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Industry News for the ProAV Market

New interactive whiteboards, new LCD displays, projectors By Denise Harrison

Industry News

InfoComm Name Becomes Official, Also Reaches Relief Goal

ICIA is no longer. The organization officially changed the name to InfoComm International to capitalize on the better known brand name.

Not that there was much confusion within the ProAV industry. But as InfoComm reaches out to more verticals, as it has been the last few exhibitions, the InfoComm brand name makes it much easier to introduce the organization to new audiences.

For more information, go to http://www.infocomm.org/index.cfm?objectID=A1437F5F-AE56-4FDB-809B196747F9453F

InfoComm also reached its hurricane relief fund-raising goal of $100,000 in donations from 75 members and staff. The organization had committed to contributing 10 percent of the donations and has therefore contributed $10,000.

The $100,000 will go to various charities including the Red Cross, The Salvation Army, Love Our Children USA, the Humane Society and others.

In addition, InfoComm reported they made grants totaling $60,000 to six member companies whose businesses were disrupted by the hurricane. These funds are helping businesses rent storage space, move gear, pay employees or provide for other needs that call for immediate cash.

For more information, go to http://www.infocomm.org/index.cfm?objectID=E3A6C921-6D35-45AA-8826C4B787D49C53

DisplaySearch Acquired

DisplaySearch, which tracks the flat panel industry, was acquired by The NPD Group, a company that provides information about a host of vertical industries such as appliances, automotive, beauty, consumer electronics, imaging, IT and plenty more. It appears the acquisition wont change DisplaySearchs business much since it will operate as an independent company.

The NPD group says DisplaySearch conferences give NPD a new platform and the companies plan to take advantage of each others rosters of analysts.

For more information, go to http://www.npd.com/dynamic/releases/press_051003.html


SMART Launches New Generation of Interactive Whiteboards

SMART Technologies is offering an entirely new series of interactive whiteboards, the new series 600, which replaces former lines with larger sizes and wish list features, but at the same prices as the series 500 line.

The new screen sizes are larger than before -- 77" (195.6 cm), 64" (162.6 cm) and 48" (121.9 cm). The tray below the screen now has a help button which, when pushed, offers help on whatever function is being attempted at the time. The tray also has an expansion slot for future upgrades such as adding peripherals. The 600 series comes with an excellent module called SystemOn that, when pushed, starts the computer, projector and SMART Board all at once.

SMART also now offers a pair of 15-watt speakers that can be mounted on the sides of the board or to the wall and connects via one USB cable. Volume control and a two-port USB hub are integrated in the speakers.

The wireless module now includes Bluetooth and integrates with AirLiner wireless slates. 

And a very simple, but significant improvement is the floor stand. Rather than feet that jut out to the front of the whiteboard (easy to trip over when walking back and forth), the stand now uses locking casters and safety guards that fold down to the sides for stability, or up for when users need to wheel it around. There are also new ergonomic pens and eraser, standard with the systems.

SMART Board 600 series interactive whiteboards are shipping now. The interactive whiteboards sell for MSRP of US$999 to $1,999. The floor stand is US$429 to $499. The audio system ships in November for US$299, as do the SystemOn function kit (US$99) and the wireless module (US$199).

For more information, go to http://www2.smarttech.com/st/en-US/About+Us/Press+Room/Press+Releases/default.htm?guid={626F3D03-F81E-4B99-B7C1-8B97DB5D310B}


Sun-Tech Announces Bluetooth for Interactive Whiteboard

Sun-Tech announced the BoardWiz Mini, a Bluetooth keypad and electronic pen for an interactive whiteboard that allows teachers or students to work on the interactive whiteboard from anywhere in the room (like SMART users can do). The BoardWiz has the usual features of most interactive whiteboards annotation, templates and image libraries, and save functions.

For more information, go to http://www.suntechgroup.com/interactivewhiteboard/mini_index.htm

Sharp Boasts Million-to-One Contrast on 37-Inch LCD

Sharp announced a prototype LCD TV specified at 1,920 X 1,080 resolution and 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. The so-called ?Mega-Contrast Advanced Super View Premium LCD which the company says, when produced, will be ideal for broadcast and production applications, where monitors are often used in darker locations such as broadcast studios, mobile vans and video production houses.  It remains to be seen if Sharp can build more than one of these and actually carry it out of a lab.  But, in all seriousness, the good news is that this development WILL help improve contrast ratios on all LCD displays, eventually.

Sharp says the high contrast is the result of a number of technologies the company has been developing over the past few years and the company plans to use some of these technologies in the production of TVs for the home, as well as other commercial applications.

For more information, go to http://sharp-world.com/corporate/news/051003.html


Christie Upgrades Projection Lines, Adds New Models

Christie announced a number of upgrades and new models entering the Integrated Systems Asia show. Basically, the announcements give buyers more bang for the buck mostly increasing specifications on the new and/or improved models.

The DW series includes four projectors, all specified at 1280 x 720 resolution and variable contrast ratio of 1600 2000:1. The DW3K is specified up to 5,000 ANSI Lumens and the Christie DW6K, up to 7,000 ANSI Lumens.  The series also includes the Christie DW3Kc and DW6Kc, which have an enhanced optical system the company says is designed to deliver a film-like color experience suitable for post-production applications.

The DS+5K and DS+8K 3-chip DLP models now a 50% increase in lamp life, says the company, resulting in 1,500 hours under typical use. Also, they include enhanced brightness. The Christie DS+5K offers increased brightness levels of up to 6,500 ANSI lumens, up from a previous 5,000 ANSI Lumens; the Christie DS+8K, originally offering 8,000 ANSI lumens, now offers up to 8,500 ANSI lumens. The projectors also feature SXGA+ resolution (1400x1050), 10-bit image processing, and variable contrast ratios of 1600-2000:1.

The Roadster S+12 is now specified at 12,000 ANSI lumens (typical), an increase of 2,000 ANSI lumens from the previous model; the Christie Roadster S+16K now at 16,000 ANSI lumens (typical), up 2,000 ANSI lumens from the previous model.  Both models have SXGA+ resolution, variable contrast ratio of 1600-2000:1 full-field, high quality optics and 10-bit image processing.

The new LX34 and LX40 have a compact design for small auditoriums, conference rooms and executive briefing centers. The Christie LX34 is specified at 3,500 ANSI lumens, and XGA resolution with 2:3 pull-down. The LX40 is specified at 4,000 ANSI lumens, with a 1,000:1 contrast ratio.

For more on these announcements, go to http://www.christiedigital.com/corporate/news/index.asp?SortType=-1&SortOption=-1



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Related Keywords:latest technology, ProAV, infoComm, whiteboard technology, LCD flat panel, projector, projection, Christie,

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