InfoComm/Projection Summit – Best Buzz Awards — 2008

Author: Insight Media News, July 8, 2008

Insight Media is pleased to announce the 2008 InfoComm/Projection Summit Best Buzz Awards. These awardees both impressed our Insight Media analysts and created a general “buzz” at InfoComm and Projection Summit. These products/technologies are unique, innovative, stylish, bold, or just plain cool!
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Some of these awards were given to products visible on the show floor, and others to products or technologies that may not have been quite as visible, but were worthy of highlighting. Contributing to the nomination process and providing photos were Pete Putman, Alan Brawn, Matthew Brennesholtz, Steve Sechrist, Dave Wares, John DiLoreto, Art Berman and Chris Chinnock.

Best LED Projectors

Pico/Pocket Projectors

There has been a lot of talk about the resurgence of pocket projectors (~150 lumens) and the emergence of pico projectors (7-12 lumens). At Projection Summit, and even on the InfoComm show floor, both types of products were publicly shows and received a lot of attention. As a result, we recognize Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics for their pocket projectors and 3M and Optoma for their pico projectors.

TI/Optoma Home Theater Projector

In the Texas Instruments’ booth at InfoComm, TI showed a prototype of a home theater projector powered by LEDs. Amazingly, the projector delivered about 700 lumens of light, with the expectation of reaching 900 lumens for introduction in 2009. The LEDs are supplied by Luminus, and Optoma is the lead customer for the projector. We expect this will become a hot product when launched.

Best Projection Screens

Stewart’s StarGlas 60 Screen

The StarGlas 60 rear-projection screen from Stewart is about six months old, so it was shown for the first time at InfoComm this year — and it made a big impression. StarGlas qualifies as safety glass, so it can be used in architectural settings. It can be flat or curved and can even be used as a display floor. StarGlas contains a proprietary diffusion screen layer that is laminated between specially formulated glass substrates, using a process that eliminates air bubbles and dramatically helps boost the amount of forward light transmission while reducing backscatter. It has a low 0.6 gain screen for very wide viewing angles.

Da Lite 3D Rear-Projection Screen

Da Lite used InfoComm to officially launch its new 3D rear-projection screen. This is a polarization-preserving material that enables more opportunities for 3D. To showcase the capability, Da Lite created a theater that had long lines all day long. That’s buzz, which is why they get an award this year.

Best Video Walls

Samsung’s 40-panel LCD Wall

Samsung wowed InfoComm attendees by assembling an 8 x 5 matrix of 46″ LCD panels into one large video wall offering more than 41million pixels. The panels are bright (2000 cd/m2), can be easily assembled with an interlocking case and can be controlled by a single command controller. Each 46-inch panel comes equipped with Samsung’s “MagicInfo Pro” content management over IP software package that runs on an embedded XP dual core system. MagicInfo software includes a content player (for photo, movie, music playback via MS Office, PDF, Flash, HTML browser, text, and other input sources); a content scheduler; Multi-Display Control via networking; diagnostics including lamp information, operating temperature, fan state and networking system status; asset management and global network views. Cool!

Orion’s PDP Wall

Orion Plasma turned heads at InfoComm this year with its massive PDP video wall that had the thinnest of seams between panels (<3mm). The company has perfected a technique to tile four 42" PDPs to create an 84" panel, but at InfoComm, it introduced the "Infinitely Expandable Multi-PDP", which upgrades the 42" PDP to enable their use in much larger sized video walls. These panels also include burn-in compensation technology. Impressive. Best Price Breakers Sharp's XG-P610X and XGP560W Price-performance benchmarks were set at InfoComm in a couple of categories. For 3-chip DLP projectors, we recognize Sharp for its XG-P610X (XGA, 6000 lumens, $14,995 MSRP) and the XG-P560W (WXGA, 5200 lumens, $16,995 MSRP). This pricing is a breakthrough for a 3-chip DLP design -- and we expect others to follow. BenQ's SP920 We also recognize BenQ for its SP920 projector. This is the first projector to be offered for under $4500 with 6000 lumens of light output. The SP920 is a dual 280W lamp design with XGA resolution from a single DLP chip, but it is perhaps $2,000 under the competition at this light level. Most Innovative Projector Sanyo's 4LCD Projector Sanyo's new 4LCD projector had tongues wagging because of the clever way Sanyo managed to bond a fourth LCD panel to the green panel, and find a way to use some of the yellow light in a UHP lamp. This yellow light is normally filtered out for better color balance, but by developing what is essentially a variable yellow filter, Sanyo is able to get deeper reds and better flesh tones. And, it does this while also increasing the lumen output of the projector. The approach is similar to the way TI's BrillianColor works. Nice job. Best WUXGA Projectors projectiondesign's F10 and F30 UXGA resolution is not new for projection, but a wide version (1920 x 1200) might just become a mainstream product as it is more closely aligned with the resolution of notebook and desktop PC and workstations. Leading the charge were two new impressive entries from projectiondesign using a 0.95-inch DLP chip to power their F10 WUXGA and F30 WUXGA (photo) projectors. The F10 offers about 3100 lumens, while the F30 outputs 4300 lumens. Canon's WUX10 Canon's version uses LCoS panels that the company will now manufacture itself. This move will help the company become more vertically integrated and offer cutting edge LCoS panels and projector designs. Canon's new UXGA product, the REALiS WUX10 is rated at 3,200 lumens, 1,000:1 contrast, weighs 10.8 lbs and is scheduled to be available in October at $12,999 MSRP. Best Auto-Stereoscopic 3D Displays Philips, Toshiba and Alioscopy Multiview 3D Displays InfoComm 2008 will likely be remembered as the year that 3D auto-stereoscopic (no-glasses) 3D displays were widely embraced as a mainstream solution. These attention attracting, multi-view 3D LCDs, with up to 25 views, are being targeted as components for digital signage, advertising and entertainment networks. Indeed, this is exactly the effect it had on attendees at InfoComm, too. We saw nearly a dozen different 3D displays, but felt that the offerings from three companies stood out: Philips 3D Solutions, Toshiba and Alioscopy. LG's TripleView Display We also recognize LG Electronics for its 3-view 47" LCD display called TripleView. This is similar to its 25-view 3D LCD, but with 3 different images from a single display that changes as you walk past it. The impact is different and effective. Best PDP Pioneer' 2nd Gen Kuro Monitors Pioneer was, well, the pioneer in plasma displays and continues to hold the high ground in terms of best image quality. At InfoComm, the company debuted its next generation of 50- and 60-inch Kuro monitors. Pioneer is targeting reference-monitor class applications, including post-production, video editing and other precise color applications, as they support a new and improved GUI and extensive calibration modes. Insight Media (www.insightmedia.info ) is a leading publishing and consulting firm focused on the display industry. With its core team of world-class display experts, Insight Media tracks the technology, components, products, markets, applications, manufacturing and business aspects of consumer and professional display markets. The company publishes daily and monthly news and analysis as well as in-depth annual technology/market reports. It also hosts industry conferences, provides strategic and tactical consulting services and offers industry education via webinars and on-site seminars.