InfoComm 2004, my feet hurt

June 9, 2004

infocommI’ve been to Cedia expo before, and InfoComm wasn’t entirely different than I remembered those events. There was just more stage/broadcast pro audio video manufacturers present. All in all it was pretty much what I expected, consumer and pro oriented electronics with a smattering of seemingly unrelated products and services. One note my camera phone isn’t going to win any photographic awards anytime soon, so ignore the picture quality in the few shots I snapped. Ok, on to the gear.

Infocus

I finally saw the Screenplay 4805. It was being shown on a 16:9 (didn’t catch the make) screen with a Bose combo player and the video was decent from 10 feet away. At what seemed to be 14 to 15 feet away, this projector could have passed for last years 5-6k DLP de’jour.

In addition to the Bose combo DVD/Audio player, as a source they had an Xbox and the video was very crisp. As previous reports have indicated, this projector has an excellent contrast ratio and overall brightness was on par with DLP’s costing 3 times as much.

Here are a few other details. There seems to have been some confusion about how the DVI and Component inputs were labeled on the 4805. Both are labeled “1”, however Bob Williams from Infocus assured me both are active, independent, and selectable from the included remote. An initial shipment of 100 units shipped to dealers the week of June 1st, according to Mr. Williams.

Crestron

Well I think the one giant leap assertion was warranted. As I and many others speculated several of Crestrons new touch panels now support Wi-Fi, including the TPMC-10 Tablet touch screen, which bears both Viewsonic and Crestron logos. Some of the new touch panels have an embedded version of Windows XP. The new lineup of the panels I saw had a black and silver finish with blue illuminated quick buttons. There will be more on Crestrons new products in the coming weeks. 


Digital Projection

Displayed what, to my eyes, was the biggest and brightest digital projection image I’d ever seen. This thing was monstrous. When I “peeked behind the curtain” it appeared to be two stacked industrial grade projectors. Digital Projection definitely won the “mine is bigger” award of the show, as far as I’m concerned.

BenQ

I tried to go into BenQ’s theater room but there were just too many dudes in one room for my comfort level. That says a lot about BenQ’s popularity at the show as well as my unwillingness to get into the proverbial sardine can.

I did get a chance to see their 30” LCD’s however, very bright and very sharp images.

Samsung

It was one of the only disappointments at the show for me. The images seemed to be suffering from either poor cabling or noise on whatever video distribution system they were using. I’m not saying anything looked terrible, just nothing awe inspiring.

Hitachi

I can’t say that I’ve ever really given Hitachi displays much attention. This won’t be the case in the future. All of the Hitachi plasmas I saw were among the best on display, including the CMP421V 42” plasma and the 55HDM71 plasma. Also Hitachi’s CPX885W was a great looking projector, easily displaying better contrast and sharpness than several other makes shown alongside it.

Mitsubishi

We had a chance to sit down and enjoy a XD450U native 4:3 projector, 2600 ANSI lumens and what looked to be at least a 110″ screen. Very vivid color from this unit that is expected to ship in October according to the Mits rep I spoke with.

Projection Design

I was unfamiliar with this company (UK based I think), but they were one of the surprises for me at InfoComm. They had several projectors that wowed me, including one displaying at 1400X1050 resolution and 5000, yes 5000 lumens, with some of the sharpest brightest video I’ve ever seen.

Sanyo

They had a great looking booth setup that more than filtered out ambient light from the show. One projector of note was the PLC-XP55 which had an awesome image. I finally got to see a properly setup Z2 and now I know what the hype is all about. It really looked great. I spoke with a Sanyo rep (can’t recall his name) and I was curious as to whether a successor to the Z2 was in the works, not this year was his reply. Regardless I think Sanyo has much more life to squeeze out of this steal of a deal.

AMX

Of course being a Crestron guy, I had to go by and see what the fellas from Texas had been up to recently. Their booth was packed but I did get a few minutes with one of their guys. Not knowing a lot about the specific models, I was at a bit of a disadvantage. However it seems some, if not all of the Modero line now has motion jpeg capability (CCTV camera type resolution) and full motion video on other models, as well as component video in on the 1500VG. The MAX media server lineup has been updated to include a new audio only model that can support up to 28 zones of audio, as well as DVD/ Audio capable units in 1 and 4 terabyte storage.

NEC

I didn’t get to see a lot of NEC at the show as we were pressed for time, but I did catch a glimpse of the LT770, very bright projector, however the blacks seemed to suffer a tad.

I can’t remember the name of the company who made these cool acrylic looking rear projection screens, but they were uh cool.



Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under Trade Shows


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