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Great Expectations?In HD

Giving your customers what they want won't always be a no-brainer.

LAST SUMMER, ON A BUSINESS TRIP TO ATLANTA, I SWUNG by Turner Field for a baseball game between the Braves and the Boston Red Sox. The Sox are my boys' favorite team, and I was angling for photos of David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez. But my point-and-shoot Canon couldn't zoom in close enough to the action. That's when I realized if I took pictures of the giant Mitsubishi high-definition screen in centerfield (and on this issue's cover), I'd have a better chance. Not only did I get a few good action photos, I also snapped pictures of the entire Sox lineup when they came to the plate.

HD—gigantic or otherwise—changes the way we see and experience everything. But more importantly, it changes our expectations. Meeting or moderating those expectations may prove to be among integrators' biggest challenges. As this month's story “One of These Things is Not Like the Others” (page 42) suggests, clients are dragging their HD experiences into the workplace. They see HD, and they want it everywhere. Many of them want it at Best Buy prices, and in the right situation, some integrators will give it to them.

At last month's InfoComm, HD over the network, namely in video teleconferencing (VTC) applications, was a topic of discussion. At the show's Manufacturers' Forum, Crestron president George Feldstein suggested what many think: that organizations should build separate networks for their AV in order to guarantee the bandwidth necessary to meet their HD expectations. Rick Snyder, president of Tandberg Americas, told me most of the company's clients buy its VTC systems with HD built-in, but less than a third probably use the HD capabilities.

HD will become a de facto standard experience one day, so future-proofing makes sense. But in the short-term matching expectations and reality will prove an ongoing challenge.

Speaking of HD, PRO AV is proud that its own HD expert, contributing editor, and advisor, Pete Putman, was named InfoComm's Educator of the Year. As Randy Lemke, InfoComm's executive director, put it, “Pete Putman is the consummate educator. He is extremely knowledgeable, conveys his expertise to students with ease, and is committed to providing the AV industry with training that is relevant and current.”

We couldn't agree more. Pete, we and the PRO AV readers are fortunate to have you writing for us.

Brad Grimes, Editor

e-mail: bgrimes@hanleywood.com



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