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What if They Made a Projector without a Lamp?

Phlat Light LEDDLP technology from Texas Instruments asked, and answered, the question of a lampless projector at this year’s Infocomm trade show. The new technology utilizes LED technology (version called PhlatLight Light Emitting Diode has been used in LCD TVs) in place of the DLP color wheel and mirror and light engine. Instead of a spinning red, blue, and green color wheel, there are RBG LEDs which plus rapidly to create the color.

The new product is the first of its kind with a regular sized chassis, but many new projectors using LED technology have been released for cell phones and so-called “pocket” projectors.

So what are the benefits? For starters, you could kiss the $200 – $500 cost of a replacement lamp goodbye along with any of the hassle of caring for it. That is good news for consumers who might have been hesitant to incur future costs after the purchase. It may also mean a dramatic increase in consumers choosing projectors as a primary display source, as the lamp life would be comparable to that of LCD and plasma TVs. Also, as we have seen with the pocket projectors, the lamp lack also allows for smaller footprints and even more portable opportunities. The fan will also not be required to cool that hot lamp, which means nearly silent operation and less energy consumption.

But wait, there’s more! With the new LED-based DLP technology, the color space possible for a projector is increased beyond that of traditional lamp’d projectors up to 50%. That’s a big benefit for the folks in the DLP camp, since color has been one area where they have been consistently challenged by 3LCD.

Are there any drawbacks to this new technology? Well for one, it’s new. So even though you won’t pay to replace the lamp, there will probably be a premium to pay initially. It’s not yet available to the general public yet, and won’t be for a while. And some reporting on the scene mention the color is not quite “lifelike” and has a bit of a red haze.

“But what about brightness?” you may ask. A good question, since previous LED projectors were in the 25 – 100 lumen range. The latest incarnation on the tradeshow floor is said to be very bright. TI claims a brightness from 500 – 1000 lumens, which was once considered a benchmark for home theater projectors. However, newer products are typically upwards of 1000 lumens. So, brightness is an issue that will probably need to improve.

But hey, nobody’s perfect on their first go. Texas Instruments says they will begin by focusing on Home Theater projection, since here is less brightness required and expects to have products released by manufacturer partners by the end of 2008. Watch us here for more updates on this potentially groundbreaking technology.

School Buildings Going Green

Alert! It has come to our attention that there is a computer virus named Green AV (“Green AntiVirus”) circulating on the internet. AVI-SPL in not affiliated with or affected by the Green AV hoax. All references to Green AV on any of AVI-SPL’s websites is relevant to the Green Audio Visual industry.

A Green Step Forward

By Linda Seid Frembes, Sound and Video Contractor
School Buildings Going Green

Building a new school building is a daunting task for any school district, especially when the plan is for a green building project. The Sidwell Friends Middle School in Washington, D.C., opened in 2007 as a testament to the possibilities of an environmentally friendly, healthy environment for school kids. The new middle school is the secondary school in the United States to have a LEED Platinum rating and the first LEED Platinum building in the District of Columbia.

To read the complete article, click here »

Calculate Your Business Carbon Footprint

Alert! It has come to our attention that there is a computer virus named Green AV (“Green AntiVirus”) circulating on the internet. AVI-SPL in not affiliated with or affected by the Green AV hoax. All references to Green AV on any of AVI-SPL’s websites is relevant to the Green Audio Visual industry.

AV Green Carbon Footprint Calculator

Do you know the carbon footprint produced by the day to day operations of your business? Would you like to know how to reduce your impact on the environment and save money at the same time? AVI-SPL and TANDBERG have partnered to provide a handy tool to help you do just that. A new Business Advantage Calculator tool will provide you with solutions that you can use to build a business case for reducing costs, cutting CO2 emissions, and improving productivity for your organization.

Today, videoconferencing technology (VTC) is more popular than ever. It is an efficient, money-saving and environmentally-friendly technology for distance communications. TANDBERG and AVI-SPL have teamed up to help you determine the right VTC solutions for your business. click here .

For a free customized analysis, click here.

Tips and Trends in the Corporate AV Market

Patrick Britton

Today, corporate customers have more experience with AV technology than ever before. Reliability is extremely important. From high projection presentations to sophisticated videoconferencing systems, the corporate AV market increasingly depends on top-notch, cutting edge technology to deliver. AVI-SPL Sales Bid Estimator Patrick Britton, who has worked in the industry for 12 years, shares the latest tips and trends for corporate environments.

Q: What technology has been on the rise in terms of effectively equipping executive boardrooms, training rooms and auditoriums?

Over the past year, I have seen a dramatic increase in requests for videoconferencing solutions. The reasons behind this lie in the introduction of HD videoconferencing and tele-presence solutions, the improved quality of the more traditional line of these products, and a reduction in the costs for the components and required infrastructure (ISDN lines, network bandwidth).

At the same time, travel has gotten more expensive, increasing the cost of attending meetings out of town and overseas. Because of this, it’s much easier for a company to see the return on its investment through the use of videoconferencing technology. All of these combined factors certainly make the need for videoconferencing systems more appealing.

Q: Have you seen in increase in digital signage applications?

There has been a greater demand for these systems, as companies are looking for ways to share important information with their employees, partners and visitors. Digital signage is a technology that can quickly and easily impact a variety of settings. Sometimes these systems are as simples as a few displays in a lobby or cafeteria. In other cases, clients can effectively use them as a network of dozens of displays distributed across a campus, sharing information specific to a building or department.

Q: Do you have any application tips that you’d like to share with end-users?

I always try to work with my clients to make their systems as easy to use as possible. In my opinion, fear is the number one reason that AV systems are not fully utilized. People are afraid of technology. When you introduce that technology into a potentially stressful business environment where someone needs to present information to their peers or management, the potential for disaster is high. By customizing the technology and adequately addressing concerns, we can certainly make the transition into new technology as seamless as possible.

The top concern of nearly every customer is that the system function reliably and meets their needs. Ease-of-use has a direct relationship to reliability. We now have the ability to introduce a control system that can make the AV technology as easy to use as an ATM machine. The cost of the control system can be offset by the increased use of the technology. If a customer wants multiple rooms, I always recommend that they keep the interface (touch panel or pushbuttons) as similar as possible from room to room. Someone who uses Room A should feel familiarity when they walk into Room C. These small details will encourage people to maximize their use of the technology.

In the Spotlight

By Victoria Cobb, Creative Learning Coordinator

A.J. Ferrell Middle School, Tampa, FL

A.J. Ferrell Middle School

This school invested in a Varitronics Poster Printer two years ago, and later purchased the remaining items in the VariQuest product line. They have nothing but wonderful things to say about the value of these products. As I walked around the school with Lisa Cobb, Lead Teacher for Curriculum Integration, we saw how they use the VariQuest products to educate, motivate and communicate with the A.J. Ferrell Middle School community.

We stopped in Mrs. Reed-Oliver’s classroom to discuss a new etymology lesson plan. Each day, she places a new word on her word wall. The students work in groups to research the origin, definitions, history and take note of any roots, prefixes or suffixes hidden in the word. Her goal is to help the students understand the complexity of the English language. To kick-start her lesson plan, she holds a mini scavenger hunt for some words to get them familiar with the skills. As the lessons progress, her wall fills with words and the students’ related discoveries.

A.J. Ferrell Middle School

Mr. Simon, a technology teacher, has just started creating a motivational wall for his students. Using the Cutout Maker he created the title “Mr. Simon’s Stars,” and based on student’s work, he’ll be selecting his star students. Their photos will be placed inside a star frame that will also be created on the Cutout Maker.

Ms. Cobb has used the Awards Maker to create plaques. A.J. Ferrell Middle School recently had a breakfast for the students who received the Principal’s Honor Roll. Each student received a certificate and plaque for their accomplishments.

Ms. Cobb also created plaques as a way to show her appreciation for the school’s international partners. On a trip abroad, she hand delivered a plaque to Beijing 101 Middle School! A.J. Ferrell Middle School often creates a plaque for special guests of the school too. It is a quick and easy way to show their appreciation.

On my way out, I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Sykes, the new principal. To herald his arrival to the A.J. Ferrell Middle School community, the staff created banners and posters to welcome him to the school.