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No Shoot-Out at 2002 InfoComm

Manufacturers relieved, but attendees will miss it By Denise Harrison
Its a spectacular experience. You walk into a huge, pitch-black room, then as you come to the exhibits, your eyes feast on image after image, in row after row, where manufacturers show off their best, most entertaining pictures. The ICIA Projection Shoot-Out, part of the InfoComm trade show and conference since 1990, was the most popular part of the show. In the last couple of years, it has also been the most controversial.

ICIA announced this week that, after 11 years, the Projection Shoot-Out is discontinued for the time-being. Thats good news, and bad news. Its good news for the many manufacturers that believed it no longer served them in the way intended. Its bad news for those of us who hoped it would be altered, but would remain.

"As a Chairman of the Projection Shoot-Out for longer than anyone else,
it is sad to see it go," commented Gary Kayye, CTS, regarding the announcement. "The Shoot-Out helped establish InfoComm as the premiere trade show for projection and display technology."

And indeed, it did. Back when display technology was largely CRT-based, the images themselves told the product story. Dealers and installers could walk through the Projection Shoot-Out with their notepads, assessing side-by-side comparisons and making purchase decisions based on what they saw.

Last year, however, a number of major manufacturers pulled out of the Projection Shoot-Out shortly before the trade show and while it was still an impressive display, it only represented a portion of the manufacturers.

"The Shoot-Out doesn't serve its original purpose anymore," explained Clint Hoffman, who was with Sony when they made their decision to pull out of the Shoot-Out in 2000. Hoffman, and others, were interviewed by KNews/PresentationMaster.com in May, 2001 regarding the pull-outs.

"When the Shoot-Out first started, you lined them up and shot on 100 inch screen side by side. They were all big and noisy and difficult to set up, so you did things to improve the picture quality.

"Today because it's all LCD and DLP, with only several manufacturers of scan converters, lenses and bulbs, now your buying decision is based on warrantee, fan noise, features and functions and user interface, things you can't learn about the way the Shoot-Out is currently set up."

The Projection Shoot-Out became an event that had a lot to offer the smaller manufacturers, but little for the large marketers that already had significant marketshare. For those already prospering, there was nothing to gain, but plenty to lose if, say, for some reason, their best selling projector was set up incorrectly and showed poorly compared to the neighboring suped-up unit from a new marketer.

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Related Keywords:InfoComm, ICIA, Shoot-Out

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