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ProAV Radical Product of the Year Awards

Market-changing products of 2005 By Gary Kayye, CTS

Welcome to the 2005 Radical Product of the Year Awards.

Below, you will find our 2005 award winners the companies and products to watch in the coming year.

How do we determine a winner? Simple. We award manufacturers for the products WE feel will ultimately have a huge impact on our market products that may very well change a market structure or category. For example, one of our awards this year went to Crestrons Isys I/O touch panels. We saw these as groundbreaking as they are the first touchpanels to integrate an industry standard operating system (Windows) with an industry standard communications protocol (the wireless networking technology known as WiFi). And, we KNOW that the other control system manufacturers will emulate this market trend in fact its already started with Universal Electronics new Nevo remote control.

So, these award winners represent not only the best technological innovations of the year in their market categories, but are also destined to set a trend for the future of the entire AV market. 

Best New Product (Industry-Wide) (tie!)

Barcos iCon Technology: This is a total-trend setter. No doubt every projector manufacturer will attempt to emulate this technology. With Windows XP-Server embedded and the capability to connect and display six different video sources simultaneously, the iCon H600 essentially creates a new way of building environments. Using native 1920 x 1080 resolution LCD panels, you can project a virtual wall in the front of your room and overlay/embed it with multiple images from PowerPoint presentationsto video to HD-video.

Crestrons Isys I/O Touchpanels: The Isys I/O panels are the first touchpanels to integrate an industry standard operating system (Windows) with an industry standard communications protocol (the wireless networking technology known as WiFi). So, control your boardroom, control a PowerpPoint presentation and even browse the Internet at the same time using a touchpanel... and NO PC required!

Best New Flat-Screen Product

Sharps 1920 x 1080 native resolution Aquos 16:9 HD LCD panels. This series is bright, beautiful and ground-breaking. Look, real HD isnt 1280 x 720 or even 1080i. Its 1080p. Its just a matter of time before 1080p becomes THE HD standard heck Europe is already saying theyll skip right over the three HD standards the USAs adopted and take on 1080p. This line is already 1080p compatible!

Best New Rear-Screen Product

Hands-down, the InFocus MD10 series of 40, 50 and 61 rear-screen DLP projection products. At less than 8 thick, these things are sleek, sharp and perfect for virtually every rear-screen application.

Best New Screen

Da-Lites Acoustical Imager screen technology. Integrated with built-in Dolby Digital (5.1) sound via JBL speakers embedded into the frame of the screen, the Acoustical Imager will bring on a host of emulators. I am confident that Stewart and Draper are already scrambling to match this system-in-a-box approach to screen design.

Best New Portable/Installable Front Screen Projection Product

Epsons PowerLite 745c networkable LCD projector. Embedded with WiFi 802.11g wireless networking and the ability to send MPEG video via a wireless and wired network connection, the XGA resolution 2500 ANSI lumen 745c is our pick for the best front screen projector of the year.

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Related Keywords:2005 Radical Product of the Year Awards, ProAV, Gary Kayye, Barco, Crestron, Sharp, InFocus, Da-Lite


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