The Long and Short of ISE

2/3/2010 10:04:26 PM

The ISE show in Amsterdam this week, (Feb. 2-4), opened Tuesday with more activity on the show floor than I’ve seen in a while, and more what we Americans call buzz. But at ISE this week, with attendance at 20,000 plus (keeping the “InfoComm/CEDIA of Europe” on path for the most impressive growth of any trade show I’ve seen) what was noticeable to this yank, was the lack of buzz about 3D.

It’s not news, is it, to report on things not creating buzz at a trade event? Well, no, but given all the hype, and genuine product development surrounding 3D at InfoComm last summer, CEDIA last September, and at CES last month, it was kind of refreshing to not hear yet again how we’d all soon be watching 60 Minutes, golf, Sitcoms, every feature film released, and Excel spreadsheets in all the 3D splendor nature intended.

3D is important, down right cool, and could save Hollywood studios, but there was not a lot of it causing media frenzy at ISE this week. Yes, the usual suspects had demos: all the major projector and flat panel makers, but one just didn’t get the sense that this was the focus of the market.  Yes, there was some news–well not hard news– but some interesting developments, and talk. LG was hinting at a “glasses-less” 3D flat panel experience.

What was the buzz?

The same Korean giant, LG, was said to be readying OLED displays (on the heels of LG having recently acquired all the OLED intellectual property from Kodak).

Mitsubishi showed a much larger size OLED screen than Sony has done to date… and while not a shipping product, it featured all the wow of OLED: the appearance of mega-resolution that you get when you have such high contrast ratio (I’ve forgotten the spec, something like a squillion: one. Skeptics say all that contrast ratio, the human eye can not discern; but that’s not the point: OLED, with the highest contrast ration of any display technology, has the effect of seeming to be higher resolution that it is. A 2K OLED panel looks like 8K to my eye. That’s why people love it.

Runco, following up on its runaway success at CEDIA last fall when it showed its movie-friendly LED-light engine DLP projector, again teased the market at ISE with this: they seem to be the only projector manufacturer that has the key to making LED-based DLP projectors put up pleasing skin tones (and not blowing out the contrast and saturation). As a light source, LED phosphors create a huge color space. The plotted color space triangle is much larger than that of a projector that uses a lamp. This is why a lot of demos at trade shows of LED-Based DLP projectors are showing only animated feature clips (filmed action sometimes features actors whose skin looks like it’s about to burst into flames in some of these LED/DLP demos). Few have really gone to the trouble to “EQ” the LED color space for projection, to bring squeeze in those dicy outer edges of the color space triangle. Runco has.

ISE saw the debut of Prysm’s new LPD display technology. ISE this week served as one of Prysm’s last testings of the marketing waters as they ready the pricing structure (not announced this week) for the product launch in March. Prysm recently announced its entry into the commercial AV market with its new technology, Laser Phosphor Display (LPD). It’s a laser-scanning, emissive display panel technology that features very low power consumption, among other features new to the AV market. And, importantly, Dana Corey, and Steve Scorse (both formerly of course with Barco), are bringing it to market. ISE was the first public showing, before the March product rollout.

Always look to Norwegian projector manufacturer projectiondesign to roll out projector Porsches while a lot of companies crank out Chevy rental cars in the market share wars. projectiondesign  debuted its latest innovation in projection technology with the ISE preview of the iFR12 Remote Light Source projector. The FR12 Remote Light Source (RLS) concept relocates the lamps away from the projector to a rack-mount enclosure up to 30m away from the projector head. Intriguing. Heat issues, noise issues, gone.

Christie introduced its new MicroTiles to the European market at ISE in Amsterdam.
From a product development perspective, the new MicroTile is important because it represented the first real introduction, last fall, of a product for the commercial AV market that features a “lampless” projector. The Christie MicroTiles are video cubes that each use a LED phosphor light engine, in place of a conventional lamp. (The video wall is back!)

Barco filled a hole in the market, this week, with the launch of the RLM-W6. The RLM-W6 is a three-chip DLP projector with a WUXGA (1920x1200) resolution. Lower price point than a lot of 3-chip; extremely low noise level of 32dB, a power consumption 33% lower than most competitors. More fuel for the WUXGA, a while back a red-headed step child to 1080P, but always high on the demand list in schools and boardrooms.


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