UV 2004
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United Visual A/V Insider - May 2004

Table of Contents:
1. United Visual University's Next A/V Seminars May 18th.
2. Registration Now Open for InfoComm 04
3. Philips Exits Front Screen Projection ProAV Business
4. Peerless Industries Launches New Low Profile Projector Mount
5. Casio Enters 4-Pound Projector Category
6. Atlas Sound Introduces Speakers for Indoors or Outdoors
7. SMART Adds Sympodium Interactive Lectern Model
8. Creating Spaces – The Retail Window


1. United Visual University's Next Audio Visual Seminars
- May 18th in Chicago

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. Those attending all three seminars are eligible for a drawing for a free digital camcorder from Sharp Electronics.

Visit the UVU website for more details and registration information.


2. Registration Now Open for InfoComm 04

If you are free to attend InfoComm in Atlanta in June, please do!  This is the largest professional audiovisual tradeshow and conference anywhere.  It’s a great opportunity for us to walk the show-floor with you and discuss products and systems that would serve your organization’s AV needs.  This year’s show will have more than 600 exhibitors and 10,000 products.  But we can help you narrow down your schedule so you can see the most pertinent products and manufacturers to meet your needs. There are also seminars that might be of interest to you.  Give us a call if you are thinking of going!


3. Philips Exits Front Screen Projection ProAV Business

Philips will no longer sell front screen projectors as of this month and announced that it will halt all its front projection manufacturing businesses worldwide.

According to the announcement:
"Whilst the market for front projectors is growing in both the business to business and consumer segments, a rapid consolidation in the industry is taking place.  It would take considerable investments to continue as a fully integrated and global supplier and achieve a leading market position."

"Since Philips is not a supplier of the key display technologies for front projection, it has been decided to discontinue the development and manufacturing of front projectors."

The company says it will, instead, focus on LCD, plasma displays as well as LCOS rear projection technology and will continue to support the discontinued products.

Philips is a clear leader in consumer flat-screen TVs and will focus on that market.


4. Peerless Industries Launches New Low Profile Projector Mount

Most of today’s projectors are designed in attractive casings so the last thing you want is a huge, clunky mount as the focus of the room. Peerless Industries designed a new projector mount that is low profile, so that it is aesthetically pleasing – available in black, white or silver – and also has tamper-resistant features.

The mount fits projectors weighing up to 25 lbs, and allows for independent image adjustment that ensures proper alignment on a screen.  It can tilt 15 degrees forward and 5 degrees backward and is able to swivel 360 degrees when mounted on an extension column, or 30 degrees when mounted flush to the ceiling.  The mount can also roll 10 degrees to the left or right.  The PRS Series Projector Mount offers a quick-release feature for quick bulb replacement or access to the filter on the projector.  All necessary hardware comes standard for the mounting system.


5. Casio Enters 4-Pound Projector Category and Intros 5-Pound 3800 ANSI Projector

The new Casio XJ-350 claims to have 2200 ANSI lumens and 1000:1 contrast ratio using a 200 watt mercury lamp.  The native XGA resolution DLP-based XJ-350 includes all the bells and whistles of any portable projector including zoom, a 30-degree vertical keystone adjustment and inputs that include video, S-Video and RGBHV as well as an HD analog input.

In addition to their 4-pounder, Casio also introduced a 5-pound, 2800 ANSI lumen (using a 250watt mercury lamp), 1000:1 contrast ratio, XGA resolution DLP projector in the XJ-450 model.  United Visual is an authorized Casio dealer so please contact your representative if you are interested in a demonstration.


6. Atlas Sound Introduces Rugged, Versatile Speakers for Indoors or Outdoors

The new SM42T-B (black) and SM42T-W (white) speakers are designed for indoor or outdoor use and come with a U-bracket for mounting either vertically or horizontally.  The speakers, part of the company’s Strategy series of surface mount speakers, have a 4" woofer section and a dome-style tweeter.

The speakers are weather-resistant, and marketed to a wide variety of applications, including video systems in conference rooms and classrooms, restaurants/bar patio areas, home patios and yards, and outdoor retail such as green houses and garden stores.

These are inexpensive 8ohm or 70-volt speakers that would work well with any meeting room application.

As with most 70-volt speaker systems, the SM42T-B and SM42T-W are 2-way (8 ohm/70.7V) and have a screwdriver-adjustable 25/70.7V/100V transformer with tap settings from 2-16 watts for 70.7V/100V distributed sound applications and all 1/4"-20 hardware inserts allowing for easy integration of "off-the-shelf" security hardware.

Also included is an Atlas Sound TRX Waveguide, a constant directivity style high-frequency wave guide system providing accurate, even, high frequency coverage (90"H x 90"V ), according to the company.  The SM42T-B and SM42T- W are Omnimount 10 series compatible.


7. SMART Adds Sympodium Interactive Lectern Model

Everything you ever wanted added to the Sympodium, just got added.  SMART Technologies announced the Sympodium L250, which uses a Sympodium interactive pen display mounted on an adjustable arm, a multimedia switch, and the SMART Board software.  The presenter uses the pen to launch and control computer applications and to write over the data while a projector displays the information on a larger screen.  The multimedia switch lets the presenter switch sources, such as computer, laptop or document camera.  And the lectern comes with all the functionality of SMART Board interactive whiteboard.

The lectern is mobile with lockable casters and has plenty of storage for computers and peripherals.  It also has cable raceways as well as a concealable connection panel for data, audio and video connections.

The Sympodium L250 interactive lectern started shipping last month.


8. Creating Spaces – The Retail Window

Attracting attention in a retail environment has always been a challenge.  Maybe you remember watching a window dresser change the clothes and props around static mannequins to promote the latest styles.  These days, "product display experts" are the content creators and integrators who use a variety of equipment to show off your merchandise, services, or seasonal specials. Dynamic media are five-to-ten times more likely to be noticed, to capture and focus consumer attention.  Digital displays permit targeted messages, quick deployment of new information, and are proving to increase brand awareness and sales per location.

Whether you own a restaurant, a day spa, a dental clinic or department store, the pro AV world offers new windows of opportunity to get your marketing message across to current and potential customers – at the point of purchase.

What’s in a System?

As electronic digital signage changes the way advertising and information is presented to the public, solutions are as varied as the types of businesses using the technology.  These delivery systems may also be called narrowcasting, virtual billboards, private network broadcasting, or retail television.  At the heart of the system is typically a PC and software ranging from simple to sophisticated.

In malls or on street corners, businesses may employ simple text messaging on a monitor, stand-alone kiosks, plasma screens, flat LCD panels or a video wall.  Digital signage can be displayed from handsome cabinets, placed on futuristic stands, mounted on walls, or be suspended from the ceiling.

For example, one clever tenant at a mall in Delaware hung a transparent rear projection screen from cables at the entrance to the food court.  The projector was mounted so as to blend into the ceiling, while dome speakers localized the sound into the traffic path of viewers.  Smart audio increased or decreased volume based on ambient sound levels.

The physical environment and style of your establishment will greatly determine what position and configuration of equipment may look and work best for your business.

Content and Applications

In effect, digital signage allows you to become your own TV network program director.  The images and messages you create can be scheduled, laid out on the screen, and sequenced for the time of day you choose.  Own a restaurant?  Show the butter melting over those pancakes in the morning, and cut into a juicy steak in the evening.  Own a group of hardware stores?  Let streaming video run seasonal commercials from manufacturers that identify specific products for the "do-it-yourselfer."  Messages can be altered at will to communicate product information, price changes, or stimulate impulse purchasing.

A forward-thinking group of convenience stores on the East Coast even sells advertising time on their screens to neighboring businesses for an added revenue stream.  The objective, however, is to make sure that your message and technology are integrated in a way that appeals to your target audience and influences their buying behavior.

Staying in Control

Today’s retail windows are adaptable to businesses both large and small for quick and effective communication.  Presentations can be continuously looped or played in a rotation that you select.  You might even have several channels with different information from which customers can choose.  The goal is to make the shopping (or waiting!) experience more enjoyable or educational for the consumer.

If your business has multiple outlets, digital signage systems let you control what content is played where – allowing consistency of information throughout your stores, assuring that everyone promotes the same products in the same way. When it makes sense, some amount of local or regional flexibility can be built in for unique updates or specific demographic appeal.  This type of corporate network can be established via the Internet, and manufacturers are increasingly interested in partnering with retailers who can promote their products at the point of sale.

When exploring the possibilities of the new retail windows, some hardware and logistical considerations to keep in mind are:

  • Maximize viewer angles (size of screen and placement)
  • Minimize glare (adapt or change existing lighting)
  • Audio that doesn’t "trespass" on other screens or neighboring stores
  • Complement existing store design
  • Protection of equipment
  • Degree of central or individual content control

Leading edge technology combined with eye-catching images are transforming the face of retail promotion and expanding sales for savvy businesses.  Let us help you open the window of opportunity to make your displays and products "come alive" in a way that attracts and impacts your buying audience.



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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