NEC ShowCase Round Up

AndersDK revealed a small box with connectors, but hid it away quickly when we raised our camera. It turned out that the device was a new media player that is based on the latest Raspberry Pi system. The company has worked hard to include special features such as a “reset to factory” button. The new “Tiny Green” PC will be sold from the end of Q3 at around £300 ($450).

Datapath of the UK was showing its latest dedicated video wall controller which was running with a new input card that the firm has developed that supports UltraHD resolution capture at up to 60Hz. The firm believes that it is the first to reach this level of resolution and input to the card is just by DisplayPort.

DisplayNote supports 4 devicesDisplayNote supports 4 devicesDisplayNote was showing the latest version of its software. A new feature is the option of supporting direct client to client connections (e.g. iPad to iPad) rather than having to connect everything to a server system. The new DisplayNote standard version also supports iPad mirroring, but staff told us that the NEC version has this feature disabled.

Extron was showing its latest wired and wireless meeting room control system. The latest version of the company’s “show me” button technology are now available on cables that are retractable for board rooms. The firm was also highlighting how its display controller could support up to four independent sources (from PCs, notebooks or mobile devices) on a single display. The company told us that it is continuing to see a boost in HDBaseT adoption, although there remain issues of compatibility. Staff also highlighted that “not all cables are equal” and that care in choosing cables could make a big difference in ensuring system reliability.

Hiperwall, which makes software for video walls, told us that it didn’t have anything new, but then decided that it had a new fault tolerant version – there should be more details at Infocomm. There are also facilities to allow collaboration between users of different video walls. We asked about the reason for the need for a full PC at each display (as there are other systems based on lighter hardware). Hiperwall then showed us some of the advanced features of the software that need a lot of power. Features include realtime colour correction and full support of remote KVM operation.

Matrox is one of those companies that is in a lot of places, even though users may not be aware of it. The company was in “pretty well every room” with its Maevex systems and TripleHead2Go products (including one driving three NEC 27″ UltraHD monitors at 60Hz in the corporate zone). As with a number of companies, there will be “big news at Infocomm”. (My money is on UltraHD streaming – Man. Ed.)

Parity Mobile airport displayParity mobile airport displayWe wrote about Parity in our report on the Passenger Terminal Expo (NEC and Parity Climb to New Heights). We had a demonstration of some of the features of the mobile display for airports which will be rolled out shortly at Heathrow. The displays, which use NEC’s P553 with an OPS PC, can run for 30 hours and take 18 hours to charge. Charge levels can be checked using a phone/tablet app (a smartwatch version is underdevelopment) and Parity opened up the system to show us the big medical batteries used. We weren’t allowed to take a picture of the internals, though!

We were given a demonstration of how the display can be lowered down into the stand for storage and transit. Although the display could be moved by just one person, the handle is really designed for use by two people. Heathrow Airport has developed a CMS for the mobile displays so that their location can be tracked and so that content can be pushed to the displays from the centre.

Most of what was new from Peerless AV at the show had already been reported by us in our ISE report. However, the range of mobile display stands that it introduced has now been extended to support up to 98″ displays (from 65″ in Amsterdam) and the design has been changed to make it easier for users to get close, facilitating touch control. Watch out for a big deal from Peerless with Daytona Raceways at Infocomm.

We bumped into PSCo‘s CEO, Stuart Holmes and got an update on the acquisition by Midwich. PSCo will continue to operate from its Reading base and under the PSCo name and will promote its LED business which has developed very strongly in sales as well as rental. Holmes told us that he is very positive about the deal and sees some great opportunities to expand into Europe with help from the Midwich companies (Kern & Stelly in Germany and Sidev in France)

UTouch was less well represented than last time, as far as we could see. The company was showing a touch-enabled “coffee table” showing how it could be used as a feature in public spaces such as reception areas. The firm can also supply higher tables for access by users seated on chairs or bar stools.

UTouch coffee table with touch