Notevision XR-1S

Sharp has revolutionized the micro-compact "pico" projector market with the intoduction of the Notevision XR-1S. The sleek, micro-compact design, combined with high brightness, 1500:1 contrast ratio and high quality Carl Zeiss optics, makes the XR-1S the ultimate choice for both data and video projection.

Sharp XR-1S Highlights:

- Only 3.3lbs.
- 9.7" x 2.5" x 4.8"
- 1100 ANSI Lumens
- 1500:1 contrast ratio
- HDTV Ready

Click for full specs

United Visual A/V Insider - July 2004

Table of Contents:
1. Looking to Improve Communications Throughout Your Facility?
2. Epson Announces Two New "Value Series" Projectors
3. New Accessory Speaker for Sharp
4. New Chief UPA Series Universal Projector Mount
5. ClearOne Ships Ceiling DocCam II
6. New, Bright Micro-Portables From Panasonic
7. SMART Offers Free Tutorials for Using Interactive Whiteboards
8. What is a Scaler?
9. Case Study: The School Performing Arts Center
10. Creating Spaces - Outdoor Audio


1. Are You Looking to Improve Communications Throughout Your Facility?

A digital signage or digital messaging system available through your local area network can elevate your organization's communications to a whole new level.

At United Visual we are excited about a new product called AxisTV that delivers easy to use visual messaging from any workstation, with connectivity to your network, to a video distribution system. The video distribution network can be made up of any number of flat panel plasma, LCD video or data monitors, data projectors or television sets. United Visual can assist in implementing a visual messaging system with all the necessary components to best meet your organization's communication needs.

Please call 800-985-9375 to set up a complimentary demonstration.


2. Epson Announces Two New "Value Series" Projectors

Epson has two new projectors - the PowerLite 81p and 61p.  Both projectors feature increased connectivity, enhanced audio capabilities, user-friendly setup and brightness specified at up to 2,000 ANSI lumens.  The PowerLite 81p features XGA (1024 x 768) native resolution and the PowerLite 61p offers SVGA (800 x 600) native resolution.

They incorporate four video input connections, including two individual computer inputs, so they are designed for easy plugging in and switching among different sources, such as PCs, video players and audio.  A new "Auto Source Selection" feature allows presenters to get their content up and running quicker and easier.

Both projectors have five-watt speakers and four audio inputs.  They include six built-in display modes for various environments including Epson’s Blackboard mode.  Designed for classroom settings, Blackboard mode gives the projector the ability to detect the color of a display surface such as a chalkboard or painted wall and adjust its output to optimize accurate color reproduction, contributing to increased comprehension and retention.


3. New Accessory Speaker for Sharp

Sharp engaged Innovox Audio to produce the AN-37SP1 high-performance accessory speaker for use with Sharp’s new LC-M3700 and LC-M3700P 37" professional large-format LCD monitor series.

The AN-37SP1 is designed to dramatically outperform standard OEM speakers for flat-panel displays, with smoother response, wider dispersion and high output.


4. New Chief UPA Series Universal Projector Mount

Chief Manufacturing announced the UPA Series Universal Projector Mount.  The mount comes with four kit options so that it fits the majority of projectors on the market.

The different options include flush ceiling mounts and extension mounts - 13" to 23" or 23" to 43".

The UPA Series mount includes independent roll, pitch and yaw adjustments for quick registration.  It also has leveling feet for efficient maintenance.  The UPA has a quality steel construction with a weight capacity of 50 pounds and is available in black or silver.


5. ClearOne Ships Ceiling DocCam II

ClearOne Communications is shipping its Ceiling DocCam II, a ceiling-mounted camera that allows presentation of objects and documents on monitors, plasma screens, video projectors and videoconferencing systems. Features new to this model include built-in laser pointer, a 300x zoom, enhanced cabling, improved remote control and improved compatibility with videoconferencing systems.

The Ceiling DocCam II is available in both NTSC and PAL video formats.


6. New, Bright Micro-Portables From Panasonic

Panasonic has a new series of micro-portable LCD projectors with XGA resolution that are as small as a notebook computer.  The PT-LB10 projector family consists of a wireless-capable, 2000-lumens projector, the PT-LB10NTU, and a 2000-lumen, the PT-LB10U unit, and the 1600-lumens PT-LB10VU.

Contrast ratio is specified at 500:1 for the PT-LB10NTU and PT-LB10U and 400:1 for the PT-LB10VU.  They all weigh less than five pounds.

The PT-LB10NTU comes with an IEEE 802.11b-compliant LAN card and Wireless Manager ME software for wireless operating range up to 55 yards, or 50 meters.  It has a "Live" mode for single-user presentations, or a "Multi-live" mode for up to four presenters.

In Multi-live mode, data from up to four PCs can be projected in either a Four Window with four equally-sized windows on-screen or Index style for thumbnail size images along the bottom of the screen, selectable using the remote.

These projectors have a couple of unique features including the ability to freeze, store and place a still image next to the ongoing presentation.  In addition, a large-diameter short-throw lens allows projection of a 100-foot image from 10 feet away.


7. SMART Offers Free Tutorials for Using Interactive Whiteboards

SMART announced new online orientation classes for SMART Board interactive whiteboard owners to learn how to use the features and functions of the systems during half-hour sessions.  The classes are led by an instructor who uses audio and video conferencing for hands-on lessons as well as Q&A.

There are two different half-hour classes, one for basic instruction on writing on-screen in digital ink and capturing annotations made on computer applications.  The second session is on Notebook whiteboarding software, which teaches users to use the toolbar, how to create objects, how to access clip-art and templates and exporting files to other formats.

SMART says additional classes will be available on topics such as hardware setup and SMART Ideas concept-mapping software, for example.  The company will still maintain its library of downloadable online training center.

The half-hour orientation sessions are offered four times a week at different times in order to accommodate customers in various time zones in the United States and Canada.

Sessions are delivered via Bridgit data-conferencing software (a Windows-based web conferencing product from SMART) and conference call; toll free for customers in the United States and Canada.

Customers in other countries may join sessions through a regular international call.


8. What is a Scaler?

For many installations of projection systems, we will specify a scaler to be installed with the system.  A scaler might be used with systems in conference rooms, board rooms, auditoriums, hotels, houses of worship - any place where high quality conversion and switching of multiple and different video signals to graphical data signals is required for projection purposes.

Simply put, the source format doesn't always match the output format, which means the image quality will be compromised. The source might provide high resolution that must be projected using a lower resolution output, or a low resolution video might be projected using a higher resolution output.

They need to be matched up somehow, so a scaler converts (or scales) the signal to render the best picture possible.

For example, Kramer, one of the most renowned manufacturers, makes the VP-723DS and VP-724DS, multi-standard video to RGBHV scalers.  These convert composite video, s-Video, component video (SDTV and HDTV), VGA-through-UXGA, and DVI-D signals to rates that you choose, including VGA (640x480), SVGA (800x600), XGA (1024x768), SXGA (1280x1024), UXGA (1600X1200), 1024x852, 1024x1024, 1366x768, 1365x1024, 720x483, 852x480, 1400x1050, 480p, 720p and 1080i.

They not only convert the video, they also reprocess the signal to correct mastering errors.  In addition, they can regenerate the video at a higher line and pixel rate format, providing native-resolution video for LCD, DLP and plasma displays.

They can scale any graphics resolution to any other resolution (scaling for example, a VGA input to an UXGA output, or an SXGA input to an SVGA output, etc).

Among our different services is that we train your audiovisual staff personnel to use and manage the different components in your AV system, including your scalers, switchers and routers.  Call us to be sure you're projecting the best images possible.


9. Case Study: The School Performing Arts Center

The performing arts center at a school is one of the more challenging rooms to design.  It must be flexible enough to accommodate lectures, symphonies, musicals, assemblies, plays and dance performances.  Most importantly, it must be a source of pride since it is one of the sections of the school the public will see.  That means the design not only has to be attractive - even dramatic, the AV equipment needs to be powerful, flexible yet economic and, importantly, integrated into the dÉcor.

The AV begins with the outside of the hall where digital signage can show ads for upcoming events.  Digital signage is quickly replacing still paper posters because they are far more attention-grabbing and give a modern, high-tech impression to the visitor.

The signs can display a slideshow rotating still images of different events, such as a poster of a lecturer, photo of a dance troupe, and a photo of the cast of the upcoming musical with the event dates.  Or the displays can show full-motion videos with sound.  Another popular solution is an LED display with scrolling or still text over the box office, such as you see at movie theaters.  Whichever combination you choose for the outside of your exterior, it will be sure to attract visitors between events just to see what's showing on the signage!

In the lobby, sound is important.  You'll likely want to play soft music before an event.  You might also want to play the actual performance music before and after the event, and you'll want to pipe in live sound from the stage during the performance.  You'll also need a paging system that goes to the lobby and perhaps also to the outside of the theater.

Today's theaters are built with projection rooms at the height of a balcony area and you can install high-powered digital projectors or Digital Cinema projectors.  In many cases, you'll need only one projector to project onto a retractable screen on the stage for a lecturer's presentation images, background scenery for a play or musical or dance performance or for sur-titles for foreign language performances such as opera.  In the cases of some performances, such as by rock bands, they use three or more different screens side by side with different images or videos during the concert, so you would need several projectors.

For sound, we'll install the necessary switchers, routers and amplifiers, and speakers will be positioned strategically around the theater according to the best acoustic principles.  We'll also install microphones in all the necessary places to accommodate different types of performances.

Lighting needs to be highly flexible to light different parts of the stage, the orchestra pit and the audience.

You might also be interested in taping and broadcasting the performances.  With a broadcast system, you can install monitors backstage so that the people there can watch what's happening on-stage, and you can also show it to those people passing through the lobby.

Other equipment you'll want include a lectern with rolling wheels so that it can be taken off-stage when not needed. You'll likely want a lectern that is equipped with a control panel so that the speaker can control his or her own presentation projection.  You also might want teleprompters, which can be of several types: clear glass panels attached to the lectern that transparent to the audience but show the words to the speaker; words projected onto the actual stage, at the front so that the speaker or singer just needs to look down to see the words or lyrics; or a display that is mounted in the middle of the audience, facing the stage.

We can help you build a new theater or add functionality and beauty to your existing theater, or we can simply add audiovisual equipment to improve your performances.  Your theater gives the public an impression of your school image - make it a favorable one.


10. Creating Spaces - Outdoor Audio

It's not your father's garbled public address system anymore.

From ballparks in the Midwest to beachfront nightclubs in the Bahamas, venues large and small are reviewing and re-tooling their environments with the creative use of sound, finding that excitement, added value, and customer satisfaction are valuable by-products of an "audio makeover."

Sound is a critical element at any attraction, in order to create a desired mood, to convey important information, to enhance a brand identity.  In today's entertainment-oriented society, business parks, restaurants, houses of worship, malls, theme parks, and golf courses have discovered the "architecture of audio communication."

A church in Massachusetts lost its old carillon system to corrosion, decay and the effects of ravaging weather.  "It was if the congregation had lost its voice," said a church member.  With the installation of a state-of-the-art digital, pre-loaded, fully-programmable carillon system, the awe-inspiring sounds of recorded bells (ranging from 750 lbs. to nearly 5,000 lbs.) not only stand up to the elements, they have a visibly dramatic effect on the congregation and the community.

At a large, popular restaurant in Malibu, California, (where outdoor dining is the norm) the audio system had been patched together over a period of 17 years.  More than a re-hab was needed.  A creative sound designer established eight individual zones that included music options, unique speakers, and paging capabilities for each ocean-front deck, private party room, bar and dining area.

The amphitheater at a national park in Colorado was re-fitted to better accommodate the wide variety of different shows (local and traveling) that use the outdoor facility.  A pro audio company worked with the architect to establish conduit layouts, speaker locations, equipment and antenna placements that would be flexible and user-friendly for either live or recorded programs.

What to Consider First

To determine if outdoor audio (installation or makeover) is appropriate for your place of business or home, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I want people to immediately feel or know as they approach and enter this space?
  • Could music, sound effects, or voice information/instructions add to the "unique" nature, ambience or helpfulness of this outdoor area?
  • While I may not need outdoor audio on a regular basis, are there certain situations (holiday periods, special promotions, parties, etc.) where it would help me stand out from the crowd?
As you might suspect, there are libraries of pre-recorded sound, music and special effects that have been tested to create spatially realistic acoustic environments (from jungle depths to outer space) and induce listener response - from relaxation to heightening alertness. And of course you can customize the appropriate audio environment you want to create for different times of the day, days of the week, or seasons of the year.

What to Consider Next

Think about the traffic patterns and purposes of your various outdoor areas.  What are your customers or guests doing in each of them?  Where will audio make sense - or not?  And under what conditions will the system be required to operate?  Be aware of the following concerns:

  • Range of sound - Depending on use, you don't want overlap or dead zones.
  • Clarity of sound - What natural elements may interfere (wind, surf, crowd noise, etc.)?
  • Ease of control - Input sources, levels, and sound selections should offer flexible (if not centralized) operation.
  • Esthetics/Public Appearance -- Today's outdoor audio products disguise speakers as rocks, potted plants, and can be hidden in foliage or fountains.
  • Durability - Some equipment is built to military specifications and can remain outdoors year ’round in rain, snow, and subject to wide temperature variations.  Speakers may need to be resistant to mold, mildew, dust, sun, sand or salt.
With outdoor audio a common feature on cruise ships, concert stages, promenades, public pools and posh private patios (where acoustical boundaries are lacking), no one-size-fits-all solution is possible.  Pre-packaged kits are available for small venues with limited needs, but more customized systems might include audio mixers, digital audio repeaters, power amplifiers, relay boards, control panels, wall racks, CD/Tape combo decks and microphones.

Outdoor Ad-Ventures

No discussion of outdoor audio would be complete without mentioning that the possibility exists to take your "permanent" commercial location audio show on the road with rolling billboards and promotional trucks.  The availability of these media can create events off-site, with outdoor advertising and speakers that "go mobile" to festivals, weekend events, community fairs, employee rallies, and celebrations.

Use these opportunities to tell audiences of hitherto-unknown capabilities of your company or service, or use them to create an event all its own - such as a giveaway, contest, upcoming or on-going promotion to lure people to your place of business.

Outdoor audio is a major opportunity to create a fresh identity, clarify niche areas of what your business offers, and solidify loyalty among users who already enjoy your business or home sound environments.

Let us examine your space, learn its functions, get to know its audiences.  Then we can help you design a world of outdoor sound that will deliver the right message in the right mood with the right equipment.  Result: You communicate your desired message - with increased sales and goodwill.



The A/V Insider is brought to you by:

United Visual, Inc
1050 Spring Lake Drive
Itasca, IL 60143
[email protected]

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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