With ISE 2015 attracting 59,350 visitors you might think that’s all its necessary to say. But we like to draw the distinction between a big show and a good show – one that has plenty to inspire and inform those attending to go home and do more to make their businesses even more successful. On those occasions when we have a show that is both big and good, we have a perfect storm and that was ISE 2015.
ISE Trends: Projection laser fest
For the last 2 or 3 years, the flat screen display has been the dominant technology at ISE. This is entirely understandable now that Futuresource has confirmed that the long-awaited IWB replacement market is finally underway in education, and the corporates are waking up to the potential of new meeting room and collaboration solutions. Much of the really progressive stuff has appeared in retail and digital signage applications – again both largely flat screen markets.
We got hint of a sea change at last years’ ISE where projection mapping enjoyed its moment in the sun, but with the appearance of installation grade laser projectors in the 6,000 – 8,000 lumen category, we think that this year’s event signals a more profound change. There has never been any doubt that projection is a highly competitive technology in applications that demand an image size in excess of 100 inches. The problem has always been the ongoing maintenance cost, downtime and the variable colour output of lamp-based projectors.
As is usual today, a number of the new generation laser models displayed an obvious common heritage, although no-one was prepared to go on the record to confirm the source of the strikingly similar models. At least there is no doubt that Delta Electronics is responsible for at least one of the new entrants – Vivitek’s LU8000. This single chip DLP, 8,000 lumen model was shown as a working prototype, in the portrait configuration that will appeal to many retail users. With the 20,000 life of the blue laser / yellow phosphor lightsource, Vivitek sees applications in sites including museums and galleries where projectors have high duty calls in locations which can be hard to access once set-up.
For those with a preference for 3LCD, Sony offers two choices – the 4,000 lumen VPL-FHZ55 laser and the 7,000 lumen VPL-FHZ700L The VPL-FHZ55 has a 4,000 lumens colour light output with WUXGA (1920 x 1200) resolution. Sony says that the advanced laser light source in the VPL-FHZ55 and VPL-FHZ700L offers a typical 20,000 hours operation, effectively eliminating the need for replacement visits. Synchronised (20,000 hours) filter replacement cycles reduce the need for maintenance trips even further. A range of energy-saving features – like Auto Dimming, Auto Brightness, Picture Muting – cut total lifetime ownership costs compared to projectors with a conventional lamp source.
Both the Sony VPL-FHZ700L and the VPL-FHZ55 offer other features standard to solid state projectors – no waiting time for lamps to warm up or cool down, switching on and off is virtually instantaneous. The absence of a lamp means that the projector, like the Vivitek, has a 360° free-angle installation capability that lets you position the projector on its side or even upside down. 4K, laser light source and ultra-short throw capabilities designed for a range of B2B and commercial applications. Also new from Sony was the ultra short-throw VPL-GTZ1 which combines Sony’s 4K SXRD technology with a laser phosphor light source. The result is 2,000 lumens of colour brightness and high-resolution images up to measuring approximately 147-inches (3.7m) diagonal (zooming down to 66-inches (1.7m)) achieved by 6.7-inch and zero inch (170mm ~ zero) distances from the screen (respectively), across onto any white plane surface.
Elsewhere, Hitachi had its 7,500 lumens laser projector available as a preview alongside a column of stacked 9000 series projectors cresting a single floor-to-ceiling display – something that the forthcoming laser model will ideally suit. New laser models were also on show from Panasonic and Christie, with the latter also awarded the prize for AV Innovation of the Year in the AV News Awards 2015 for its 6P Laser Illumination technology. This is designed for D-Cinema applications, delivering the high-levels of brightness necessary for quality 3D.
Also designed around 3LCD technology, Epson’s new EH-LS10000 laser projector had its first European showing at ISE 2015. The EH-LS10000 is Epson’s first projector to feature 4K enhancement technology, and it utilises a dual laser light source to deliver an ultra-high native contrast ratio of 70,000:1, absolute blacks and a wider colour gamut. Designed for home cinema applications, well-heeled consumers can now enjoy the ultimate in picture quality with this 1080p Full HD laser projector with 3LCD Reflective technology.
The prominence of projection at ISE 2015 wasn’t entirely about new projector models or even emerging technologies. Projection mapping was again well featured, with the examples on the NEC, Optoma and, particularly, Panasonic being fine examples of the art, You can see for yourself by playing the AV News’ video of ISE highlights using the QR code above.
This year’s exhibit by Canon was also interesting. Installers will appreciate the 75% lens shift feature available on selected Canon models. The feature can be used without recourse to keystoning and produces a focused and squared up image at eyelevel even if the projector is under the floor or in the ceiling void. Canon says that this feature is of particular interest to museums and galleries where curators want to see the image but they don’t want to see the projector.
Also on the Canon both, the company had worked with AV Stumpfl to create an immersive projection environment using multiple Canon XEE units. Called the Colour Realism Room, the exhibit was a 180 degree panoramic projection booth using a custom AV Stumpfl Curve specially designed elliptical projection screen, Designed to match the peripheral vision of the human eye, the result was an immersive panoramic projection of around 11 x 2 metres. In order to create a more immersive experience of space, even the floor was brought to life with four more Canon XEED WUX400ST short throw projectors illuminate the floor area of about 6 x 4 metres.
The installation was made possible by Canon’s lens technology, which allows a projection ratio of 0.57:1, creating a large projected image from a short distance, with minimal distortion and optimal colour and contrast. The absence of distortion at the edges of the projected image makes it easy to blend several projected images together seamlessly, resulting in a total image size of roughly 7200 x 1200 pixels. Specially filmed footage from the Stiegl brewery in Austria was processed by AV Stumpfl and streamed to each of the eight Canon projectors in native WUXGA resolution using dual Wings Engine Stage Quad media servers.
“For Canon, ISE is about inspiring our customers to see what is possible using our technology,” said Andreas Herrnböck, European Business Development Manager, Canon Europe. “We work closely with our installation partners to deliver incredible visually engaging solutions to businesses, from simple office presentation layouts to jaw-dropping museum installations. The unique quality that Canon lens technology delivers in our projectors paves the way for installations that were never thought to be possible, and we’re excited to be able to demonstrate these installations to our customers live at the show.”
Epson’s new EH-LS10000 laser projector had its first European showing at ISE 2015.
Projection mapping by Panasonic at ISE 2015.
New at ISE 2015: ViewSonic LightStream
For ViewSonic, ISE 2015 presented an opportunity to show the company’s newly redesigned PJD5 Value Series of LightStream projectors. The company believes that LightStream is a significant step forward in achieving best-in-class colour and sound performance, with its exclusive SuperColor and SonicExpert technologies. So confident is ViewSonic about the new range that it has announced that LightStream will be launched as a distinct sub-brand.
PJD5 LightStream projectors include solutions for the classroom, office and living room with the option of SVGA, XGA and WXGA resolutions, standard-throw, LCD-throw-ratio-match and short-throw models. Up to 3200 lumens of brightness and 15,000:1 contrast levels – particularly useful for rooms with limited ambient light control.
SuperColor technology uses a unique colour wheel design, digital image processing and lamp adjustment to deliver a wider range of true-to-life colours for an immersive viewing experience. ViewSonic has also developed its exclusive SonicExpert technology. Developments in chamber, transducer and amplifier performance delivers superior low frequency and speech clarity than most projectors. The overall result is up to 20dB louder sound than comparative speakers.
Other functions like smart on / off / re-start and DynamicEco power saving prolong lamp life (up to 10,000 hours), reduce running costs and help to protect the environment. A programmable remote button allows you to instantly access your favourite functions without scrolling through on-screen display menus, while the new convenient on-screen presentation-timer option can ensure timely use.
The new PJD5 LightStream series of projectors include the (standard throw ratio) PJD5150, PJD5153, PJD5155L, PJD5155, PJD5250, PJD5253, PJD5255L, PJD5255, PJD5555w, (LCD throw ratio match) PJD5555Lw, PJD5556Lw, (short throw ratio) PJD5353Ls, PJD5550Lws and PJD5553Lws. All will be available between Jan-May 2015 with RRP’s ranging from £199 – £479, €259 – €599.
New at ISE 2015: Casio Core
In another really significant projector launch at ISE, solid state pioneers Casio introduced its new Core platform – previewed at BETT – to the general AV market. Casio explains that its next generation projector model for 2015 will go to market at a price point that will make its hybrid light source technology accessible for projects of any investment scale. T Core will begin shipping in May 2015 and is ideal for replacing existing projectors installed in classrooms and meeting spaces, offering outstanding total cost of ownership.
With a brightness of 2,700lm, the Core is designed to ensure that all presentations are bright and vivid for longer with minimum drop off in brightness, negating the need to draw the curtains or pull the blinds. Toshiharu Okimuro, Head Of Global Sales at Casio Projection said: “This new addition to our portfolio will ensure that everyone can benefit from high-quality, sustainable projection. We are very excited about this important new product. Once you see it, you will understand why we are so excited.”
“Having no consumables to monitor or replace means that end users can fix their costs for projection for five years without hidden extras. With no replacement parts needed, the level of maintenance is significantly reduced, offering a viable and sustainable option for businesses and educational establishments looking for long-term technology solutions. In addition, there is no downtime for changing lamps, providing a much more reliable solution for end users.”
Casio Core: new price-point and extra flexibility in deployment.
ISE Trends: Direct LED moves indoors
At ISE 2015, SiliconCore showcased the next generation of its LED display technology. The Common Cathode display panel manufacturer launched two new display screens – the indoor Lavender 1.2mm and the outdoor Orchid 1.9mm pixel pitch displays – while also demonstrating its new anti-moiré filter and presenting a curved Magnolia 1.5mm solution. The extremely tight pixel pitches enables direct view LED possible for close proximity applications for the first time. This versatility means that LED displays are suitable for verticals such as corporate, broadcast, command and control or retail.
At this early stage of direct LED adoption, SiliconCore believes that events like ISE have a part to play in educating the market. To help establish a framework for comparing different brands SiliconCore has launched an ‘LED Get The Facts’ campaign aiming to educate end users and integrators about what the claims really mean and how to identify the best display for their unique requirements. Steve Scorse, VP of EMEA for SiliconCore explained: “The huge number of LED manufacturers flooding the market means that we are spoilt for choice for pixel pitch, image quality and efficiency, but with a lack of uniformity across the industry in specifications and manufacturing standards, it is difficult to know what factors are best to judge a display on.”
Absen Optoelectronics demonstrated its smallest pitch outdoor LED display for the high end rental market – the X5. The company also exhibited the A1.9 4K LED display – the lowest pixel pitch product currently available from Absen – alongside the existing A2 Ultra HD indoor LED display with 4K capabilities. The target markets for these include control centres, shopping malls, conference rooms and other high-end indoor applications.
Ruben Rengel, Deputy Managing Director of Absen Europe, explained: “Our objective was to demonstrate the unique differentiators of Absen LED technology and the wide ranging application benefits, including HD video performance, fast installation, convenient servicing, modular design, angle adjustment and many more.”
Also of interest was Absen’s F8 (8mm) Flexible LED display for creative staging and rental. Absen says it is the lightest in the industry but it also features the industry’s highest transparency when used with smoke, wind and dry ice machines. One module can be installed in just three seconds using vertical connection by hook and horizontal by magnet. Integrated rigging and power balance function reduces installation time, and an integrated receiving card and module decreases failure rate.
Absen’s A1.9 4K LED display modules.
ISE Trends: Specialised flat screen displays
As demand for flat screen displays increase in volume markets, vendors are offering products with features and specifications tailored to specific applications to increase ASPs. Samsung Electronics unveiled a range of solutions optimised for a variety of environments and markets including retailers, offices and hotels.
Seoggi Kim, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Business Team explained: “Samsung is positioned to build off of a successful 2014 in the digital display and signage field by offering cutting-edge solutions and identifying new possibilities for our customers. Our total display solutions — from outdoor signage and video walls to LED displays and curved monitors — are smarter, better customised and differentiated to provide new opportunities and drive growth for our customers in the retail, public, corporate and hospitality markets.”
The company’s suite of semi-outdoor and outdoor signage displays (OMD and OHD Series SMART Signage) is designed to help business owners easily produce brilliant messaging with highly-visible and energy-efficient LED BLU displays. Along with these new technologies, the Samsung joined the direct LED trend with its 1.1mm pixel pitch LED Signage, featuring 133 inches of continuous, Wide Quad High Definition (WQHD) resolution (1.5 times as many pixels as Full HD). The new LED signage is available in varying sizes and resolutions to meet customer needs across retail, corporate, transportation and broadcasting environments.
Samsung’s range of application specific SMART Signage solutions included: a QSR environment product, with both touch-enabled small signage (DB10E-T) and Power-over-Ethernet (DB10E-PoE) small signage. A semi-outdoor option was shown to show real-time menu contents seamlessly and instantaneously through MagicInfo S and HDBaseT technologies. For the hotel market, Samsung in-room content management solution and the new LYNK Hospitality Management Solution (HMS) on new UHD displays.
LG Electronics’ innovations included the Transparent Display Cooler Door which integrates advertising content displayed on the exterior of the cooler with real products inside. When placed as high level bar displays the cooler units draw attention to the brand inside and can be integrated with real time content, such as sports results and social media. It can also easily be implemented in a retail environment to promote specific products.
Featuring LG’s M+ technology, the solution works by having two clear sheets of glass that are surrounded by edge lit LEDs. When the media plays, the signal pulses out through the LEDs to take over the display on the screen allowing an amalgamation of real products and overlaid graphics to bring them to life.
LG also introduced ISE visitors to its latest Smart Platform Signage line-up and hotel TV information solution running webOS. The WebOS platform enhances convenience by enabling system integrators to download useful content while allowing them to develop customized applications that fit their exact needs. With webOS, LG’s Smart Platform Signage can be updated immediately via a smartphone or tablet. Wi-Fi connectivity eliminates the need for a wired internet connection or a costly internal network infrastructure. Not only does the webOS Hotel TV allow guests to receive information about the hotel’s facilities or nearby attractions, guests can also use it to watch movies and TV programs.
After a period in which outdoor digital signage market was lacking in its choice of solutions, ISE 2015 saw some welcome new introductions. Peerless-AV showed the Xtreme fully sealed, triple display outdoor kiosk, designed around the IP68 rated Xtreme display. Described as ideal for QSR drive through digital menus, cruise liners, ski resorts, outdoor advertising for corporate, retail, entertainment and transportation settings, the KOP547-XTR3 model guarantees continuous, reliable operation in severe weather conditions.
Peerless-AV joins the outdoor market with the Xtreme fully sealed, triple display outdoor kiosk, designed around the IP68 rated Xtreme display.
LG Electronics’ innovations included the Transparent Display Cooler Door.
ISE Trends: 4K solutions
Aside from the plethora of 4K displays announced at ISE 2015, there were significant launches in the area of 4K networking and control. Crestron announced the launch of DM 3.0: Fred Bargetzi, Chief Technology Officer at Crestron, explained the significance of the launch: “To be clear, DM 3.0 is not a product. It’s a set of core digital standards embedded in the DM product line: uncompressed bit-for-bit 4K/60 distribution and scaling; streaming AV; enterprise-class IT solution; and end-to-end scalable solutions for every room type.”
We’re accustomed to watching video at 60 frames per second, which delivers smooth motion. 4K gives us razor-sharp images, but first-generation 4K sources support 4K at only 30 frames per second. Therefore, you may have noticed choppiness in 4K video demos. Now, AV professionals should expect and demand distribution of 4K at the full 60 frames per second, as well as scaling technology that can convert any resolution and frame rate to any other resolution and frame rate up to 4096×2160 at 60 Hz.
Streaming is an important feature of DM 3.0. It leverages IT infrastructure to deliver content anywhere on the network. Existing infrastructure can often be used to facilitate unlimited distribution, either across campus or around the world. Streaming inputs or outputs can easily be added to link any room to any other. Crestron cautions that streaming isn’t a “magic bullet,” and sometimes point-to-point uncompressed delivery is better because it maintains the highest quality and doesn’t introduce latency.