InfoComm 2012: Pro Video

Some must-see video products at this year’s show. 6/05/2012 7:47 AM Eastern

InfoComm 2012: Pro Video

Jun 5, 2012 11:47 AM, By Jonathan Brawn CTS, ISF, ISF-C, DSCE, DSDE, DSNE

Some must-see video products at this year’s show.

InfoComm 2012
Pro Audio

The two things we have come to expect from InfoComm are a trend-setting tradeshow and an excellent curriculum of continuing education courses taught by industry experts from around the world. The courses taught each year provide a foundation of understanding for the design and integration of the products we sell, install, and service. We recommend that even the veterans who attend the show have a formal plan of attack for the visit. Review all the exhibitors beforehand and make a long list and short list of exhibitors you must see and those you would like to see. You will not make it to all of them, so put together your must-see list first. Also keep in mind that some of the most interesting parts of InfoComm are the smaller vendors with 10’x10’ booths that surround all the major extravaganza manufacturers like Samsung, Christie Digital, Crestron, etc. Now that you are duly warned about the scale and scope of the show, let’s dive into a few of the things I know you will want to see.

Samsung SUR40


Of course we always start with displays, and nothing is more in the forefront of our industry than flatpanel displays. While the honor of being the biggest still goes to Panasonic and its 152in. plasma display, the folks at Sharp are throwing down the gauntlet with its giant 90in. Aquos LCD. This new model is part of the company’s commercial display lineup with 60in., 70in., 80in., and now 90in. sizes to select from. Next on our hit parade is Samsung with its new SUR40 display that is currently shipping. In short, it is a 40in. LCD designed in a table format, but it is much more than that. A collaboration and partnership between Samsung and Microsoft, the SUR40 includes a touch system with 50 points of touch simultaneously. Built into the displays are infrared layers that sense objects placed on the display surface and actually recognize them. The surface interactivity is based on Natural User Interface (NUI) instead of the traditional graphical user interface (GUI). This nearly eliminates the learning curve for using the technology. I would recommend that you not just go and see the SUR40 but you stick around the booth and play with it. It is a real table, and if you spill stuff on it, not to worry—the unit is water-resistant for 2 hours.

One of our personal pet peeves in the world of displays is the image degradation in high ambient light conditions. In the world of flatpanels, the team at DynaScan has addressed this issue in spades. Most current commercial flatpanels are rated at 450 nits to 700 nits of brightness, but in really high ambient light environments, this is not enough. A few manufacturers are introducing 1200-nit to 1500-nit units, but this still may not be enough—especially in direct sunlight such as a store window or for a display that sits below a skylight with sunlight streaming in. DynaScan solves the problem with its new LCD lineup at 1500 nits to 5000 nits! The designs are ideal as individual screens and also as videowalls since they have the newest thin-bezel designs. All of this brightness does not come at the expense of color and contrast, which are both excellent.

You must stop by the Mitsubishi booth and see its new lineup of commercial LCD displays. The company is best known for excellent projectors and home theater products, but its full lineup of commercial displays now rival the big boys. The company has chosen to be in the high-resolution flatpanel market with its new 3840x2160 product. Now, some will say this is irrelevant since we are at 1080p at the top of most applications. Just remember: We are heading for higher resolutions. We see this in the new Apple iPad Retina display and several new smartphones. We are also seeing higher resolutions in digital cinemas with 2K and most recently 4K resolutions, and at higher frame rates. The concept is to show as much content as possible and higher resolution is a means to this end. Can we all say “next generation?”

InfoComm 2012: Pro Video

Jun 5, 2012 11:47 AM, By Jonathan Brawn CTS, ISF, ISF-C, DSCE, DSDE, DSNE

Some must-see video products at this year’s show.


Mark Twain is noted to have said, “The report of my death was an exaggeration.” In fact, protectors are alive and well, and there are several developments of note that will be shown at InfoComm. First, the camp at DLP will show truly hands-free interactivity not unlike in the movie Minority Report. You will be able to stand away from the display and move your arms and hands to control the images on screen without touching it. The next trend you will see is the migration from traditional lamps to the new LED and hybrid designs. Casio has led the market in this area, but others will join the list of adopters at the show. Typical illuminations shown will include 3K and 4K models, a significant increase from the original 800-to-1000-lumen designs that were first brought out. Of course, we see a benefit in TCO since lamps are no longer involved, but we also see improved colorimetry since the specific wavelengths of light can be controlled and there is little to no degradations of illumination as the devices age.

There is a lot of evolutionary stuff going on at Christie Digital, DPI, Barco, and Hitachi. You will see many notable improvements in edge blending and also in their warp engines. Take a look at the new Christie Digital 14K projector that will run on 110V, and then go over to Panasonic and see the smallest and lightest 20K-lumen light-output projector on the market.

Others to consider

It is not all about flatpanels and projectors in the display side of things. The folks at NanoLumens will be exhibiting as well. The company is known for its flexible LED displays that provide creative license on how and where displays can be used. Rumor has it that behind closed doors at the booth the company will be showing a new high-resolution version of its flexible displays. If so, then put your creative hats on and find ways to incorporate it into your next project. One final company I recommend you visit is Hiperwall. The company offers a completely PC-based solution for managing content on multiple screen applications. Read this as videowalls. In addition to all of the other features it already has, the newest release of Hiperwall 3.0 now adds animation capabilities to displayed content. For those in the know, this is a great innovation, and when you see the visual impact, even the uninitiated will clearly understand the value. Hiperwall 3.0 allows users to do all of this in realtime, which is a major design development from the pre-rendered approach used today. With Hiperwall, multiple screens can be configured as videowalls, as a series of discrete displays, as blended projectors, or even combinations of these. The key to using the Hiperwall software is that each display will have its own embedded or attached PC connected to it. In this way, the control computer can send a very large-scale image to each display using standard LAN-based equipment and cabling. We are now talking about incredible display creativity and power at your fingertips and at a lower cost. Since we will see a four-fold increase in the sales of videowalls over the next couple of years, it is only fitting to look at a technology that takes conventional videowalls to the next level without all of the expensive hardware processor and scaler requirement.

Obviously there is a lot more going on than we have noted above. There will be an enhanced as digital signage and videoconferencing presence as well. You will see an emphasis on green technologies and how these will increasingly apply to what we all do in the wonderful world of commercial AV. The bottom line is that the show is really all about solutions and solving problems. Each company will be dedicated to showing the attendees what they offer, but it is up to the individual AV professional to connect these products with the problems most of us face each day. It is an exciting time of the year, so enjoy the show and wait for all the reviews that follow this iconic event.

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