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Ready for more complexity?

Jan 13, 2005 3:51 PM


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Focusing on video displays as just one element of a complete, networked data management and display environment presents opportunities for smart integrators. But it also presents some formidable challenges, at least in the short run.

Mike Levi, president of Digital Projection, Inc., expects that “due to rapidly increasing need for high-pixel-density displays, the use of multi-unit, hard-edge-matched, and blended arrays will increase in permanent installations. Key markets include scientific, medical, visualization, engineering, command and control, and simulation.”

As part and parcel of this trend toward complexity, corporate clients will be looking for more DVI-based, high-bandwidth fiber optic connectivity between sources and displays, he adds. These tools “will become widely adopted due to the inherent benefits of transporting video and data over a single-wire, noise-free, and loss-free format.”

Accommodating video and data together is also a priority, and this will account, in Levi’s view, for the growing popularity of projectors and other displays combining a 4:3 aspect ratio with SX+ resolution (1400x1050 pixels).

The 4:3 ratio, he notes, is “both video- and data-friendly.” Levi adds, “Many historic SXGA users and venues will rapidly adopt the SX+ platform for new installations.”

If installation complexity and multiplicity of signals are becoming the trend in more and more settings, at the heart of this is a basic business requirement, says Eric Wogsberg, president of Jupiter Systems. Wogsberg notes that business interest in video displays is being driven largely by the need to access ever-greater amounts of dynamic information in support of decision-making. This trend, in turn, is bringing what used to be high-end display wall technology to a wider range of settings.

Looking ahead, Wogsberg sees increasing demand for “the highest-quality visualization and advanced computing methods with full-featured control.”

Corporate users, he notes, need to converge display sources originating in the AV and IT worlds and have equally easy access to high-quality displays for all kinds of inputs.

What sets these applications apart from other, more traditional AV jobs, Wogsberg says, is their reliance on strong integration with IT.

The choice of displays themselves, paradoxically, is becoming both easier and more difficult. Easier, because buyers have more choices and the hardware itself is easier to install than ever. More difficult, because buyers have more choices.

Consider the recently completed Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which showcased scores of displays that would have been limited to the pro AV world only a short time ago. Samsung’s new HLR6768W, a 67-inch DLP-based rear-projection TV offering 1920x1080 resolution, won the “Next Big Thing” award for video, and the company also displayed a new 80-inch plasma display with a sticker price around $40,000.

Many of these products are aimed at the home theater market, a profitable niche for a subset of AV systems integrators. But many will also undoubtedly make their way into business settings. Business users are also a target market for the new RCA Scenium Profile, a DLP-driven rear-projection TV with a 61-inch screen but a thin enough form factor that it can be mounted on a wall like a plasma.

A number of other vendors displayed plasmas and DLP systems larger than 60 inches. With users’ choices proliferating, the pro AV channel will be increasingly mandated to offer networking savvy, control capabilities, and other added values that corporate clients require.



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