Tag Archives: projector

AV Boot Camp puts sales teams through their paces

av-boot-camp-1-front-final-jan-2014Last week saw the first AV Boot Camp taking place at Sandhurst’s Military Academy, where sales teams from across the UK gathered for a full-on day of practical workshops to enhance knowledge and skills in the audio-visual industry. The free event, hosted by CUK Audio, Christie, Lightware Visual Engineering and Tack Training, allowed employees of all technical levels to experience the key areas of integration. Sales, audio, projection and signal management were covered by the technical experts that allowed the guests to get a hands-on approach to what they sell on a day to day basis.

The event also allowed companies to network and discover the latest technologies from the manufacturers involved and despite the small amount of time allocated, the boot camp was a great success full of useful information. Four of our staff attended and completed the boot camp, including Steve, Di, Lily and Jay and we would like to thank all involved in creating such a unique opportunity!

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Contact us if you have any questions about Audio Visual integrations or to request a demo.

ISE 2014 preview

One of Europe’s largest electronics shows ISE will be returning to Amsterdam in February and we hope to be reporting from their to share all the latest news. We’ve been researching and have found a few top picks we feel will get a lot of attention of the three days at the RAI centre.

Proficient Audio Protege speakersProficient-Protege-Speakers-610x465

With a thin-bezel design on all 31 models of their speakers and subwoofers, Proficient Audio will be ones to listen out for at ISE. This new Protege series sees the largest product line change for the manufacturer and by eliminating the plastic rim these sleek speakers can blend better into walls and ceilings. Despite their minimalistic aesthetics, the acoustics and engineering behind the product are still the up to speed with rival products, making the Protégé series a real hit for interior designers and modern working environments.

4K Video Distribution from Crestron

4K is bound to continue being a buzzword you hear around 2014 but many in the business have been worrying about the lack of content available Crestron have tried to bridge the gap in the market with their latest DigitalMedia matrix switchers. Ranging from 8×8 to a gigantic 128×128 input/output, the switchers embody a new range of HDMI over HDBaseT extenders, which can transmit and receive 4K content using standard CAT5e cables. The HD-EXT4-C and HD-EXT3-C models can support 4K signals and send content up to 100 metres via the HDBaseT without any degradation of signal. The transmitters can be easily rack mounted or mounted in a single gang wall box.

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AMX’s Enzo the latest in revolutionary meeting roomsamzenzo

Presenting and collaborating is an area many manufacturers are concentrating on due the fact a lot of research has returned problems with log in speed and sharing data. AMX’s ENZO series tackles this instantly – from logging in, to access documents, to sharing them. By using the cloud, you can access your documents via the cloud on popular application DropBox and instead of the faff of signing in, a QR code linked up to your mobile while allow you access. The QR code concept is also used for when your audience wish to access the documents so passwords aren’t needed but security is kept due to ENZO deleting all documents from the machine when you log off.

Vutec Theater Art System Multi-Vu

After winning awards at CES, and CEDIA, ISE displays Vutec’s all-in-one entertainment experience. What appears as a framed piece of art (or a personal photo if you wish) descends at the touch of a remote control to unveil a flat panel and a motorised projection screen. The projection screen offers several masking options and the system allows you to add multiple screens if you wish, making it ideal for a style-conscious environment.

If you would like further information on any of these products or a similar concept for your business, please do not hesitate to contact the office.

BETT is back!

Print Despite only just settling back into the daily grind after the Christmas holidays, BETT has once again come around with a bang and it’s time to start planning your visit. The annual gathering of all things education and technology is back in London from 22-25th January and after 30 years the devices may have gotten smaller but the market has gotten much larger.

When you look back on how much the classroom has changed in the last 30 years, the next 30 look to be truly game changing. With the current generation of children in education becoming almost instinctive when using technology, its usage within the classroom should be seamless. This year, you are bound to find products that allow a faff-free set up and instant, simultaneous access to information for teacher and pupils. Collaborative devices and cloud sharing are slowly becoming the norm and when the likes of Google are pairing up with Smart for such devices, you know it’s something worth looking into. BETT is the perfect opportunity to learn about the possibilities available as well as the individual products but we know it can be a lot to take in.

As always, Paragon Multimedia will be present at the event and happy to assist you, whether it’s reporting back with the latest innovations, recommend the best solution for your system or grab information for you if you’re unable to attend the event yourself. If you are planning on attending, here are a few tips to make sure you get the optimum from your visit:

Plan! Think about what resources your establishment currently requires or needs so that you know what you’re looking for before you get there, as there is a lot to get lost in. Do some research on manufacturers exhibiting that supply these resources so that you know where you’re heading on the day. If you’re not sure where to start, feel free to give us a call and we can guide you on what you should look out for depending on your specific requirements.

Learn! There are several seminars and presentations going on around the ExCel over the three days so make the most of your journey by extracting wisdom from industry experts. A timetable can be found on the BETT website and all sessions are CPD accredited.

Chat! Many of our partner suppliers will be on hand to do demonstrations of products and answer any questions we may not have answered for you before the event. If you don’t get all your answers, or are interested in taking your ideas further, we can book a meeting with you at your site to discuss this further. Furthermore, if the stall is too busy and you’d like to experience a product one on one, we offer free demonstrations that we can bring to site, so if you see something that interests you, please let us know. Our team will be picking out all the highlight products from the show and our post BETT report is bound to assist both those who did attend and those who were too busy to visit.

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Paragon Multimedia specialise in Professional Audio Visual Installations from their offices in Berkshire, UK.

Tablet popularity continues to grow in UK

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According to a new report from eMarketer, a third of the British population now use a tablet at least once a month whether it’s their own, or shared by the family. It is predicted that by 2017 half of the population will be using a tablet regularly, due to a recent variety in prices. With the likes of Tesco’s small Hudl being far cheaper than current favourite iPad, it’s expected that Apple’s sales will drop in coming years.

The growing use of tablets in the education sector has had a real effect, with the under 12 audience rapidly growing and if these predictions are anything to go by, tablets will be a norm in every classroom. With this and the fact that several corporate companies are embracing the BYOD format, clients should be looking into future proofing their AV system. The majority of equipment on the market is now compatible with both Android and iOS devices and the applications are endless.

If you are interested using tablets for presentation, collaboration or control, please contact us and our consultants can arrange a free on site demo for your team.

Microsoft’s Illumiroom is dimmed down for now

illumiroomBack in May this year, you would have seen our news article on Microsoft’s Illumiroom project, which uses projection and a Kinect to create an immersive space for gaming and films. Despite being every tech lover’s dream, it appears we won’t be seeing this in our living rooms anytime soon, according to a senior Microsoft executive.

According to their head of product planning, the set up could cost up to thousands of dollars per customer, which just isn’t plausible and so for now the concept will remain as “just research”. Despite the Xbox One being launched, there was no specific talk linking to the Illumiroom and apparently many were sceptical due to the average customer not owning a projector for home use. With this and the BBC’s visual equivalent of surround sound mentioned in the last few months, it will be interesting to see if any further developments appear by the end of 2013.

Highlights from European Sign Expo 2013

vueintimannequinDespite so many experts fully believing that digital signage will soon overtake the print business, the European Sign Expo is tucked away into a small corner, whilst the rest of FESPA engrosses the London ExCel with monstrous looking printers and paper galore.

There were debates going on early in the day over at the Screenmedia Theatre regarding the battle between print and digital signage and either way the technology is consistently improving over in the European Sign Expo. With it being the first of its kind here in London, the expo is relatively full and both old and new exhibitors emerge from the stalls.

Amongst familiar faces including Brightsign and Innova, there were a few names that caught our eye when it came to fresh ideas. The virtual mannequin has been seen from several companies and is slowly becoming a more common sight in the likes of hospitals, attractions and retail. Although this is the first thing you notice at Vueinti’s stall it soon becomes apparent their innovation spreads much further. Their mannequin has some extended features, such as being muted until a movement sensor realises someone is close by. Although the stall was relatively bear, due to a last minute offer to exhibit, Vueinti were happy to showcase some other great products via iPad. Their Retail Brand Activation is likely to be a huge hit in retail as the display case senses when a product is picked up. This then triggers the digital signage screen above to display information about the product of interest and uses LED lighting to spotlight the item on the shelf. The display also incorporates analytical software so that gender and age can be picked up for market research. This concept has also been attached to their mannequins, meaning the virtual informer is only activated when a product is picked up.

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Airgoo were another name that caught our attention due to the size of their latest signage player. With a MicroPlayer the size of a USB memory stick, this cost effective solution uses WiFi and 3G to display ready to upload content. Even if your internet connection it lost, the content will continue looping until you retrieve signal, so your screen will never freeze or turn off. Unlike other brands, Airgoo’s player can transform any brand of television into a digital signage display as long as it has a HDMI port. The CMS (Content Management System) is web based and although this helps with scheduling and grouping screens, it does not offer a way of creating the content, meaning you either send over the content from your previous software via RSS, or use outsourced designers.airgoo

As you can see, many of the eye catching technologies appeal more to a retail sector and although Pyramid’s Polytouch screens on show may appear that way as well, you soon realise the possibilities are pretty vast. With a quick mounting system to upgrade when necessary, the platform also integrates a chip and PIN device, barcode scanner and even a camera to interact further. The obvious applications of self service and product information for retail may be the first concept that springs to mind, but Polytouch has been applied successfully for banking, events and hospitality as well.

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Digital signage is continuing to grow and can be applied to any business. If you don’t want to get left behind, why not contact us for a free of charge health check, where we can recommend the best solution for you?

Medical lectures using ghost hologram

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There was a huge reaction when Tupac was displayed via hologram at last year’s Coachella Festival and despite its usage for other entertainment; a London university has used the Pepper’s Ghost illusion to enhance its learning opportunities.

Two junior doctors have developed effects so that a large scale hologram can be displayed in medical lectures, with last week demonstrating a 4 metre kidney. Research in education has shown that more interactive teaching, including 3D, can increase attention span and this 3D graphic can be controlled by the lecturer, so that particular parts can be viewed. The scale of the image means attention to detail required by medical students can be viewed with ease, however both students and professors alike do not feel this will fully replace traditional methods. Dr Sugand reminds us, “Nothing can substitute dissecting a cadaver – it is the optimal and most traditional way of learning anatomy. But multimedia has become a way of complementing, not replacing that process.”

Unlike a standard hologram, the Pepper’s Ghost illusion uses glass or foil combined with special lighting techniques to make objects appear in mid-air. And three projectors are used to create the full colour images but need you’ll need a large auditorium for such big graphics.

The developers are still creating a large library of animations to utilise but it’s unlikely we will see this in action regularly for a while. If you would like more information on education or healthcare systems, please feel free to contact us.

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A simple diagram to explain the Pepper’s Ghost illusion

 

InfoComm 2013 round up

infocommshowUnfortunately Paragon was unable to jet over to Florida for the week but InfoComm 2013 was still filled to the brim for its largest show ever, with over 35,000 through the doors.  Although many of our better known brands such as Vivitek, Draper and NEC were in attendance, it was newer products that caught our eye in the various launches shared.

One press preview that stood out was over on the DLP stand, where a hybrid technology consisting of a short throw projector and a multi-touch display prototype created a fully interactive screen on any surface. The 3,000 lumen projector uses sensor technology to connect the two together however there was no implication of market possibilities anytime soon.

Black Box’s digital signage players aren’t products we had personally heard of before but perhaps this is because their Q series stands for “quiet”. The fanless media players used a finned design instead, including a heat sink to avoid overheating without the noise.

4K still seems to be one of the main buzzwords for 2013 and while many are still getting to grips with the concept, Planar Inc. have taken their LCD product line a step further with multi-touch and multi-user capabilities. Being one of the first of its kind to combine collaboration with the ultra-high resolution, the image clarity and multiple touch points create an ideal solution for way-finding, product catalogues and interactive digital signage.

If you are interested in 4K, interactive touch screens or any other new products on our Tech Zone, please feel free to contact us.

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Fourth Steljes SHAPE event hits Oxford

shape2013logoResellers and integrators congregated at the F1 Williams Conference Centre last week to be educated on all things Smart. With technical training available for Smart products and AMX’s RPM (Rapid ProjectMaker) software, engineers are busy keeping up to date with the latest installation opportunities. The vendor village offered a closer look into some of the equipment discussed in the seminars throughout the day with Steljes and their partners in full force to educate.

The seminars throughout the day offered a vast range of ideas for how to incorporate collaborative solutions and although we’re aware of its uses in the education sector, the corporate talk was much more eye opening. With Microsoft Lync becoming a popular factor of the modern office, Smart’s own software Meeting Pro manages to combine with this product’s advantages for a seamless meeting. After shocking statistics including the fact that 28% of workers find meetings to be “pointless” being shared, it is understandable that companies want to find ways to save time and money on travel and sometimes video conferencing just won’t do. The combination of these programmes helps create not only a system for video and audio, but also for collaboration, so anyone involved in the meeting can annotate and make notes in real time and save and send where necessary. Check out our feature on Meeting Pro coming soon.

BenQ’s “Using iPads in the Classroom” showed a short demonstration of the progressively favoured DisplayNote software, however due to internet problems the seminar was cut short. The Steljes training team offered a first glance of their training portal concept for teachers which will be available soon. Despite the worries that interactive whiteboards were losing the battle against sleeker touchscreen LCDs, Smart are far from getting left behind in the collaborative market.

Freelusion bring video mapping to Britain’s Got Talent

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Audio-visual experts and the general public alike were wowed by dance act Freelusion on Britain’s Got Talent over the weekend. The four dancers from Hungary got through to the live semi-finals with their act which combined futuristic dancing and outfits with 3D projection mapping. The act, consisting of Timea, Lajos, Viktor and Laszlo described their talent to the judges as “an interactive 3D dance show”. Using 4 large cubes and a large screen behind them, the quartet’s projections coordinated perfectly with their actions, creating a smooth performance. 3D projection mapping is often used so that irregularly shaped objects can display video projection.

As was shown in our article on ARC, the digital art festival, musicians in the electronica genre are often using visuals to accompany their DJ performances, but Freelusion claim to be the first dance act to combine the two, with their first showcase in 2009. Freelusion also competed on Hungary’s version of the talent show and have been used in marketing and advertising campaigns for electronics companies. Check out the video below if you missed their performance on Saturday. Feel free to contact us if you would like more information on projection mapping.