor to the Gross National Product.
As part of this universe relying on ProAV, you might want to think "bigger" in terms of your stagecraft and its impact. What surprises or teases or "reveals" can you effect on stage using sound, light, video or live action - in a heretofore unused (or now "opened up") part of the stage?
Consider a "giant" turntable display of a small product. Or an actual demonstration or testimonial - live or recorded - whose "energy" humanizes or adds an emotional component to your factual information. Perhaps a 3-D fabrication of your brand or logo or symbols of what your organization stands for drops from the ceiling, or a small chorus enters in spotlight from the wings, singing an original song that reinforces your message.
As Stage Manager, your vision should be everyone's command.
Before you're due on stage, we'll be glad to consult with technical advice, research, and recommendations. The backstage knowledge of our staging and production department can help you be a major hit in front of the crowd.