InfoComm 2002 Overview: Sony Showcases far-reaching Network Display Solutions at InfoComm Expo

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[InfoComm 2002] Integrated AV/IT Tools Display Rich Media; Enable Customers To Create, Connect and Communicate Over IP Networks.

Sony Electronics today presented a comprehensive new line-up of network-enabled projectors, plasma displays, a so-called “network player” and video cameras, enabling customers to deliver rich media content over Internet Protocol-based networks. The company also unveiled new portable projectors to complete its featured presentations.

“By integrating the audio-visual world with industry-standard information technologies, we’re offering customers seamless solutions to create a presentation, connect with their audience and communicate their message,” said Jay Dellostretto, vice president and general manager for the Display Systems Division of Sony Electronics’ Business Solutions and Systems Company, echoing the company’s theme at the show.

NETWORK-READY PRODUCTS

Network-Ready Projectors Showcase Versatility

Sony’s SuperSmart™ networkable projectors, which include the VPL-FE110, VPL-FX50 and VPL-PX15 models, are IP-addressable and feature improved firmware. They enable wired or wireless connection and full Internet browsing capabilities. The projectors boast a robust set of industry standards and protocols including TCP/IP, Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), 10 Base-T/100 Base-T Ethernet Network Interface Card, and a PCMCIA Type II slot for IEEE 802.11b wireless network connection.

“Now, the executive who requires a last-minute change to his PowerPoint® presentation can ask his assistant to update and send the new version directly to the projector, which displays the information in seconds,” Dellostretto said.

The projectors now include a Windows® 3.0 CE board with a 400 MHz processor and 64MB of on-board storage and additional 64MB of file storage. In addition to showing PowerPoint® presentations, Excel® spreadsheets and Microsoft Word® documents, the projectors can now display and store file formats such as JPEG and GIF images.

Another new feature is the addition of Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) client software, an industry first, which enables anything displayed on the screen of a computer desktop – including CAD files, MPEG movies and custom-designed programs – to be sent to the projector over the network and displayed.

Also, by incorporating Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) messaging capabilities, the projectors can be programmed to e-mail, page, or send a text page to a cell phone to alert a technician of routine or emergency maintenance.

Plasma Picture Enlarged with New Screen Size

Today, Sony also displayed its largest plasma to date, a 50-inch (viewable area, measured diagonally) PFM-50C1 PlasmaPro™ monitor.

Incorporating a stylish design and slim cabinetry of just 3.9-inches, Sony’s new unit features a high-resolution panel with 1365 x 768 pixels, high-contrast ratio, a built-in scan converter for optimal image display, and HDTV and UXGA computer signal support. The device also includes a digital amplifier for clear audio reproduction, 3:2 pulldown for natural reproduction of film-originated material, and optional Network Adaptor with built-in Windows CE 3.0 operating system and web browser for wireless connectivity. When paired with a DTV receiver or HD deck, it can display high-definition programming and source material.

In addition, Sony has upgraded its 42-inch (viewable area, measured diagonally) model. The PFM-42B2 PlasmaPro Display features 1024 x 1024 resolution and now includes such enhancements as a new panel with increased brightness and a higher contrast ratio.

Both displays offer networking with optional plug-in Ethernet card and optional 802.11b wireless networking. Sony’s PFM-50C1 PlasmaPro monitors will be available in June for a suggested list price of $12,499, while the PFM-42B2 model will be available later this summer, suggested list price to be announced.

IP-Enabled Player for Customized Rich Multimedia Delivery

To further illustrate AV/IT convergence, Sony also introduced the NSP-100 Network Player, a cost-effective content delivery solution for sending dynamic multimedia to single or multiple locations over local- or wide-area networks. Replacing the need to duplicate and distribute VHS tapes, this lightweight and portable new network player receives audio, video, text and graphics as files over IP networks and plays high-quality, customized multimedia presentations when connected to display devices including PlasmaPro monitors.

The Network Player features a 40GB hard disk drive offering 9 hours of storage at 8Mbps (18 hours of storage at 4Mbps). It displays high-quality MPEG-2 encoded video at bit rates of up to 9Mbps, as well as full-color bitmap (up to 24-bit RGB) images and scrollable text. The associated BZNP-100 Network Player Management Software offers encoding, customized playlist creation and file transfer/distribution capabilities.

The player features 10/100 Base-T Ethernet networking via an RJ-45 modular jack; component, composite and S-video outputs; two channels of audio output and both RS-232C and GPI interface capabilities. The player is ideal for point-of-sale and point-of-information applications, including retail, education, museums and attractions, hospitality, corporate training and more.

Sony’s NSP-100 Network Player and the BZNP-100 software will be available in August for a suggested list price of $2,195 and $1,795, respectively.

New Web-Enabled Camera For Remote Viewing

Also, new is the company’s SNC-RZ30N network video camera, which features Ethernet networking and a built-in web server for remote viewing and management of high-quality video over IP networks.

The camera offers high-quality video capture, with up to 640 x 480 resolution and 30 fps at full size. It also features a Sony CCD, 25x Auto-Focus Zoom and support for networking protocols including DHCP, FTP, SNMP and RS-232C, as well as a PCMCIA slot for wireless networking.

The SNC-RZ30N network video camera works with any standard web browser, offers remote-controlled pan, tilt and zoom capabilities and can support up to 50 simultaneous online viewers, making it ideal for such applications as Internet-based remote monitoring for surveillance purposes and web-based attraction viewing at amusement parks and tourist destinations.

Sony’s SNC-RZ30 network video camera will be available in July for a suggested list price of $1,695.

NON-NETWORKED PRODUCTS

Stand-Alone Projectors for Flexible Room Integration or Portable Use

Also new at InfoComm, Sony showcased the portable VPL-PX11 and VPL-PX32 SuperBright™ projector models, weighing just 11 to 15 pounds. They offer a brightness of 2000 ANSI* lumens and 3000 ANSI lumens, respectively, and feature 1024 x 768 XGA resolution. They can be used in a ceiling or rear-screen application or tabletop display and can accommodate a display area up to 300 inches (viewable area, measured diagonally). They also accommodate a variety of throw distances for various room sizes, plus a newly designed input panel to provide seamless custom integration with other A/V equipment.

Responding to customer needs, the VPL-PX11 projector features dual RGB inputs and a “monitor out” connection. It also includes audio follow capability, which allows the variable audio output to switch automatically with a change between the video or RGB inputs, as well as composite and YC video signals and the RS-232 industry standard interface used within popular industry control systems.

Another bright option for conference rooms, boardrooms, classrooms and houses of worship is the successor to the company’s popular VPL-PX31 model, the new VPL-PX32 projector. Enhancements to the VPL-PX32 projector include a higher brightness of 3000 ANSI lumens, a 200W UHP lamp, and a new optical system incorporating 1.3-inch TFT three-panel LCD technology with Micro Lens Array.

For enhanced detail, these high-resolution XGA projectors are equipped with an RGB Enhancer, which maximizes the image quality of original computer generated sources, as well as Sony’s 3D Gamma Correction video processing technology, auto-pixel alignment and digital keystone correction.

Both projectors include multiple interfaces to accept a wide range of input signals, such as component and composite video including all HDTV formats, as well as analog and digital computer signals. They are also equipped with a USB interface for plug-and-play connections to a variety of USB-ready devices.

Sony’s VPL-PX11 and VPL-PX32 SuperBright projectors are now available for suggested list prices of $5,200 and $9,200, respectively.

The All-In-One A/V Matrix Switcher

With its new SRP-X700P A/V matrix switcher, Sony also showed there’s a better way to integrate several functions, including video switching and audio mixing, for seamless integration with projectors and other display products.

The SRP-X700P console is a total audio system in a box, combining a mic/line mixer, digital power amplifier, digital signal processor and audio/video switcher – all in a single chassis. The unit incorporates a PC-controlled user interface for remote operation, diagnostics and monitoring, providing high-end audio and video quality in a lightweight, compact package (three units high) with a simple front panel layout. The unit’s key features include a compatible digital A/V matrix switcher, Control-S ports, which allow for remote operation of Sony VCRs, DVD players, CD players, MD recorders and projectors; and a parallel output port for remote control of video screens, window curtains, projectors, lighting, and operation with other devices – controllable by a PC via a USB port.

Ideal for corporate boardrooms, conference rooms, lecture halls and houses of worship, the SRP-X700P A/V matrix switcher is available now for a suggested list price of $2,500.

SuperLite Projectors Move Road Warriors, Small Conference Room Audience

And, to complete the picture, as far as ultra-portable projectors go, Sony unveiled the VPL-CS5 and VPL-CX5 SuperLite™ models. These compact projectors are suitable for the road warrior, while equally practical for fixed installation in a conference room or classroom due to their high brightness. The company’s most feature-packed and brightest models yet in the sub-six pound class, the projectors feature a sleek modern chassis design in a package about the size of a hardback novel.

In the value market segment, the VPL-CS5 SuperLite projector offers SVGA resolution and 1800 ANSI lumens.

For the ultimate in mobility, Sony is offering the VPL-CX5 SuperLite projector with Memory Stick® media slot, USB port and features 2000 ANSI lumens and XGA resolution. The projector includes an adjustable keystone and Projector Station® software for conversions of PowerPoint presentations to Memory Stick media for PC-free presentations.

Both three-panel LCD projectors feature intelligent auto setup, which includes automatic retractable lenses, new automatic controls for height and keystone settings. In addition, the projectors come equipped with remote control and wireless mouse capabilities, and offer pre-programmable options. The projectors display high contrast images from a variety of computer and video sources on screen from 40 to 150 inches (viewable area, measured diagonally). These models also accept composite video, S-Video, analog RGB/component, and SYNC/HD input signals.

Sony’s VPL-CS5 and VPL-CX5 SuperLite projectors will be available later this month at an estimated retail selling price of $2,199 and $3,399, respectively.

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