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InfoComm 2012: Pro Video

Jun 5, 2012 11:47 AM, By Jonathan Brawn CTS, ISF, ISF-C, DSCE, DSDE, DSNE

Some must-see video products at this year’s show.

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Mark Twain is noted to have said, “The report of my death was an exaggeration.” In fact, protectors are alive and well, and there are several developments of note that will be shown at InfoComm. First, the camp at DLP will show truly hands-free interactivity not unlike in the movie Minority Report. You will be able to stand away from the display and move your arms and hands to control the images on screen without touching it. The next trend you will see is the migration from traditional lamps to the new LED and hybrid designs. Casio has led the market in this area, but others will join the list of adopters at the show. Typical illuminations shown will include 3K and 4K models, a significant increase from the original 800-to-1000-lumen designs that were first brought out. Of course, we see a benefit in TCO since lamps are no longer involved, but we also see improved colorimetry since the specific wavelengths of light can be controlled and there is little to no degradations of illumination as the devices age.

There is a lot of evolutionary stuff going on at Christie Digital, DPI, Barco, and Hitachi. You will see many notable improvements in edge blending and also in their warp engines. Take a look at the new Christie Digital 14K projector that will run on 110V, and then go over to Panasonic and see the smallest and lightest 20K-lumen light-output projector on the market.

Others to consider

It is not all about flatpanels and projectors in the display side of things. The folks at NanoLumens will be exhibiting as well. The company is known for its flexible LED displays that provide creative license on how and where displays can be used. Rumor has it that behind closed doors at the booth the company will be showing a new high-resolution version of its flexible displays. If so, then put your creative hats on and find ways to incorporate it into your next project. One final company I recommend you visit is Hiperwall. The company offers a completely PC-based solution for managing content on multiple screen applications. Read this as videowalls. In addition to all of the other features it already has, the newest release of Hiperwall 3.0 now adds animation capabilities to displayed content. For those in the know, this is a great innovation, and when you see the visual impact, even the uninitiated will clearly understand the value. Hiperwall 3.0 allows users to do all of this in realtime, which is a major design development from the pre-rendered approach used today. With Hiperwall, multiple screens can be configured as videowalls, as a series of discrete displays, as blended projectors, or even combinations of these. The key to using the Hiperwall software is that each display will have its own embedded or attached PC connected to it. In this way, the control computer can send a very large-scale image to each display using standard LAN-based equipment and cabling. We are now talking about incredible display creativity and power at your fingertips and at a lower cost. Since we will see a four-fold increase in the sales of videowalls over the next couple of years, it is only fitting to look at a technology that takes conventional videowalls to the next level without all of the expensive hardware processor and scaler requirement.

Obviously there is a lot more going on than we have noted above. There will be an enhanced as digital signage and videoconferencing presence as well. You will see an emphasis on green technologies and how these will increasingly apply to what we all do in the wonderful world of commercial AV. The bottom line is that the show is really all about solutions and solving problems. Each company will be dedicated to showing the attendees what they offer, but it is up to the individual AV professional to connect these products with the problems most of us face each day. It is an exciting time of the year, so enjoy the show and wait for all the reviews that follow this iconic event.

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