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ProAV RoundupThe latest in projectors, ProAV and more
More Studios in Digital Deals
Digital cinema is finally breaking the barriers that have kept it a great theory, but one getting little practice in North America. Thomson announced deals with DreamWorks, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures, and Warner Bros. for deployment of digital cinema systems, and the company says theyre in negotiations with Twentieth Century Fox, New Line Cinema and The Weinstein Company as well.
Thomson plans to manage the rollout of digital cinema projection systems as well as providing post-production services, network services, distribution, and the supply and development of equipment and whatever other technology is required. The post work includes content preparation for digital distribution and projection, and includes content management software and security products. The network services include content distribution via digital distribution centers.
Thomson will also manage revenue flow for print fees and distribution and from the roll-out, post-production and network services.
So, we know what you are all thinking: whose projectors? Well, Thomson will most likely use projectors made by all DLP Cinema-certified manufacturers, including Christie and DPI. It is also rumored they are in discussions with Sony to offer the forthcoming SXRD-Cinema technology as well.
Christie's New Deal
Christie/AIX, too, announced a new deal this one with Sony Pictures. Sony Pictures will provide upcoming films in DCI-compliant format to the 4,000 digital projection systems Christie/AIX plans to install over the next two years in the U.S. and Canada. This deal comes after agreements already established by Christie/AIX with Disney, Twentieth Century Fox and Universal.
Christie/AIX to begin the initial deployment of Digital Cinema systems in theatres in Detroit, Michigan owned by Emagine Entertainment, Inc. and at multiple locations in San Diego and Riverside County, Calif. multiplexes owned by Ultrastar Theaters, Inc. A total of 150 Digital Cinema systems are expected to be up and running at these theaters by end of this year.
Barco Forming Government, Military Applications Company
Barco announced the creation of Barco Federal Systems Corporation, a new company designed to market to government and military customers in the U.S. BFS will be located in Duluth, Georgia and will have a U.S.-based board of directors and management team. Barco projects the new company to be in operation by the first of March, 2006.
Samsung Electronics Develops Flexible LCD Panel
As Philips and HP continue development of flexible panels, Samsung announced they, too, are working on a flexible display. Samsung developed a seven-inch, 640 x 640 TFT LCD that has enough resolution to display TV content.
This could be a lower cost (and more rugged) display for notebook monitors and cell phones and Samsung also expects it to be used for wearable electronic display products as well.
This is different from the Philips and HP developments, which are basically electronic paper display panels that can be rolled up, recharged for new content, etc. But all these announcements show how the heavy, breakable LCD displays were accustomed to now could be replaced.
Dell Making Moves in Commercial Displays Market More Consumer AV Stuff Coming
Dell, which has of late been threatening the education and government markets, announced availability of two LCD HDTV displays developed for commercial applications in North America. The new products include 32- and 37-inch LCD panels designed for hotels, restaurants, offices, airports and other applications. Pricing, as expected, is very competitive, at $1,799 and $2,299, and Dell is offering installation services as well.
Connections on the 32-inch W3202MH and the 37-inch W3706MH allow "control-by-wire," a feature that Dell claims will eliminate the need for a remote control for each display in a multi-unit deployment because they are controlled from a single point. Remote controls and speakers are optional.
They include user-customizable settings, such as maximum volume control, and a connector on the TVs offer support for LodgeNet and OnCommand. Other hospitality video-on-demand offerings are also supported through a connector on the TVs.
The TVs are specified at WXGA (1366 x 768) resolution and 800:1 and 1000:1 contrast ratios.
Next for Dell? Well, rumors are that they are readying even more HomeAV and ProAV products. By mid 2006, well see 5000-lumen Dell projectors as well as a series of 16:9 aspect ratio projectors for home theater applications. In addition, Dell will soon introduce a 60 flat-panel display.
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