As if the Tobacco Dock in London was not enough in respects of a great venue, the content displayed within its old fashioned frame makes for an enlightening day, in which the power of audio-visual proves it’s stronger than ever. The NEC Showcase’s fifth year of collaborating with other big manufacturers sees a serious upgrade in the retail and education sectors; however the event covers every angle including corporate, transport, media, leisure, healthcare and control. Each room had live demonstrations of new innovations so that you could experience the technology hands on, with visitors from round the world receiving live tours around the vast displays. From the word go you enter the electronic world, with a immersive tunnel that uses rear projection to create an engaging walkway.
Amongst all of this, there was also conferences and seminars as well as a dance troupe who were demonstrating a 4K workflow and were being filmed for playback on a 4K videowall and other 4K technology including a laser projector and using a 5K camera. 4K was seen elsewhere in the venue including NEC’s new 4K laser projector and a UHD 4K videowall. 3D had its own area, which proves this technology will continue to evolve, however it was kept purely for leisurely activities at this event.
The education room concentrated on collaborative learning including DisplayNote software, which we have touched on previously here. Digital signage within the schools and universities were pushed with AMX’s latest control panel proving anyone can keep the system up to date (blog coming soon).
The retail section was probably the most popular, due to so many interactive displays that brought to life many concepts we have been hearing so much about, yet haven’t tried out for ourselves. This included large touch screen menus, virtual changing rooms and audience analytics (blogs to come soon).
Congratulations to NEC on the event and make sure to keep an eye out for more in depth product spotlights coming soon on the Tech Zone.
Here at Paragon, we’re aware that not everyone can get out to see the latest products at exhibitions at training days. With this in mind we are offering a free demonstration day at our offices for local schools and business to check out the latest Clevertouch. The interactive LCD touch screen features a multi-touch of over 30 points and can be adjusted from board to table form.
We are offering local establishments a free of charge in-house demonstration with one of our expert consultants to give you a one on one feel for the board and see the advantages it could bring to an educational or corporate environment.
We currently have these times available so feel free to call us to book an appointment. One of our team can come and collect you if necessary.
Monday 20th May – 3.30pm onwards
Tuesday 21st May – All day
Wednesday 22nd May – 12.30pm onwards
Contact us by phone on 0845 2261675 or email via firstname.lastname@example.org
Sign & Digital were celebrating their 25th anniversary this year at the Birmingham NEC and although advances have been made in the realms of printing and sign, there was a decrease of what we at Paragon believe will be the future. Unlike last year, the digital signage on offer was severely lacking, with only a few examples of how powerful this medium truly is.
SIS Digital quite literally displayed the largest form of signage, with their outdoor advertisement boards that use LED technology. Pop Digital’s content management system was exhibited on an array of Android based tablets with a variety of fixtures that would be ideal for the retail industry. Grandstands may still primarily supply roll ups and stands but they are one of the only companies here today that have realised the possibilities of tablets. Their robust designs for stands fit for iPad and other touchscreen products take into account anti-theft bracket, whilst attaching additional displays via print.
Perhaps digital signage is still a bit too far out of many businesses’ budgets or maybe the print industry is afraid of their digital evolution taking over. What was slightly bizarre was the great use of digital signage to promote the print being exhibited. Either way, we’re sure there will be an influx for next year’s.
LG electronics will be the first manufacturer to offer curved OLED on the public market, with the screens going on sale in South Korea next month. OLED technology allowed the screens to possess a thinner and more flexible form, which we touched on previously.
Despite both LG and Samsung exhibiting their curved OLEDs at this year’s CES in Las Vegas, LG have taken the lead with their 55inch screen that will sell at the equivalent to £8,725. The curvature of the television is said to create an Imax-like experience and eliminates screen-edge distortion and creates deeper blacks.
A tall building in Sao Paulo, Brazil has transformed into an enormous game of retro classic Tetris. The passers-by on the street were able to play on the extra-large monitor (300m2) via iPads, whilst the coloured blocks were projected onto the building’s surface with 100,000 LED lamps. A version of the Space Raiders game was also available and attracted a lot of attention from tourists and residents alike. The project, coined “Play!” by its digital artists, was available for two weeks in the city, an extended period than what was expected, due to the success.
With interactive LCDs continuing to prove popular among both educational environments and offices, manufacturers BenQ have jumped at the opportunity to join the likes of Clevertouch and C-Touch models on the market. Their interactive displays, which are available in 42, 55 or 65 inches are simply connected to your PC via USB thanks to Optical Sensing Touch technology and are ready to go. Turning into a dual touch LCD flat panel with a thin frame has proved to be a more engaging tool for learning and has also been researched to show extra efficiency in offices.
An ambient light senor built into the TL range helps the user and viewers to achieve an optimal picture quality, regardless of the lighting in the room, whilst an integrated speaker means that the screen can be the home to all sorts of multimedia, including video with sound.
If you would like more information about this project, or any other interactive classroom equipment, please do not hesitate to contact us.
You can always count on technology to move faster than we can handle and just as we thought we were getting the hang of what 4K is all about, the upgrade has already begun to stir interest.
With 4K technology only just becoming included in specs for most visual equipment, it’s surprising to think that experts are already talking about doubling such a high quality resolution but 8K has been predicted to be in regular use by 2020.
By regular of course, we don’t mean all your living rooms will be filled with such high definition, as the screen would need to be huge. Otherwise known as Ultra HD, 4K refers to a resolution of around 4,000 pixels in width and 2,000 high, creating a size equivalent to four HD screens. The amount of content available is still lacking and therefore some films that have been shot digitally do not reach their full potential on the screen.
The 7680×4320 resolution expected of 8K has already been achieved in certain technology, such as JVC’s E-shift projection which doubles the resolution from a 4K device and has been used recently in flight simulators. As this evolution in resolution proves, it’s vital to future proof your system as the modern age is no longer an era where old and new technology can integrate with ease. Due to its larger need of bandwidth, use fibre optic cabling to allow for this expansions and look out for scalers and players upgrading (for example, Sony have already realised a BluRay player than can upscale to 4K).
To future proof your system, use 4K now and use fibre optic cabling (HDCP over fibre optic is still being worked on) to allow for larger bandwidth in the future. Content for 4K is currently very slim, so compatibility is currently a slight issue with content having to be scaled down for say, a BluRay player. Large format displays are bound to appreciate this advancement with 8K having the capabilities of stretching across say, an outdoor surface 300 feet wide. Although it may seem like something too far in the future, it’s likely manufacturers will start to embrace the Ultra HD tendencies, so we thought we’d give you the heads up.
A chart showing the differences between resolutions.
Midwich’s technical division True Colours joined forces with many of their manufacturers on Friday to cover all aspects of a technology that continues to get bigger and bolder – the video wall. With multi-display systems continuing to spread throughout sectors other than corporate and education, the distributors bought together Dexon, NEC, Exterity, Peerless AV and AMX to discuss all elements of the technology at the Runnymede Hotel in Egham, UK.
Iain Campbell, Sales Director at True Colours, opened the morning explaining that video walls can be used for more than just digital signage, as they have personally dealt with the army and banks, proving its use in centralising monitoring. With this array of opportunities, video wall sales are expected to reach 12,800 this year, with that increasing further to 16,700 in 2014. There are certain factors which are imperative to creating a successful display system and many clients may not realise this. Dexon were on hand to explain their latest wall controller technology which offers an easy input. NEC had a wide range of screens on display with very narrow bezels and advanced fan technology to avoid overheating and prolong life usage, including the 3×3 display being used for the presentation.
With IPTV becoming a popular part of digital signage and therefore video walls as well, leading networkers Exterity provided a lesson in how internet television can be streamed across a building without using up all your bandwidth. AMX’s Jeremy Slater provided a success story to demonstrate how key personalised control systems can be for large displays, while more recent recruit Peerless AV brought mounting to the foreground, as many clients forget the importance of a secure and adjustable bracket.
After LG’s 3D video wall grabbing so much attention at ISE this year, it’s apparent that 2013 could be the year for the video wall, so if you would like more information on how it could benefit your company, please do not hesitate to contact us.
NEC’s Competence Day has become an annual event around Europe, and this year Paragon Multimedia attended the Berkshire event hosted by the established audio-visual suppliers. The day, which was separated into video walls, new digital signage, projection innovations and offices of the future included demonstrations, presentations and information on what to expect in a few years’ time from NEC, and indeed, the whole audio-visual industry.
One of the key factors which arose throughout the sessions was power saving and eco-friendly displays which are likely to continue improving in the next couple of years. A variety of monitors that were on display in the “Office of the Future” had 23 Watt power consumption, which is a decrease compared to other brands, however NEC hope to be slimming down and ahead of the game to as little as 5 Watts by 2014.
NEC believes that multi-touch monitors will also soon become the norm and with the support of Windows 8, the concept of a mouse and keyboard may not even be known by future generations. Their 4K display is still in the works; however high costs and bandwidth problems mean that it won’t be a popular choice at the moment, unless you are in graphic design, thanks to its large depth of colour.
WiDi (Wireless display) was also discussed, and with the help of Intel, the industry will be able to improve the capabilities of an open office, with limited cables and a Cloud service that could connect monitors as well as data. Monitors on show at the presentation also featured CPUs which were attached to the back of the screen, saving room and electricity compared to your usual tower.
OLED and head mount displays are real insights into the future of technology, so make sure to keep an eye out for more news on this later on. It’s fair to say the working environment is bound to continue evolving and like other big, international names, NEC are keeping up with what is desired by large companies.
Coming soon: Information on NEC’s EA294WMi monitor.