2. Polycom Introduces Media Center, Integrating Video, Display and Audio
Polycom introduced the Media Center conferencing system, which integrates video communications, high-resolution displays, and audio subsystem. The system can be installed with single or dual displays. The first display can be used for viewing all video conference activity and the second can show NTSC or PAL video.
The system includes a 270w high-fidelity sound system with a subwoofer and two satellite speakers. It comes with a mobile stand for accommodating either the single or dual display setup.
It supports up to three 2U video devices and is available with Polycom iPower 9800 and iPower 9400, ViewStation EX/FX, or VSX 7000 systems.
3. SMART Technologies' New Pen Display Allows Presentations from Podium or Table
SMART Technologies released a new product in a new category with its new Sympodium ID250 interactive pen display. This small (15 3/4" W x 13 3/8" D x 2" H) flat-panel display can be used just about anywhere - on a podium, table, desk or even lap, to control computer applications, using the battery-free pen as you would a mouse. A projector connects to the ID250 and displays the presentation onto a larger screen.
What‘s nice is the ID250 has the functionality of SMART‘s SMART Board whiteboards, including annotation, writing and editing notes, recording data and audio, and writing over top of moving or still video.
You can use it with a tiltstand for different viewing and writing angles and it can be mounted with a VESA mounting plate.
4. ELMO Announces XGA Visual Presenter, Annotation Module
ELMO announced a new XGA Visual Presenter as well as a new annotation module for ELMO document cameras.
The new ELMO HV-5100XG Visual Presenter has XGA output, an 18X power zoom lens with a 2X digital extender for extreme close-ups, auto focus and full auto-iris capability. Combined with an 850K pixel 1/3” CCD, it reproduces dramatic color-accurate still and real-time moving images as well as fine text as small as 8 pt. A special frame accumulation mode gets rid of artifacts for the clearest possible images and the 20 FPS scan rate permits rapid hand-written annotations and highlighting with the optional ELMO EVR-100 Annotation Module.
The new ELMO EVR-100 Annotation Module lets ELMO document camera users to annotate, underline or highlight any document, photo or flat art without damaging the original piece. (Instead, the notes are made on a provided acetate roll). It fits onto any-full featured ELMO analog or digital document camera from the EV-308 analog unit through the advanced HV-8000SX IP-addressable visual presenter.
The EVR-100 module is available with an optional slide-in light box for viewing 8 x 10” negatives, X-rays, MRI images, 35mm slides and other photographic materials.
5. Crown International Announces New Amplifiers
Crown International announced a new Xs amplifier as well as a new line of amps, the I-Tech, billed as their new flagship amplifier series for the touring and corporate PA markets.
The Xs 1200 provides 1,100 watts per channel into 4 ohms and is designed for mobile DJs, musicians and tour companies. It's housed in a 2RU, has forced-air cooling, and power ratings per channel are 1,600W at 2 Ohms 1,100W at 4 Ohms 650W at 8 Ohms. It is priced at $1,789.00.
The new I-Tech Series include 2RU models weighing less than 28 lbs. and that deliver massive amounts of power while generating a fraction of the heat of conventional designs. Crown's global regulated power supply delivers full power regardless of AC mains voltage: from 120 to 277 volts, and from 50 to 60 Hz. Power Factor Correction (PFC) allows I-Tech to draw current from the mains more efficiently, providing more power from a single 20 amp breaker. A front panel work surface with LCD display provides a menu-based system setup and full amplifier diagnostics. AES/EBU digital audio inputs are standard, along with balanced analog XLR inputs and passive-through outputs.
Crown plans to soon announce availability of integrated CobraNet digital audio inputs as an option. Integrated studio-grade DSP with 24 bit / 96kHz converters allow custom settings and factory-designed tunings to be easily loaded and recalled via onboard presets.
I-Tech amplifiers connect directly to IQ Networks, providing Crown's IQ control over Ethernet.
Minimum power ratings:
Power per channel with both channels driven:
I-T4000: 1,800W at 2 Ohms; 2,000W at 4 Ohms; 1,250W at 8 Ohms.
I-T6000: 2,500W at 2 Ohms; 3,000W at 4 Ohms; 1,500W at 8 Ohms.
I-T8000: 3,500W at 2 Ohms; 4,000W at 4 Ohms; 2,100W at 8 Ohms.
6. Panasonic Adds Touch Screens to Plasmas
Panasonic Broadcast added a line of touch panel modules for its 42 inch and 50 inch plasma displays. The TY-TP42P6S is the touch panel module for the 42-inch TH-42PWD6UY and TH-42PHD6UY plasma displays, and the TY-TP50P6S is the touch panel for the 50” TH-50PHD6UY plasma display.
Users can now interact directly with the screen using their fingers with this new optical sensor system. The modules offer super-fine resolution (TY-TP42P6S: 1833x1033 pixels, TY-TP50P6S: 2201x1241 pixels), a high scanning speed and stable, light-touch operation. No additional screens are required and with some of the touch screens, users can use an optional touch pen instead of their fingers.
The TH-6 Series plasma displays feature picture-enhancing technologies including Super Real Gamma System, a Real Black Drive System, a Deep Black Filter, a MACH Enhancer and a Contrast Automatic Tracking System (C.A.T.S.); and improved usability with new functionality in the form of dual-picture modes, a 9-point digital zoom and multi-function slots for interchangeable IT networking and AV inputs.
7. Conquer Mounting Anxiety
As pro AV technology offers more changes and choices in display systems, there are also engineers whose job it is to make sure your equipment stays where you want it. Flexible, clever, and ever-more-attractive designs for mounts are increasingly available, and can make the difference in your ability to fully enjoy your LCD, DLP, or plasma screen whatever size you have chosen.
Whether for office, home or classroom purposes, there are probably more mounting options than you might think for placing and securing your monitor, screen or projector. Considerations must include viewing angles, the surface to which the mount will be attached, strength, weight capacity, efficient use of space, ease of installation, clearance from walls and ceilings, and aesthetics. In this article, we‘ll confine our discussion to wall and ceiling mounts.
Designed for traditional CRT monitors up to 27-inches, wall and ceiling mounts offer a variety of styles, from those which hold the television on a sleek, tray-like platform, to those that keep it in position with heavy-duty, adjustable arms on either side. Some include a lower tray to hold a VCR, or offer it as an accessory.
At its most basic, this type of mount maintains the TV in a fixed position, preventing it from sliding forward or backward. At their most sophisticated, they can offer telescoping arms, wide degrees of swivel, and adjustable forward tilt, to accommodate viewing from nearly any angle. They‘re great space-savers for small areas that might have multiple functions employee break rooms, small meeting rooms, church or child-care applications.
Ceiling Mounts for Projectors
With the increased power of smaller, lightweight projectors, security has become a major factor in mount design. At the same time, users must continue to be aware of concerns such as amount of drop, ability to properly orient the projector, ventilation, and selection of a ceiling plate appropriate to the ceiling material. Styles are available that permit projectors to be concealed and recessed in the ceilings, as well as on adjustable-length extension columns.
Ceiling projector mounts are available in generic and manufacturer brands, with many (often legitimately) claiming to be ”universal” in their ability to match virtually projector on the market. Features might include built-in cable management, and separate rotation, tilt and yaw controls for precise image orientation on your screen surface.
Both corporate America and academia are finding that, from an anti-theft perspective, the projector mount can often be the key factor. Features such as steel bolts, socket-pin fasteners, cable locks and metal-to-metal connection points can help deter loss.
Small Flat Panel Mounts
Perhaps no other area in current mount design shows more flexibility than for small, flat panel displays. Small, of course, is a relative term, and whether in a home office or conference room, different manufacturers have innovative solutions for screens ranging from 10 to 40 inches.
Ranging from static wall mounts that can affix to a single wall stud or even dry wall, to pole mounts that extend from floor to ceiling, small flat panel displays can be positioned and showcased in an almost infinite number of ways. Ease of installation, stability, appearance and mounting patterns that enable a change-out or repositioning of screen are benefits of numerous mounts for this function.
For example, some small flat panel mounts have a built-in ”range” for lateral/vertical shift. With self-aligning mating components, mounts are user-friendly, allowing displays to be easily guided, latched and locked into place. In some cases, pitch can be adjusted both up and down, swivel is available, and very low profiles (up to an inch from the wall) can be achieved.
More complex and versatile flat panel mounts include an articulating wall arm with three pivot points, and a ball-and-socket mechanism allowing screen adjustment in virtually every direction tilt, side-to-side, and rotation from landscape to portrait. Sophisticated mounts are even available for under-cabinet or shelf attachment, allowing the screen to swivel when in use, and fold flush and out of sight when turned off.
Large Screen Plasma Mounts
No existing display system can compete with the low depths possible with plasma panels. Their wide viewing angles and excellent performance in ambient light make them a popular choice for videoconferencing. The thin designs mean they can be virtually flush-mounted to walls and ceilings. Typically, display-specific brackets slide onto the mount and are secured with lock devices. For precise positioning and security of screens above, say, 60 or so inches, mount engineers are creating designs that afford uncompromising strength, and ease of installation.
Configurations involving steel, sliding rods for correct placement and tensioners to hold in a desired tilt position compete in this growing market, while the use of materials like acrylic can make a plasma appear to float in mid-air. Large screen mounts must be capable of attaching to wall studs either 16 or 24 inches apart (or solid walls) and are offered with varying features and price points.
Considerations we use in selecting mounts for your systems include: How much overhead clearance is required for installation? Is it acceptable for panel to remain fixed? Are tilt and/or swing-out arms preferable for the application? On what type of wall or ceiling surface will you be mounting the display? When comparing mounts for large screen plasmas, be sure to inquire regarding cable concealment options and the ability to easily move your display in the future from one venue to another.
In the event your display has unusual requirements, we work with mount manufacturers who will customize hardware for our specific purposes, such as environmental enclosures for outdoor screens, or “non-standard“ mounts for oversize televisions that have specific ceiling clearance issues. Wherever people are watching, for whatever application, the right mount can add to the convenience, enjoyment, and efficiency of the presentation.
8. Creating Spaces: Building the Lobby
Visitors to an organization inevitably have to spend time waiting in the lobby. Unfortunately, some companies pay little attention to their lobbies and miss opportunities to not only make visitors most comfortable, but also to convey a positive message.
What do you think of a company when you go into a plain, barren and haphazardly decorated lobby? You think that the company doesn‘t think much of themselves if they don‘t care to make an impression. You think they aren‘t very professional in appearance, so perhaps are not all that professional in their work. You think they lack in creativity, pride and purpose.
But when you enter a lobby impeccably decorated with intent to convey not only a professional image, but also conveying a message, your respect for the company rises.
Professional audiovisual equipment in your lobby can greatly enhance the visitor‘s experience and their impression of your organization.
A large screen, even a videowall if you have the space, can greatly entertain and inform visitors. You can choose LCD or plasma displays or we can build a rear-projection unit into the wall. And there is a wide variety of visuals you can show that can relate the benefits of your company‘s products or services.
-- Slide show. You can loop a slide show presentation and in tight spaces, it might be good to have a presentation with captivating images but without sound.
-- Commercials. If your company advertises on cable or network television, you can play videos of your commercials to send the same messages you so carefully (and, perhaps, expensively!) crafted.
-- Case studies. One of the best ways to show off your capabilities is to create videos showing how your customers use and benefit from your products or services. We can arrange to film or tape segments at several of your customers‘ offices. With professional editing, you‘ll have a video you can use in your lobby but also at trade shows, sales meetings, and employee events.
-- Testimonials. Similar to case studies, filming or taping customer testimonials can relate the benefits. People like watching people talk, and this is an inexpensive method for getting your message across.
-- Exhibits. If you work in a school, you can project student activities, such as sporting events or musicals, students‘ prize-winning art and science projects and photos of student clubs.
-- Activities. If you work in a church, you can show volunteer work in action, Sunday school classes and songs from the choir.
-- Interactive kiosk. You can place an interactive kiosk in your lobby that projects onto the large screen. Some companies put their corporate website pages on an interactive touch screen so that visitors can view different pages and learn about the company before their meetings. But you can put just about anything on an interactive kiosk to deliver an entertaining and informative message, product photos or animations, configuration and pricing information, retail locators, and even all the videos mentioned above.
-- Education. Just as medical offices often show education videos to help patients understand conditions and procedures, other businesses can follow this example. Financial management or investment companies can educate clients on financial goals and how to achieve them, technology companies can show how and why their products work, and work better than the competition, and non-profits can explain the conditions that caused their existence.
Perhaps the greatest benefit to using these AV systems in your lobby is that it gives the visitor a positive feeling about your company before they even enter the meeting. And they‘ll take that impression with them when they go. Is your lobby conveying the right message? If you aren‘t yet using your lobby as a communications tool, give us a call so we can fulfill its potential.