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ProAV Roundup: Director Harker Resigns from InFocus

Also, a roundup of news for presenters and the ProAV market By Gary Kayye, CTS

Director Harker Resigns From InFocus
John V. Harker, former president and CEO at InFocus, resigned from the board as of December 1. Harker, who now has no role at the company, was on the board since 1994.

This is just the latest change at InFocus, a company that was high-flying just a few years ago but one now struggling in sales, but more importantly, in profit.

In September, InFocus announced a restructuring to achieve a 20-25 percent reduction in expenses, including layoffs -- http://www.ravepro.com/issues/2005/09/vol3iss17/#in2 after the company posted a loss the first two quarters of 2005. In the first quarter, there was a loss of $14 million on revenues of $137 million, and in the second quarter, there was a loss of $19.6 million on revenues of $135 million. Then the third quarter earnings were net loss of $6.2 million on $2 million net income.

In the announcement, Harker didnt say he was ?pursuing other interests, as is so often the boilerplate in these announcements. Instead, he cited a desire for a more leisurely life style, travel and more family time as reasons for his resignation.

I had the opportunity to get to know John quite well over the years as many of you did.  For a CEO, he was very ?reachable and personable.  In addition, he really had a great handle on technology and while he was in the CEO position at InFocus, they grew exponentially.  I wish John all the best and hope he enjoys watching movies on his new LP-777.

For more information, go to http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/051129/20051129005375.html?.v=1

Thomson Gets Twentieth Century Fox DC Business
Thomson, which recently announced agreements with DreamWorks, Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures and Warner Bros. for digital cinema deployment, just added Twentieth Century Fox to its list of clients.

Under the terms of the agreement, Twentieth Century Fox will distribute its film content digitally throughout the United States and Canada, and pay a virtual print fee to Thomsons Technicolor Digital Cinema company for content played on screens equipped with Technicolor systems, beginning in the first quarter of 2006. Twentieth Century Fox's support of the Technicolor Digital Cinema plan covers an initial rollout of complete digital projection systems in up to 5,000 DCI-compliant screens over the next 3-4 years. Technicolor Digital Cinema intends to deploy at least 15,000 digitally equipped screens in the United States and Canada over the next 10 years.

This will definitely expedite the digital cinema conversion which has been over-hyped for years.  But, with Thomson in the mix, it will move much quicker.  An insider at Texas Instruments, the company who makes the most popular digital cinema projection technology in the form of DLP-Cinema, claims that they see the DC integration now fewer than five years away.

For more information, go to http://www.technicolor.com 

NEC Introduces Wireless LT Projector Models
NEC added projector models to both the LT and VT lines starting at just $795 after a $300 rebate. The LT280 and LT380 are wireless 802.11b/g compatible with integrated RJ45 input. Both projectors are specified at XGA 1024 x 768 resolution and the LT280 with 2500 ANSI lumens and LT380 with 3000 ANSI lumens. The LT380 also has DVI-D with HDCP.

The new VT48/480/580 are the additions to the VT series. The VT48 is specified at 1600 ANSI lumens and SVGA 800 x 600 resolution. The VT480 (SVGA 800 x 600) and VT580 (XGA 1024 x 768) are specified at 2000 ANSI lumens.

Pricing listed in this story is after the rebate, which expires at the end of January. The VT48 is $795, the VT480 is $995, and the VT580 is $1,095, all shipping in early January. The LT280 and LT380 projectors are l priced at $1,195 and $2,495 and will be available mid-December 2005.

For more information, go to http://www.necvisualsystems.com/applicationFiles/service/appl_prDetail.cfm?PR_id=154

Microtek Ships $999 DLP 2000-Lumen Projector to U.S.
Microtek (a Taiwanese company clearly competing in the price/spec ratio) is now shipping the CX6 DLP projector in the U.S. through its California-based Microtek Labs. The CX6 is specified at 2000 ANSI lumens, 2000:1 contrast ratio and XGA 1024 x 768 resolution and is priced at just $999. Inputs include DVI and it has a DVI to VGA adapter and it weighs 7.8 pounds. It also has automatic de-interlacing and built-in 2:3 film detection, something you dont usually see in this class of projector.  

For more information, go to http://www.microtekusa.com/cx6.html

Kramer Shipping XL Version of VP-724
Kramer added the VP-724xl ProScale digital scaler/switcher to its line of upgraded XL series products. The VP-724xl is the third in the new line, joining the VP-719xl and VP-720xl.

The VP-724xl incorporates XL line enhancements for usability, such as the two 15-pin HD output connectors in this model to accommodate the fact that most applications require the use of both a main display and local monitor. It also has user-definable aspect ratio, built-in 7-watt per channel audio amplifier and speaker output connectors, a user-selectable blue or black video blanking button on the front panel, a freeze button on the front panel, and a front panel lock out button to prevent changes to settings when you dont want them.

The VP-724xl is the top of the XL line, with three additional output resolutions -- HDTV resolutions 480p, 720p and 1080i.  The VP-724xl is also an 8-input model instead of a 7-input model with two 15-pin HD computer graphics inputs instead of one.

The Kramer VP-724xl ProScale digital scaler/switcher is shipping now with US list of $1,995.

For more information, go to http://www.kramerelectronics.com/news_full_story.asp?iNews=160 

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Related Keywords:ProAV Roundup, InFocus, Thomson, wireless projectors, NEC, HP, Dreamworks, presentations, products, personalities


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