3. TANDBERG Incorporates New MXP Into Product Line.
TANDBERG re-engineered its product line to include its new MXP technology, which enhances the audio and video quality and adds new conferencing capabilities.
MXP adds digital audio technology with CD-quality sound, stereo and MPEG4 AAC-LD standard. MXP adds SIP support, H.264 support for high-quality video on lower bandwidth, multipoint capability that enables up to eleven audio and video participants, and an on-screen menu for ease of use.
The MXP technology has been incorporated into TANDBERG's products for medium to large groups, including set-tops, rollabouts, portables and codecs.
TANDBERG also incorporated MXP into two new products. The Maestro turns projectors and large screen displays into interactive video systems. It is equipped with a camera and menu display. The new 3000 MXP, available as a codec, in portable and rollabout versions, is a video integration device.
TANDBERG also announced a new codec hardware for systems integrators. The Codec 6000 MXP, using the MXP technology, provides CD-quality digital audio, digital video input and output and an industry standard S/PDIF digital interface. The codec is equipped with DVI outputs and a DVI input.
4. Peerless smART Mount Handles Flat Panels From 32" to 63"
Peerless introduced the smART Mount, a single/double stud mounting system that can hold any 32" to 63" flat panel design. Peerless says the new mount is specifically designed for fast installation, and provides an attractive design and security features. One of the nice things about this design is that you can adjust the tilt manually, on the fly, so you don't have to fiddle with knobs or use tools.
Security features include theft-resistant screws that secure the tilt brackets into the wall plates and the screen to the universal brackets, as well as a security latch for a safe installation. The smART Mount is also ULÒ listed with the ability to easily hold more than four times the rated load capacity.
The low profile mount is available in black and silver.
5. New Fiber Optic Transmitter and Receiver from Altinex
Altinex has a new fiber optic transmitter, the DA1934KM, and fiber optic receiver, DA1935M. The products are for transferring keyboard and mouse data over long distances up to 2000ft/600m, via fiber optic cable.
The basic configuration of this product can be used to connect a keyboard and mouse to a computer up to 2000 feet away. With the newly released MT107-204 and MT107-304 MultiTasker cards, these products can be combined to build a large scale, up to 64x64, KVM style matrix switcher for server rooms and data centers.
Also, the DA1934KM and DA1935KM in combination with the MultiTasker system becomes an alternative to existing large scale Keyboard-Video-Mouse switching systems.
The DA1934KM and DA1935KM are compatible with Microsoft Windows NT, Windows 2000, and Windows XP, PS/2 keyboards, and a variety of different style mice. Internal memory stores keyboard and mouse settings.
6. JELCO Adds Style to EZ-LIFTs
JELCO now offers its EZ-LIFT system in wood veneer and plastic laminate finishes. The EZ-LIFT systems are cases that let users store flat panel displays, wheel them from room to room and easily raise them above the cabinet, turning the cabinet into a stand, when they need to use the display.
When finished, users lower the display and lock into the down position and the display is protected from damage. What's nice about this case is one person can manage it and no electrical power is needed.
Also nice is that JELCO has incorporated BOSE speakers with Acoustimass speaker technology and Articulated Array speaker design for high quality sound.
7. Panasonic's New High-Res Projectors
Panasonic also announced two 3-chip DLPs for large venues. The PT-DW7000U/PT-D7000U have native 16:9 aspect ratio. The PT-DW7000U is specified at more than 5,000 lumens and 1366 x 768 WXGA resolution. The PT-D7000U is specified at 7000 lumens and 1400 x 1050 SXGA+ resolution. Both are specified at 3000:1 contrast ratio.
These models also have a lamp auto-changer that alternates lamp operation and allows operation to continue without interruption even if one lamp burns out. You can also add an Ethernet module for network connection.
The projectors have built-in multi-screen color matching and edge blending and Panasonic says up to 100 projectors (10 x 10) can be edge-blended at one time.
The projectors come with RS-232C/RS-422 input/output control; mechanical shutter; 96 user memories; and selectable seven-language on-screen menu. Both projectors weigh 48 pounds and measure 20-7/8" W x 7-7/8" H x 22-13/32 D. Inputs include two RGB/YPbPr, S-video and composite video, and optional input boards include HD-SDI, SD-SDI, RGB/YPbPr, DVI, Ethernet, and video/S-Video.
8. Employee Communications Using Digital Signage
With digital signage popping up everywhere from elevators to taxicabs, from casinos to convenience stores, it would be easy to think that nowhere is safe from the exhortation to buy something.
But there's an often-overlooked potential to digital signage that can create a further return-on-investment - beyond product revenues or co-op ad dollars. Digital signage can become a significant tool to communicate with employees, and in turn build company pride, loyalty, while educating and engendering a spirit of teamwork - and at the same time improve productivity while bringing the office rumor mill to a grinding halt.
From the lobby to the loading dock, digital signage is proving its ability to create a better-informed and less-stressed work force, more able to focus on meeting project goals and customer satisfaction.
The benefits of digital signage as a major workplace communications tool are nearly as limitless as your imagination. Consider the following: not everyone is a slave to their e-mail nor listens to the company "grapevine." People walk past the bulletin board without a glance, sticky-notes get lost, policies and procedures manuals go un-read, and inter-departmental communications, except perhaps at the highest levels, are often non-existent.
A well-placed, well-managed, simple digital media system can often be installed and operated without adding staff - by small and medium-sized businesses alike. No more monthly newsletters that are out-of-date before distribution, no more costly corporate video productions with a short shelf-life, no more boring seminars or endless memos on changes in benefits, schedules, or other human resources issues. Industries as diverse as manufacturing, hospitality and financial services are using cost-effective digital signage to communicate:
Signs of Your Times
- Production goals and progress (daily, monthly, annually)
- Sales leaders/quota accomplishments
- Order status tracking
- How to update 401K statements
- Names and organizations of visiting clients/agencies
- Special promotions/inventory levels
- New product information
- Corporate, regional or local employee news
- Company stock or financial news
- Vacation schedules
- Security and safety plans/danger areas
- Priorities, delivery schedules, quality control status
- Personnel codes/rules
Digital display systems, whether on screens of 50 inches or 21 inches, can be centrally-controlled, pre-programmed, changed in real time, and allow varying degrees of local control. In addition to your content management software (user-friendly templates are generally available), news and weather tickers can be included for added employee interest and goodwill.
A basic system would include a plasma or LCD digital display and a digital media player - either a dedicated appliance or a PC with digital media software, permitting multiple, dynamic messages and continuously refreshed content. Some questions you should consider when exploring a digital signage system for your employees are:
Effective examples of digital signage networks include a major snack food company in the Midwest that "connects" its three manufacturing plants with all departments at company headquarters. Each facility has a "communications coordinator" who approves content written by their team. Company news, announcements and events are updated three times a day, with generally less than an hour of effort from any single employee.
- What size broadband connection is required?
- What media does the system play back, e.g., MPEG, Photoshop, JPEG, etc.?
- Is specialized training necessary to operate the system?
- Does it offer a remote media manager?
- Can external source video be played in a window surrounded by digital content?
- Will the system include product updates?
- What kind of maintenance and on-site support will I receive?
A hardware store chain in the United Kingdom uses the same system (two screens in each store) to both target customers and train employees. The two -channel system provides unique and independent content to each intended audience. The "customer-facing" screen permits efficient point-of-sale information on current promotions, while the "employee-facing" screen offers detailed information on products, do-it-yourself techniques and company updates.
Up and Running
The hardware and software you select should be appropriate to your needs - and that means finding knowledgeable professionals who can present you with system design and capability choices at differing price points, and who will be happy to show you installations they've completed for satisfied customers.
Seek a solutions partner who takes the time to understand and care about your requirements, and the experience to bring it all together. And when you come to us, we'll be sure there's no breakdown in communication.
9. Assessing Amplifiers
While we are designing your audiovisual system, we'll specify a power amplifier to ensure good quality of your audio output. There are many considerations when choosing an amplifier and our designers have spent years learning them.
The power amplifier is what powers your speakers, so it can make or break an audio system. The trick is that amplifiers vary greatly in their output (and technology). Here are some of the ways we determine which amplifier you need.
Room dynamics. The larger the room, the more powerful amplifier you'll need. But the room acoustics will play a big part, too, in determining the right amplifier. You don't want to skimp on power because in doing so, you might risk turning the volume too high and overload the speakers. You also don't want to waste your dollars on a system that delivers far more power than you need. In fact, both the THX and DTS audio specs start with room treatment (acoustics) before addressing amplification and speaker placement.
Speaker compatibility. Not all amplifiers play well with all speakers. In addition, different speakers have different sensitivity levels so they might play the sound louder or softer, more distorted or more clearly than others. So the amplifier and speakers must be specified together according to what configuration will deliver the best sound to that particular room.
Amplifier types. Amplifiers are designed differently, some delivering stereo, or two, channels from the one amplifier, some delivering only one channel and some delivering five (and even seven). The stereo amplifier and five-channel are fine for most rooms and choosing between the two will depend on how much surround sound your room needs. A five-channel, for example, is a good choice for home theater because of the surround-sound 5.1 delivery. A monoblock amplifier delivers only one channel. Although none of us use this in our homes anymore, this technology actually gives the best quality because there is no chance different channels will interfere with each other, and each monoblock connects directly to and is dedicated to one channel. Mono systems are typically used in distributed audio networks in large venues and staging applications where you will use two, or five, or more, of the monoblocks to deliver the different channels.
Room use. Another important consideration is what types of audio will be required in the room. Will it be primarily speakers and presentations, or will there also be recorded music and/or live performances? The choices of the amount of power and the technology will depend on what sort of sound will be heard.
Other considerations that we'll determine for you include technologies within the amplifier itself such as transistors, Class A versus Class A/B or Class B, tube and solid-state, signal-to-noise ratio, etc.
Do your current power amplifiers give your conference rooms, auditoriums and stages great sound? If not, give us a call and we'll be glad to review your components to be sure you've got the right ones working together.
10. Justice Served -- Remotely
The judicial system is one of the niches where technology has been of tremendous benefit. First, technology became an essential aid for criminal and civil attorneys by delivering evidence via projector in the form of data, such as PowerPoint, Excel, audio from audiotapes, photographs and video. A projected image delivers impact where needed, clarity where words alone might be interpreted differently by different people, and a well-done presentation gives the presenter the impression of more credibility.
One of the latest technologies finding its way into the courtroom is videoconferencing, a technology that's been around for a while but only recently became cost-effective and simple to use. In addition, there are now videoconferencing systems designed specifically for the courts so that the specific features and functions are incorporated.
There are three main reasons why conferencing is becoming more prevalent in the courtroom. First and foremost is cost. Videoconferencing can cut a substantial amount of cost from court proceedings, particularly costs associated with transportation. Every time there is a hearing, an arraignment, a plea, a deposition, an appellate argument, a motion or an exert witness testimony, the costs of gathering all participants become huge. The costs associated with transporting a defendant alone can be astronomical, especially when different states are involved in incarceration and prosecution. Also if attorneys are located out of town, they can carry on much of their work without accruing costs to travel to the courthouse with every filing or hearing.
Security is another benefit of videoconferencing in the courtroom. If anyone involved in the trial is under and sort of threat to their safety, or if a person such as a defendant or other might be a threat to others, videoconferencing removes the difficulty associated with protecting people during travel and while entering and exiting the courtroom.
While the most use of videoconferencing in courts is for non-trial proceedings, it's no longer uncommon for videoconferencing to be used during a trial. The third benefit is videoconferencing allows access to people who otherwise might not be available to be in the courtroom in the desired timeframe. Someone who is hospitalized, for example, can participate and the court doesn't need to wait until a patient is well enough to go to the courthouse. The court can use testimony from someone in another country without having to wait for (and pay for) that person to travel. Videoconferencing can also be used to take depositions from inmates without having to transport them from and back to the facility.
In addition, many courts find that using videoconferencing when the witness is a child makes it far less traumatic than forcing the youth to speak in front of the courtroom.
During a trial, a flat-panel screen is situated near the witness stand and the remote witness, with testimony captured via camera from the remote site, is seen testifying on the display. The witness views the activity in court sometimes in a picture-in-picture display and the installed systems show the remote witness the same evidence that is viewed in the courtroom
In the courtroom, cameras might be placed in a number of strategic locations and one person controls the switching, pan, tilt and zoom, or they might use a roll-about, which lets a camera be rolled in and out of the courtroom.
Two other uses are growing in popularity - education and visitation. There are now videoconferencing systems that are designed specifically for delivering education to juveniles who are incarcerated. These education systems save costs associated with bringing teachers on-site and enable each class to go to a far greater amount of students.
There are also systems designed specifically for prison visitation. This use helps greatly with security during entrance, during the visit and during exiting. It also makes for a more comfortable visit for children visiting their parents.
Videoconferencing is cutting costs, reducing delays, increasing security and efficiency at courts throughout the U.S. these days. The technology is working so well that it will no doubt set an example for other government agencies that haven't yet adopted videoconferencing to increase efficiencies.
In fact, videoconferencing has applications virtually everywhere these days. Call us to see how videoconferencing can work for you.