ISE 2016 overview
Much as expected, ISE 2016 offered advances in the key display technologies of laser projection, indoor LED and high bright LCD, but the interesting thing is that vendor specialisations of old are breaking down. Resellers who choose to can now buy all of these technologies from a single vendor. The days of buying projectors from Vendor A, direct LED displays from Vendor B and so on could be over, which possibly providing advantages for projects which call for colour matching across a range of display technologies.
NEC Display Solutions# ISE booth made a real feature of showing colour matched displays along a whole wall of their booth. Displays on show included: the new flagship PX803UL projector; video wall displays; modular video walls created with X555UNS and UN551S unis that are almost bezel-free (and offer precise colour reproduction); and the new 1.5mm fine pitch LED displays.. These form part of a broader LED portfolio for indoor and outdoor applications, and were shown colour matched with the LCD displays – a real world challenge in mixed estates in applications, like retail.
An exhibition with 1003 exhibitors is difficult to summarise in a few pages but we have tried to pick out the most significant announcements and themes in each of the major product categories.
Last year, we noted the first signs of a major comeback for front projection. The impact of laser projection has yet to be fully recognised in unit shipments, but this is sure to change following the announcements this year of some very significant products in the category by leading manufacturers.
Futuresource expected Solid State Illumination (SSI) to dominate front projection at this year’s ISE and they weren’t disappointed. The spectrum of laser-phosphor solutions is expected to broaden with the release of ever-lower and brighter models from a wider range of brands. Laser-phosphor sales to the installation and large venue segment increased 410% in 2015 and now attributes to over 6% of the market.
Adoption of SSI in more mainstream applications has been hindered by a lack of adequate solutions priced for this cost-conscious market. ISE saw the release of more laser-phosphor Ultra Short Throw (UST) solutions targeted at education from key players in the volume space.
In a parallel SSI development, Philips’ developments of its ColorSpark technology was the subject of discussion at the show. ColorSpark, also known as High Lumen Density (HLD) LED technology, is said to enable 3000 ANSI Lumen LED projectors with premium quality colour. ColorSpark converts the output from blue LEDs to green light with a very high lumens/mm². While the key phosphor conversion technology is (currently) used only in the green, Philips is developing a similar solution for red and blue LEDs.
Philips has demonstrated a projector using ColorSpark technology. The projector was hand-built in Eindhoven but Philips has no plans to re-enter the projector business. Other models have been shown from Hitachi and Coretronic, but not operating, as far as we know. By the time of the net InfoComm in June, Philips says that these will be shown operating, along with an Optoma branded model.
Philips says that the best ColorSpark has achieved to date is 2722 Lumens. By 2018 the development roadmap shows the technology achieving about 5000 lumens. Most of these developments came too late for ISE, but will offer an interesting alternative to laser phosphor in the longer term.
Also relevant to the base technology of projection, TI’s presence in the next door room to the AV News Business Lounge, in the RAI’s Elicium building, gave us an easy opportunity to check out demos of the company’s new 4K Home Cinema chip. The researchers believe that this has the potential to disrupt current resolution dynamics – across both B2C and B2B applications.
Control and collaboration
Outside of the debate over projection light sources, app control is not entirely new to projection. Futuresource forecast that more vendors would be heavily promoting app control capability at the show – prompted by the rising trend of BYOD, in both corporate and education environments.
We saw a welter of developments in technologies, loosely described as presentation gateways, which added BYOD collaboration capabilities to display devices. Collaborative meeting and teaching solutions have become a core focus of ISE over the last couple of years, with developments in interactive displays, wireless presentation and video conferencing driven by growing awareness and the declining costs of these technologies.
Central to the development of the collaborative workspaces has been the rise of the mobile device, with tablet and smartphone products increasingly relied upon as a content source in the meeting room and to access unified communications tools beyond it. In response to this, vendors from a variety of AV backgrounds introduced wireless presentation systems which allow multiple devices to connect to meeting or classroom displays and share content. In addition to screen sharing, these devices are seeking to integrate content annotation and capture, providing a similar experience to collaboration tools seen in the web conferencing industry.
The landscape for commercial displays has changed rapidly in recent years as vendors look to integrate emerging technologies and diversify product portfolios to service varied vertical requirements. Interactivity has been one such area, benefiting from demand in presentation environments but perhaps the largest shift has come from the integration of System on Chip (SoC) technology.
Much of the early drive behind this integration came from the industry targeting more basic signage applications where simplicity was paramount. Whilst this is still true, some vendors are increasingly moving toward fully integrated SoC line-ups with some evidence of usage in major projects.
Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display technology received significant attention in the consumer space at CES early in the year as TV vendors began to launch large screen versions. The current cost premium is still far too prohibitive for most B2B applications, but Futuresource predicted the presence of a few models on the show floor at ISE.
Both Samsung and LG stepped up to the plate. Samsung’s showed s a 4×4 arrangement of OLED panels that will stitch together a large image. These units were actually Samsung’s own transparent mirror displays seen elsewhere in a display cabinet configuration. LG’s OLED displays were used in a large, curving video wall. Double-sided panels were shown curved into a wave shape.
High Dynamic Range (HDR) was another talking point of ISE with the TV industry highlighting its intentions for adoption at CES. 1000 plus nits of brightness is likely to be the minimum specification for HDR screens. Futuresource says that this development is likely to impact cost and product availability for commercial solutions, designed for use in semi outdoor and high ambient light environments.
4K and beyond
Resolution is becoming subject to its own peculiar form of Moore’s Law. With every passing of every ISE marking the introduction of higher resolution standards. Yes, 4K was important at this year’s ISE but there was no shortage of exhibits featuring 6K, 8K and, for all we know, beyond. Opportunities in the B2B space are incredibly interesting for display vendors. 2014 saw the introduction of 84” solutions from the majority of major players with a 98” product expanding ranges during 2015. 2016 is expected to see a similar trend for 70”-75” products
Presentation spaces are particularly interesting applications for large 4K displays. The futureproofing benefits of 4K and products ability to support multiple 1080p content feeds, on a single screen, are currently driving demand. In signage environments, 4K also has a role with 802 plus screens being used to replace small matrix tilled videowalls as price parity between the two solutions is closer.
That’s not to say tiled technologies are in decline, quite the opposite is true with both LED and LCD products a major focus of the show. Big screen solutions are becoming increasingly viable across a range of applications with exciting developments including the heavy price erosion of narrow pixel pitch LED variants and the introduction of extreme narrow bezel (ENB) LCD solutions.
Laser projection at ISE 2016
This is the year where laser projection will come of age, with significant new offerings from just about every major manufacturer. Here is a summary of some of the key product introductions at in the category at ISE 2016.
Panasonic used ISE 2016 to launch the 28,000 lumens PT-RZ31K, the company’s first 3-Chip DLP SOLID SHINE laser phosphor projector series, designed for large venue applications. The projectors will be available from autumn 2016 in both WUXGA and SXGA+, each outputting 28,000 centre lumens. They are said to offer continuous maintenance-free operation, low total cost of ownership, small cabinet and stunning picture quality. A new liquid cooling system also contributes to reliability and quiet operation.
The range is compatible with existing Panasonic lenses for 3-Chip DLPTM projectors, allowing operators to share lenses between projectors in their inventories. Hartmut Kulessa, European Projector Marketing Manager at Panasonic, said:
“We think the RZ31K can virtually eliminate the concept of hot-back up. This is sure to go down well with event production teams, as projections stacks will become smaller and less complicated than in the past, saving time and money.
“For fixed installations, it will fuel the trend for permanent 3D mapping installations. Many customers would like to create permanent mapping installations, but with the constant requirement to change lamps and maintain the projectors, budget is often a concern. The RZ31K combines the concept of no-maintenance and low operating costs, with the high brightness which is required in large venue installations.”
The projectors boast a suite of image enhancement technologies designed to provide immersive picture quality, including a 120 Hz Real Motion Processor for fluid action sequences; 20:000:1 contrast; Detail Clarity Processor 5 for fine details; and System Daylight View 3 for enhanced colour and brightness in mapping applications.
The RZ31K series offers 360-degree installation, DIGITAL LINK single-cable transmission of video and control signals over long distances, a backup input setting, as well as edge blending, colour matching, brightness and colour control with geometric adjustment functions for blending multiple projectors.
As a single chip installation alternative, Barco launched the F90 series DLP laser phosphor projectors. The projectors offer up to 13,000 lumens brightness and long lifetime with reduced total cost of ownership. The two models launched at ISE offer 4K UHD and WUXGA native resolution. The WUXGA F90-W13 will be shipping from early Q3 2016 onwards, and the 4K UHD F90-4K13 will be commercially available from Q4 2016.
Designed for installation in boardrooms, auditoriums, and visitor attractions such as museums and planetariums, the rugged F90 projectors are described as equally suited for concerts and events. Thanks to their motion platform compatibility and 3D functionality, they’re said to offer a perfect match for theme park dark rides and interactive experiences.
The solid-state Barco laser light engine allows the projectors to run in any orientation. This gives system designers extended flexibility in projector location and orientation for complex setups, demanding applications, and blends. The F90-4K13 delivers images at 4K UHD resolution – projecting over 8 million pixels on screen – with a high level of detail, and highly saturated colours that meet the Rec. 709 colour space.
Christie offering uprated
Barco rivals Christie also had a new single chip laser phosphor launch, the Christie HS Series. Initially described as a 12,000 lumen projector, Christie announced, as ISE opened, that early testing had prompted the company to re-evaluate at 13,000 lumens. Either way, the new models feature ‘BoldColor Technology’ for richer, more vivid colours, and a 3X colour wheel speed. The Christie D12HD-HS and Christie D12WU-HS respectively deliver HD and WUXGA resolution in a compact chassis, said to be the quietest 10,000+ lumens laser phosphor projector on the market.
Christie has spent considerable development resources on aggressing the colour balance issues associated with single chip laser phosphor. projectors. Perfect for those needing bright and rich images including rental stagers, corporations, hotels, public spaces, and entertainment venues, the Christie HS Series is capable of 360-degree orientation and portrait mode with colour matching and advanced blending, warping and stacking software built in, making it extremely flexible. The HS Series also offers a full (six) lens suite covering 0.84:1 up to 7.2:1, 3GSDI and DVI-D loop through connections so signals can be daisy chained without external boxes.
“Christie is excited to be offering the world’s brightest 1DLP laser phosphor projector,” said Curtis Lingard, product manager, Christie. “eaturing Christie BoldColor Technology, we are able to achieve colours never seen before on a 1DLP projector. The silent and low-profile design allows the HS Series projectors to work unnoticed while everyone’s attention is exactly where you want it – on the stunning images.”
Sony broadens laser options
Further down the brightness spectrum, Sony broadened its line of laser light source (Z-Phosphor) projectors in the mid-brightness range with two new models at 5,000 and 6,000 lumens. The new models are the VPL-FWZ65 (6,000lm WXGA) and the VPL-FWZ60 (5,000lm WXGA), complementing the current WUXGA laser range with the recently announced VPL-FHZ57 (4,100lm).
Designed for commercial applications in a variety of environments, including education, corporate, large venue, and entertainment, these laser projectors are designed for 20,000 hours of maintenance free operation. Features, such as Auto Dimming and Auto Brightness, reduce the total lifetime ownership costs compared to projectors with a conventional lamp source.
Sony’s newest lens option is the VPLL-3003 ultra-short throw lens, the world’s first interchangeable ultra-short throw lens for 3LCD projectors. This lens offers sharp focus and minimized picture distortion due to a large mirror system, and easy adjustment of lens shift and focus via remote control. Its 0.33:1 throw ratio allows it to be used in tight spaces.
Panasonic’s 28,000 lumens PT-RZ31K – the company’s first 3-Chip DLP SOLID SHINE laser projector.
Indoor LED at ISE 2016
Direct LED for indoor applications is an increasingly mainstream technology, with pressure from users for ever finer pixel pitches. At ISE, Common Cathode LED manufacturer SiliconCore led the charge, showcasing the smallest LED pixel pitch display that we could find – a 0.95mm prototype.
SiliconCore’s 0.95mm LED prototype offered the benefits of very fine pixel pitch displays to applications requiring extremely close proximity viewing. The display featured superb contrast ratio and grey scale qualities, with the ability to achieve 2000 nits in brightness. 4K resolution is achieved at 165” diagonal and optimum viewing can be experienced at less than one meter.
This advancement in pixel pitch, contrast ratio and brightness has been achieved due to SiliconCore’s Common Cathode driver architecture. The Common Cathode method reduces the heat output of displays for lower power consumption, a longer lifespan of over 100,000 hours – and removes the need for additional cooling.
Eric Li, President and CEO of SiliconCore explained:
“Our unique and patented Common Cathode architecture has made this innovation possible, negating the need for an external ballast resistor on the Red LED so that tighter formations can be created. We are very excited about the numerous applications for this technology within the corporate, command and control, visualization and financial sectors. At 0.95mm, even the smallest details are visible, so that large data sets can be viewed with the highest degree of precision.”
Over the last couple of years, Absen has proved to match its relabel technology with a support and maintenance infrastructure that suits the European market. Absen has introduced new products including the new A1.2 UHD product, the indoor display A2 Pro for rental staging market, that adopts Absen’s 3rd generation calibration technology, the weather proof display X5 for rental applications, and the upcoming N4 indoor champion N4. Absen showcased for retail, sports and rental industries, further illustrating design concepts and uses of these products.
Further indoor applications were on show at the Christie booth. The company launched its Christie Velvet Apex Series of LED tiles featuring 1.2 and 1.6 millimetre pixel pitches. Part of the Christie Velvet family, Apex Series is designed for 24/7 critical viewing applications including command and control rooms, and high security surveillance monitoring. Apex Series’ high impact visuals are also suitable for corporate lobbies, museums, large-scale experiences, as well as an indoor advertising and high-end retail applications.
Continuing the Velvet design that offers the highest image quality and premium performance, the Apex Series offers increased flexibility with a new slim design, 100% front-serviceability, 16 x 9 aspect ratio, native HD and UHD resolutions, micro adjustments, and more.
Coming next month:
Collaboration and Meeting Room Solutions at ISE 2016
Collaboration was very much the topic of ISE 2016, both at the meeting room and the enterprise levels. The April 2016 issue of AV News will feature a comprehensive report on collaborative technologies.
Kramer Electronics introduced the Kramer Network enterprise management platform for AV over IP solutions at ISE 2016. This new solution enables the routing, management and control of standard AV and AV over IP systems. Kramer has taken an active approach and developed the Kramer Network. The Kramer Network is a bridge between the traditional AV world and the evolving AV over IP world. It is one platform that can manage everything. Since the Kramer Network deploys on a standard Microsoft Windows platform, there’s minimal Total Cost of Ownership. There is no programming necessary and anyone can be up and running quickly with the Kramer Network.
Kramer Network enterprise management platform for AV over IP solutions.
NEC Display Solutions Europe expanded its portfolio of high brightness displays with the launch of a 75-inch display designed for areas with high levels of ambient light. The X754HB large format display offers a reliable and consistent solution for environments where lighting conditions are changeable but the information on the display always needs to be visible; whether a menu or information board, where detail is important, or for images that add to the retail experience, where colour is key. The 75-inch display intelligently adapts to its surroundings, using an integrated ambient light sensor. During the day, the display provides a bright, clear image regardless of the lighting conditions; at night, it dims, reducing power consumption and creating cost-efficiencies for the organisation whilst maintaining perfect readability. With a display size of more than 190 centimetres, the X754HB matches the industry demand for life-size signage applications that effectively operate in these demanding environments. The display also offers flexibility as it delivers a clear visual experience wherever the viewer is standing. Thanks to the integration of a quarter-lambda filter, viewers still enjoy full visibility while wearing polarized sunglasses. The experience is also enhanced as the direct LED backlight provides significantly better contrast ratios with deeper blacks and better colours, and is protected against overheating and the risk of black spots on the panel surface. In order to ensure a smooth integration into retail or advertising environments the X754HB comes with a built-in OPS (Open Pluggable Specification) option slot.
NEC Display Solutions Europe expanded its portfolio of high brightness displays with the launch of a 75-inch unit.
AV Stumpfl showed an 8K version of the Wings Engine Raw. The upgraded ultra-high-performance the media server now delivers four streams of full 4K uncompressed content at 60hz plus media overlays, with text generation and show control on top. It is said to be ideal for media-based installations requiring high-resolution content such as themed attractions, cinematic presentation, theatres, live events or even planetariums. Users can utilise a single Wings Engine Raw server to manage content over a virtually unlimited amount of LED screens or to drive a 4 by 4K projection system with soft edge blending, mapping and geometry correction. Alternatively, the Wings Engine Raw can be used to blend or overlay multiple parallel HD, 4K, 5K or even 6K streams in real-time. Show start and control is frame accurate and without any delay. Wings Engine Raw uses a custom engineered RAID 10 system. Content includes native picture sequences such as TGA or TIFF and instant PNG image format processing. The system processes and delivers video content at full 4:4:4 colour sampling, and hosts the WingsRX render core engine that has a 64-bit program architecture and uses SSE CPU instructions to speed up content processing. The system is accompanied by AV Stumpfl’s embedded operating system, Backup-Manager, that features a dedicated EDID management and automatic camera-based calibration system for soft-edge blending, warp, and geometry mapping, all operable by time line or cue based control.
AV Stumpfl showed an 8K version of the Wings Engine Raw.
wePresent introduced its latest addition to its range of wireless presentation gateways, the WiPG-1600, especially suited for use in classrooms. The most cost-effective model still offers all the functionality educational environments require and more, such as support for up to 64 concurrent users, teacher / moderator control, wireless multi-touch control for touch displays and interactive whiteboards, plus plug-and-play installation. Dick de Vaal, European agent of wePresent at P2M explains: “It is a true BYOD-enabled classroom technology solution. Compatible with PC, Mac, iOS, and Android, wePresent allows students to give interactive presentations, collaborate, or participate in classroom discussions from their own computer, tablet or mobile device. Compatibility with all existing interactive whiteboards ensures existing investments and infrastructure can be preserved.”
wePresent introduced its latest addition to its range of wireless presentation gateways, the WiPG-1600.
Peerless-AV unveiled a new generation of its PeerAir Pro Wireless AV System at ISE 2016. With four inputs and the ability to multicast to up to six displays, Peerless-AV’s enhanced wireless kit streams full HD and passive 3D signals up to an extended 64m (210ft) to any HDTV, projector or display. “Our Emerging Technology solutions are really taking off and we’re seeing exciting opportunities in new markets and territories,” commented Gordon Dutch, Managing Director, Peerless-AV. “Our next generation wireless kit is a real problem-solving Plug and Play tool for installers allowing wireless streaming of HD content in applications where running cables is not an option.” The third generation Wireless Multimedia Kit has been upgraded with numerous features to assist installers and integrators with a quick and easy set up in homes, conference rooms, training rooms, schools, digital signage, bars, restaurants, trade shows, places of worship and multi-room installations to name just a few. The new system offers the furthest wireless distance of any Wi-Fi-based device – 64m (210ft) – vastly improving the versatility by making it possible to penetrate multiple walls, floors, and ceilings for complete coverage. The PeerAir Pro Wireless AV System can multicast full HD 1080p wirelessly to up to six displays in addition to a seventh wired display using a pass-thru port on the transmitter.
With four inputs and the ability to multicast to up to six displays, Peerless-AV’s enhanced wireless kit.
Toshiba Europe GmbH has tripled its partner base in the last 12 months while quadrupling its revenue. Having already established relationships with around 200 system integrators and specialised VAR distributors across Europe so far, the aim is to grow that network by a further 50% during 2016 with the emphasis on long term, strategic relationships. With new additions to its product range at the end of 2015 including the TD-U and TD-E2 Series and new announcements at ISE, Toshiba plans continued expansion into new areas within this year to further broaden the choice offered to customers. Toshiba showcased additional options to its TD-E1 series with an integrated touchscreen for greater interactivity and coloured bezels to seamlessly fit into any environment. Boasting a Full HD resolution, 16/7 operation and a 178° viewing angle, the TD-E1 ensures that messages always have maximum impact. The TD-E1 and newly announced TD-E2 Series will be joined by the TD-Z Series – a collection of rugged, 24/7 displays built for continuous use. Sturdy, reliable and flexible, the TD-Z comes with centralised control via RS-232 or LAN connections providing an excellent range of usability. Toshiba’s 24/7 options extend to the TD-U series, showcased for the first time at ISE 2016, which comes with an integrated touchscreen overlay. This additional extra allows users to display interactive content that encourages engagement such as in corporate meeting rooms, public display areas or education environments.
Vivitek announced the NovoDS, an affordable and easy-to-manage digital signage solution. Described as deal for creating dynamic visual displays for a corporate or public area, the digital signage content can incorporate text, photos, audio, video, and Web content, in fully customizable configurations for a variety of settings. Versatile and flexible, the applications for the NovoDS range from corporate events and commercial spaces to educational facilities and public installations that need a quick and easy digital signage solution. Designed for maximum convenience, the NovoDS is 4k2k-ready for the next generation of high-resolution displays, making it a cost-effective ultra-high-definition solution. Easy to set up and use, the NovoDS offers the convenience of content refresh over both the network and SD card. IT Managers will appreciate the NovoDS, thanks to it being easy to manage over a network. Despite it supporting large-scale deployments, both private and public sector organisations will appreciate it for being both affordable and highly cost-effective. “Vivitek is committed to responding to the growing and ever changing demands for digital signage solutions. That’s why with the NovoDS, we have set a new benchmark in its class for performance, ease of use and value for money. It presents private and public sector organisations with a compelling offering that meets their need for a powerful, ultra-high-definition digital signage solution that can be install quickly and maintained easily,” stated Holger Graeff, Vivitek’s General Manager EMEA.
Holger Graeff, Vivitek’s General Manager EMEA: “With NovoDS we have set a new benchmark in its class for performance, ease of use and value for money”.
tvONE introduced two new product offerings: the 1T-MV-8474 4K Multiviewer and the 1T-CL-322-EU Control Panel at ISE. The 1T-MV-8474 4K Multiviewer, the latest product in its range of 4K enabled products, can display up to four video windows simultaneously via sixteen different fixed layouts, which can be recalled to present content in a variety of combinations. This could vary from a straight forward quad split, picture-In-picture, triple, side-By-side, full screen or something more complex with multiple layers. The 1T-MV-8474 is an extremely flexible Multiviewer and a very capable Presentation Switcher making it a good fit for many different user applications. It has seven inputs – 4x HDMI, 2x DisplayPort, 1x VGA/YPbPr supporting resolutions up to 3840×2160@30 on HDMI and 3840×2160@60 via DisplayPort. It is complimented by seven independent stereo analogue inputs which can be assigned and embedded into any of the video streams. It also offers a single scaled HDMI output capable of supporting resolutions up to 3840×2160@30. The 1T-CL-322-EU Control Panel is an easy to use cost effective Ethernet based solution for system automation and remote control. It is designed to be highly flexible but simple to install for both experienced system integrators and the smart home user. The control panel consists of 15 LED backlit buttons, each programmable for either a single function or for recalling a sequence of commands in a macro. Each macro can be executed with a single button push, recalling up to 16 of the 128 stored commands, allowing the user to create and easily recall complex scenes or presets.