Test Your Knowledge of InfoComm Technology Firsts
True or false: Toshiba unveiled the first commercially available portable DLP projector at an InfoComm trade show. If you know the answer, maybe you can get the rest of these right.
- The first Ektagraphic slide projector was introduced at InfoComm in 1969.
- Toshiba unveiled the first commercially available portable DLP projector at InfoComm.
- Peavey introduced the first fully configurable, drag-and-drop DSP at NSCA Expo (which, of course, is now part of InfoComm).
- An InfoComm debutante, the AmPro ALICE was the first projector with an integrated PC.
- Pioneer was first to show a plasma TV at InfoComm.
1. False. Trick question. Kodak showed the first professional Ektagraphic slide projector in 1969 at NAVA, the trade show of the National Audio-Visual Association, which at the time represented AV dealers and manufacturers. The organization later became the International Communications Industry Association, which later became InfoComm International.
2. False. nView, a Newport News, Va.–based digital projector manufacturer that thrived in the mid to late 1990s, introduced the first commercially available desktop/portable DLP projector at InfoComm 1995 in Dallas. The company began to suffer losses in the first two quarters of 1997 and no longer makes projectors.
3. True. The Peavey MediaMatrix was the first of its kind and the talk of the show. Peavey was thought to be more of a “music store line,” with a small commercial division in Architectural Acoustics, so its introduction of a fully configurable, drag-and-drop DSP came as quite a surprise.
4. True. AmPro, a former projector manufacturer, unveiled ALICE 5000 circa 1996. It had an Intel Pentium processor, multigigabyte hard drive, and ran the Windows operating system. Projector Central (www.projectorcentral.com) still lists the out-of-production ALICE for $39,995.
5. False. Fujitsu's 42-inch PDS4201E-H was arguably the first commercial plasma display and made its U.S. premier at the 1997 InfoComm show in Los Angeles.
SOURCES: INFOCOMM INTERNATIONAL; ASSOCIATION FOR EDUCATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS AND TECHNOLOGY; THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT, “NEWPORT NEWS VIDEO PROJECTOR MANUFACTURER LAYS OFF 16 WORKERS,” OCT. 10, 1997; WWW.PROJECTORCENTRAL.COM
SPECIAL THANKS TO PRO AV EDITORIAL ADVISORS PETE PUTMAN AND BRAD NELSON FOR THEIR WALKS DOWN MEMORY LANE.