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ProAV Roundup

Latest projectors, IP videoconferencing and lots more By Denise Harrison

Randy Pagnan Departs Large Screen Displays
Randy J. Pagnan, President-Elect of the International Communications Industries Association, Inc. (ICIA), announced today that he has sold his interest in Large Screen Displays, LLC, based in Santa Ana, California.

Pagnan has been involved in the display business for two decades, beginning with his Electrohome (now Christie) days in the 1980s, continuing in the 1990s developing his passion for rear projection during his Trooper days with American Video Communications, and bringing him into the present with Large Screen Displays, where he served as Chief Operating Officer for the last six years, spearheading the Pi Projected Images custom fabrication and rear screen manufacturing side.

Pagnan states, "Its time to move on to new challenges, and I look forward to applying my creativity and unique experience as both an integrator and a manufacturer in the audiovisual industry?and in particular the demanding, high-end, display-based applications.

Randy plans to enjoy basking in the unusual California sunshine as he formulates his next business enterprise.

SPL Announces 24/7 Support Program
Columbia, Maryland-based SPL Integrated Solutions is now offering clients a nationwide 24/7 help desk, including support for AV, videoconferencing, streaming media and multimedia technologies. The company is using customer relationship management software from Salesforce.com and Five9. SPL says recent expansions mean they can dispatch to client sites anywhere in the country.

The pricing model includes per visit or service plans ranging from one to three years. SPL will also provide staffing.

Thats a huge undertaking and SPL is one of the companies that can pull it off. A look at the offices listed on the SPL website shows full U.S. coverage, too.

NEC Targets IT Managers With Online Game
NEC is publishing a new website specifically targeting IT managers to create awareness of the companys projectors. The website includes information about the products and service policies and as a lure to bring IT managers to the site, there are four online games. The winner with the highest score in each of the games wins a 61-inch plasma. Each game is only available to play for a limited time before the next game is online.

The promotion runs until September, which should give them plenty of time to get word to the IT community.

Having a program devoted specifically to IT managers is definitely a good idea and this gives IT managers a legitimate excuse to play games at work. Good move. 

InfoComm/ICIA, Custom Retailer Partner on Residential Pavilion
ICIA and North American Publishing Company's (NAPCO) Consumer Technology Publishing Group announced that Custom Retailer, a leading NAPCO monthly magazine, will be the media sponsor for the first Residential Pavilion at ICIA's upcoming InfoComm International tradeshow, June 4-10, 2005, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Custom Retailer, published by NAPCO's Consumer Technology Publishing Group, provides in-depth coverage of technologies and strategies for specialty consumer electronics retailers.

The Residential Pavilion will create for attendees an unparalleled opportunity to learn more about home theater systems, residential lighting devices and controllers, high-definition displays, residential audio systems, security systems, electronics, home automation, satellite equipment, networking hardware and software, and home entertainment furnishings and accessories.

InfoComm is again expected to be larger than ever, with more than 725 exhibitors and 25,000 attendees.


NECs New Wireless G
Well be seeing a lot more of this. NEC announced a new Wi-Fi 802.11g wireless projector, and also packs in some of NECs best projector features. The WT610 uses NECs lensless mirror design for short throw distances (40-inch image from 2.5 inches away or 100-inch image from 26 inches away). It also has nice specs, 2000 ANSI lumens, 3500:1 contrast ratio and XGA resolution (1024x768). It can, of course, also be attached to the physical LAN.

The WT610 is a DLP projector and weighs 13 pounds. NEC is not only marketing it for connecting a laptop to a projector wirelessly in the conference room, but also to home users.

MSRP is $6,995.

Epson Introduces Two New Lightweights
Speaking of more of this, Epson has two new sub-four-pound wireless-ready projectors using 3LCD technology. The PowerLite 732c (comes with an 802.11b/g card) and PowerLite 737c (Wi-Fi wireless 802.11g) are specified at XGA resolution and 2000 ANSI lumens, and are compatible with Apples Keynote software.

The PowerLite 737cs is also equipped with an interesting feature that will appeal to professional photographers and home users alike. The built-in software enables digital images, such as high-resolution jpeg photos, to be projected in slideshows using PC-less storage devices such as USB memory, external hard drives or directly from digital cameras. The slideshows can be controlled by the projector either manually or with automatic/timed advancement. Users can also adjust color temperatures and individual settings.

The EPSON PowerLite 737c and 732c will be available for MSRPs of $2,099 and $1,899 respectively.


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