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Cool Sightings at NAB2012

Wow! What a week, hard to believe it’s over already.

Judging by the traffic at the show this year you would think the recession was over; we heard the total number was over 90,000 attendees!

I did have some time to get away from the booth to go out in search of Cool stuff and if you read the post on Monday “Has Virtual’s Time Arrived” you heard all about the Virtual Companies that were in attendance, except for one I missed which was Ross (they were over in North Hall) they have developed a partnership with Unreel to offer an add on Virtual system to their XPression package.

In addition to Virtual Systems I was also on the lookout for Cool Display Technologies that we can incorporate into our set designs.

3 D which was the BIG thing last year was very low key this year, but what we did find were several LED options that come in a variety of sizes allowing you to create unique patterns besides the standard 16:9 images offered by Monitors.

First up Christie Digital’s Micro Tiles-

Leveraging the strengths of both rear projection and Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology, Christie®MicroTiles® offer substantially brighter images and a much wider color palette than conventional LCD and plasma displays. With no practical limit to the number of tiles in a display, Christie MicroTiles produce a virtually seamless canvas with an unlimited number of super-fine pixels.

I was able to work up close with the Micro Tiles again this year as we helped Christie with the Concept for the Micro Tiles Display as well as the Studio lighting.

My first concern when lighting the space was that since they were also introducing their New Touch Screen Technology that the lighting would wash out the video or cause glare like it often does when using standard monitors, I am happy to say that neither of these were an issue as the Micro Tiles were plenty bright at 80% intensity and there was no glare from the matte finish screens. Also of note the studio lighting did not affect the IR Touchscreen Technology.

Also even though the Micro Tiles have excellent Color Temperature adjustments I chose to light the booth with DeSisti’s 40 watt Magis LED fixtures with Daylight lamps, this allowed them to not have to adjust the display to 3200K and warm skew the display to the attendee’s eyes.

Next up we went looking for LED screen panels, there were several companies showcasing their wares at NAB this year and I believe that they were all China based companies.

With these screens the resolution is determined by the Pixel Pitch and the tightest we found was from Leyard with a 2.5 product, everyone else had a Pixel Pitch somewhere around 4.0.

In filming each product with my iPhone the 4.0 felt like they would work for most applications but there was quite a bit of moreying so I would still like to get one in a studio and see it under those conditions before signing off on it.

The 2.5 would definitely work but it is about three times the price of the 4.0 products and probably outside the realm of most Stations budgets.

NABCoolSight1 NABCoolSight2 NABCoolSight3 NABCoolSight4

We also saw most of the Display Technology we have been using lately the 55” zero bezel LCD Monitors, I know of at least 3 companies producing monitors using this same Glass, NEC, Samsung and Christie and there may be others.

Christie was the only company I found that showcased their monitors although the others were easy to find as they were being used as Digital signage in many of the booths on the floor.

Again a funny side note just a year ago Stations were happy with Multi Screen Display walls made up of Monitors with 1” Bezels then the Super Narrow Bezels came out at approx 3.6 mm and now the Ultra Narrow Bezels are 1.8 mm the Micro Tiles are even tighter as are the 2.5 Pitch LED screens.

Once you see the Narrower Bezel you just have to have it, fortunately the Micro Tiles have dropped in price about 25% over last year which still makes them about 2.5 times the cost of the Ultra Narrow Bezel monitors and on par with the 4.0 Pitch LED Screens.

The decision will need to be based on look but also you might consider ROI as the LED products should have a much longer life, Christie says the Micro Tiles will have a lamp life of over 60,000 hours at an average of 10 hours per day, they should last somewhere between 15 and 20 years.

What did you see at NAB that you think you just can’t live without?

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