Networked AV Empowers Communication

The latest digital signage systems, networked video/data projectors, and collaborative solutions combine the power of multimedia and IT to produce major gains in productivity.

Digital signage systems can deliver timely information to target audiences at any location. Applications include advertising, in-store point of sales support, and corporate communications.


Signs of the Times

The right peripherals and connectivity can turn any large display into a platform for the delivery of dynamic content. Sony’s new FWD-42PX2 HD plasma display ($2,400), for example, can be used with Sony’s BKM-FW50 Network Media card ($700) to receive and display video and other content over an IP network. Panasonic, Pioneer, NEC Visual Systems, and other screen manufacturers provide similar modules for signage, storage, and networking.

The SyncMaster 400Pn, 39.6-inch widescreen LCD display from Samsung ($5,100), is specifically designed for digital signage applications. A built-in Windows-based computer manages a variety of functions–including the ability to access and schedule the display of PowerPoint slides, MPEG video, JPEG graphics, and other content up to a month in advance.

Chyron’s ChyTV (from $1,395) is a digital signage appliance that can store, update, and schedule the delivery of high-quality text and graphics. Visual information can even be used to frame a live or recorded video picture, and a simple playlist function makes it easy to schedule content delivery.

Leading manufacturers and integrators will demonstrate digital signage applications at InfoComm06, June 3-9 in Orlando, Florida. Deploying a digital signage solution requires a wide range of expertise, from MPEG encoding to the licensing of broadcast content–and this event offers a great opportunity to see solutions up close and pick the brains of experts in the field.

Big Screen Bytes

Networked projectors make it easier to present up-to-the second information at meetings. The Epson PowerLite 755c, for example, incorporates high-speed 802.11g wireless technology to enable streaming of video and transition-rich presentations. The 2000-ANSI-lumen, 3.9-lb., Epson 755c ($1,599) is one of the first projectors to offer wireless compatibility with both MS PowerPoint and Apple’s Keynote software–plus LEAP-authentication and WEP/WPA for secure wireless transmissions.  

Other noteworthy projectors equipped with wireless networking capabilities include: Sony’s 2000 ANSI-lumen ($4,520); Panasonic’s sub-$2,700 PT-LB20NTUVPL-CX86 , which can simultaneously display images from multiple wireless sources; and BenQ’s micro-portable (2.9 lbs.), DLP-powered CP120 ($1,599).


All Together Now

Videoconferencing and remote interactive presentations are just a few of the powerful applications of collaborative technologies.

Tandberg’s 2000 MXP (about $13,000) is a sleek, all-in-one group VC system that features a 23-inch widescreen LCD, 4CIF broadcast-quality video, stereo audio, 4-way multipoint videoconferencing, and Expressway technology for full remote compatibility with most enterprise firewalls. Polycom’s VSX 7000e and the Sony PCS-G50 are two other top-flight VC systems that take advantage of the latest advances in compression and networking technologies.

Large-screen interactive displays can help turn routine presentations and videoconferences into productive brainstorming sessions. Hitachi’s StarBoard P-55X Interactive Plasma Display ($13,995) is a 55-inch diagonal, HD touch-screen display with StarBoard software that enables easy annotation of video and graphics, screen/voice recording, and collaborative interaction with dozens of local users and remote locations.

With a little help from some AV-IT savvy friends, networked multimedia technologies can make your workplace more enjoyable and productive.

InfoComm: The AV-IT Connection

The audiovisual industry generates over $19 billion in revenues annually in North America and is thought to be more than a $50 billion industry worldwide. The industry is projected to grow by 9.6 percent annually. Fueling this growth is the insatiable demand for networked AV products. Currently, more than 80 percent of all AV systems use the client’s local area network. Wireless connections are the norm in integrated AV systems. Now, and in the future, businesses of all sizes will be incorporating streaming media, webcasting, digital signal processing, wireless applications, and AV-related software that integrate the worlds of AV and IT. 

To learn more about the AV-IT connection attend one of the many related classes offered at InfoComm ’06. Registration is available at