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2011 Rental & Staging Product Awards Winners

2011 Rental & Staging Product Awards Winners

Who took the top prizes at InfoComm — and why


Cap TK

It’s never easy sorting out the good from the great new products for the staging market. As the official partner of InfoComm in the administration, selection, and awarding of the InfoComm/Rental & Staging New Product Awards, this year it was even more difficult, as we added several new product categories — particularly some new digital signage categories. If you’ve been following the latest trends in rental & staging, you know that there is money to be made in new technology areas that you probably would not have gone before — places such as providing technology for tradeshow booths and providing “digital signage” screens in lobbies and break-out rooms of events. Digital signage is the hottest AV market around. This year’s awards program reflects this, as well as the latest trends in IMAG, digital signage, lighting, video processing, sound reinforcement, and more.

The 2011 Rental & Staging Systems/InfoComm Product Awards were announced and presented at the InfoComm show in Orlando, FL on June 14th, recognizing the most innovative commercial AV products released last year. The past 12 months have seen a significant rebound in the staging market, and while not all of the winning products in the Rental & Staging New Product Awards competition were revolutionary innovations, there were some surprises.

This year’s winning entries are as follows

Best Audio Control or Mixing Product:
Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc M7CL-48ES Digital Audio Console
Best Digital Signage Product:
Haivision Network Video — CoolSign
Best Digital Signage Product– Hardware + Software Package:
SpinetiX HMP200 Hyper Media Player with embedded Fusion Software
Best Digital Signage Product– Displays:
Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America PN-V601 Professional LCD Video Wall Monitor
Best Digital Signage Product– Mounts, Carts and Stands:
Chief Fusion Portrait Pull-Out Wall Mount
Best General AV Product:
Audio-Technica BP893 MicroEarset Headworn Microphone
Best General AV Product– Mounts and Enclosures:
Premier Mounts GB-MS2 Tilting Storage Mount
Best Loudspeaker for the Staging Market:
JBL Professional PRX 600 Series
Best LCD Display:
Samsung Electronics America EX Series (400EXn/460EXn/550EXn) LCD Displays
Best LCD Display– Specialty Application:
LG Electronics LD950C (3D Display)
Best Projection Screen:
Da-Lite Screen Company, Inc Fast-Fold Deluxe Screen System in 16:10 Format
Best Rental Management Software:
IntelliEvent 7.0 and IntelliEvent Cloud Suite
Best Show Control Product:
Dataton WATCHOUT
Best Video Broadcast or Video Streaming Product:
Extron Electronics VN-Matrix 300
Best Video Projection Product 10K Lumen Range:
Digital Projection International TITAN WUXGA Dual 3D Projector
Best Video Projection Product, 3-7K Lumen Range:
NEC Display Solutions NP4100W Projector
Best Video Projector, High Lumen:
Sanyo PLC-HF15000L Projector
Best Video Signal Processing or Distribution Product:
Gefen ToolBox Extender for HDMI 3DTV
Best Video Signal Processing or Distribution Product– Matrix Switching:
Analog Way EKS500 Multi-Layer Seamless Switcher
Most Innovative New Product:
Christie Digital YK100 Integrated Moving Yoke/Digital Projection System

Best Projection Screen

Da-Lite Fast-Fold Deluxe Honored at InfoComm

Da-Lite Screen Company won a 2011 InfoComm/Rental & Staging Systems New Product Award for its Fast-Fold® Deluxe portable screen line to include 16:10 format sizes. Da-Lite’s Fast-Fold Deluxe is the presenter’s choice for compactness and portability. With DaLite’s unique folding frame and legs, industry leading selection of front and rear projection screen surfaces and rugged poly case with wheels, Fast-Fold Deluxe is the worldwide standard for portable, folding projection screens. Whether you are a seasoned staging professional or a novice user, Da-Lite’s Fast-Fold Deluxe is the perfect solution for portable screen applications.

In response to the increased popularity of wide format PCs and laptops that are now on the market, the 16:10 format is rapidly becoming the standard for the computer industry. For this reason, projector manufacturers have developed projector models with a resolution of 1280x800, which is in the 16:10 wide format. Fast-Fold Deluxe is the latest addition to Da-Lite’s range of 16:10 wide format screen models, which also include electric, manual, and fixed-frame front and rear projection screens.

Founded in 1909, Da-Lite Screen Company is the leading producer of high-quality commercial and residential projection screens worldwide. With headquarters in Warsaw, Indiana, and additional operations in the U.S. and Europe, Da-Lite manufactures projection screens and accessories to Fortune 500 companies, entertainment and major broadcast networks, education systems, and governments around the globe. Today DaLite’s proprietary screen technologies are specified for the most demanding installations from military training simulators to boardrooms and classrooms to home theaters. Da-Lite has become the “First Name in Projection Screens.”

For more information, visit Da-lite.com

Best Video Projector, High Lumen

Sanyo QuaDrive Projector Garners Award at InfoComm

SANYO North America Corporation, a subsidiary of SANYO Electric Co., Ltd., one of the world’s largest manufacturers of LCD and DLP projectors, received the 2011 Rental & Staging Award, in a ceremony at InfoComm 2011 in Orlando, FL on June 14, for its PLC-HF15000L projector, which utilizes SANYO’s exclusive QuaDrive™ technology to produce superior color accuracy with a very wide color gamut, providing Real 2K digital cinema performance that exceeds Full HD requirements at 2048 x 1080 resolution.

The QuaDrive engine advances beyond conventional 3 LCD systems by adding a yellow color control device to the existing red, green, and blue elements. The additional control of the amount of yellow light in the image increases color purity and accuracy, produces a wider color gamut, and enables higher brightness levels. A new long-life inorganic 2K LCD panel enables the PLC-HF15000L to achieve resolution greater than full HD in a 17:9 aspect ratio.

“By setting a new standard for brightness in its category, and using our most advanced technologies that include QuaDrive, a long-life DIOS (Durable Inorganic Optical System) engine, and widescreen 2K resolution, the PLC-HF15000L performs superbly in even the largest presentation environments. We see it creating new opportunities for large format digital signage, even in well-lit spaces. Furthermore, its operational flexibility and features enable its effective use in rooms of virtually any size, with low operational and maintenance costs,” says Sam Malik, vice president of SANYO’s Digital Solutions Division, and general manager of the Corporate Solutions Group.


Sam Malik (left), vice president of SANYO’s Digital Solutions Division and general manager of the Corporate Solutions Group, receives the InfoComm/ Rental & Staging Award for Best Video Projector, High Lumen for the Sanyo PLC-HF15000L projector from Adam Goldstein, executive vice president/group publishing director, NewBay Media’s AV/Consumer Electronics Group.

Dust in the optical and mechanical systems of a projector can hurt performance and reduce service life. SANYO’s Active Maintenance Cleaner (AMC) system is the most advanced yet, protecting critical components for an incredible 12,000 hours before a filter change is required. By using an intake air volume monitoring system that determines the current effectiveness of the filter, AMC will clean the filter surface automatically based on a time requirement or by using its automatic clog detection capabilities to provide a clean optical surface.

The PLC-HF15000L is equipped with a “Hot Operation Lamp Exchange System” that allows individual lamps to be replaced without turning the projector off. The new hotswappable system gives operators a smooth, simple way to replace a failed bulb and continue presentations without interruption.

To allow use in a very wide range of venues, 11 lens options are available in a variety of focal lengths to accommodate any projector-to-screen distance.

Where multiple images are required, the PLC-HF15000L can simultaneously display two images, in either picture-inpicture or picture-by-picture modes. For presentations utilizing multiple projectors, aligned either horizontally or vertically to create a single larger image, variations in image quality between projectors are eliminated through SANYO’s Edge Blending, Color Matching, and Constant Brightness functions.

For more information: http://us.SANYO.com

And here are more details on these winners….

Best Digital Signage Product

Haivision Network Video — CoolSign

Haivision’s CoolSign digital signage solution boasts all the features and functions for any signage need, from smaller projects to sophisticated multiscreen landmark displays to large-scale global networks. In the retail environment, CoolSign offers a dynamic, targeted, and timely way to grab the attention of customers — and never let go. Flexible and powerful, CoolSign digital signage software allows administrators to make content changes quickly and easily in response to an ever-evolving marketplace and to distribute that content remotely to any location in their network.

Best Digital Signage Product — Displays

Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America PN-V601 Professional LCD Video Wall Monitor

With the slimmest bezel in the 60-inch diagonal class, the Sharp PN-V601, with portrait and landscape compatibility, full array LED backlighting, and virtually seamless borders helps you create high impact video walls in almost any size and format. Featuring 24/7 certified reliability and a 3-year limited warranty, the ENERGY STAR qualified PN-V601 is one of the most dependable and energy efficient professional LCD monitors available.

Best Digital Signage Product– Mounts, Carts and Stands

Chief Fusion Portrait Pull-Out Wall Mount

Developed as an alternative to traditional landscape mounts, Fusion Portrait Pull-Out mounts allow installers to hang displays in a vertical orientation that is perfect for digital menu boards, recessed walls, advertising displays, and video wall applications. Fusion Portrait mounts provide the same features as Chief’s line of landscape mounts, including ControlZone Leveling, Centerless Shift, ClickConnect, and fingertip tilt. The Pull-Out mounts allow installers and maintenance crews to access the rear of the display during and after installation. The mounts come in models designed to support displays ranging from 26-63 inches for use in single display applications or in video wall matrixes.

Best General AV Product

Audio-Technica BP893 MicroEarset Headworn Microphone

With its unobtrusive 1-inch boom, Audio-Technica’s BP893 MicroEarset headworn microphone offers inconspicuous over-ear placement along with clear, articulate vocal pickup. Its low-profile design makes the omnidirectional miniature condenser microphone ideal for use in theatrical performances, houses of worship, and broadcast studios. The MicroEarset’s locking 4-pin microphone output connector is compatible with the included power module and all Audio- Technica UniPak body-pack wireless transmitters. The MicroEarset is also available without a power module in a variety of terminations for use with many wireless systems.

Best Loudspeaker for the Staging Market

JBL Professional PRX 600 Series

The PRX600 Series represent an evolutionary step in the efficient use of amplifier power, rugged durability, and enhanced versatility in a self-powered loudspeaker. The speakers were designed from the ground up to perform in the real world of sound reinforcement where challenging audio environments, high ambient noise levels, and loud volumes are the norm. PRX Series integrate seamlessly with one another, offering a multitude of choices when tailoring a system to fit specific needs such as public address, live performance, or DJ applications, light-duty installations, or professional sound reinforcement situations.

Best LCD Display

Samsung Electronics America EX Series (400EXn/460EXn/550EXn) LCD Displays

The Samsung Syncmaster LED EX Series (400EX, 400EXn, 460EX, 460EXn, 550EX, and 550EXn) are the first commercial displays to incorporate LED Backlight Unit (BLU) technology, providing a significant savings on energy consumption in a lighter, thinner, and easier to install. Capitalizing on Samsung’s leadership in visual display, these 40-, 46-, and 55-inch models benefit from a 120 Hz panel refresh rate, allowing for faster and smoother scrolling text and digital signage content. The displays boast full HD 1080p resolution and a 40 GB HDD embedded PC with MagicInfo software (400EXn, 460EXn, 550EXn), all within an ultra-slim 1.6-inch thin chassis.

Best LCD Display– Specialty Application

LG Electronics LD950C (3D Display)

The LD950C is LG’s first commercial- grade passive 3D HDTV, offering a 3D experience that can be enjoyed in hotel lobbies, restaurants, sports lounges, theaters, and other public spaces. Using “FPR” LG Cinema 3D technology, it optimizes the separation of images for the left and right eye, which are then filtered through lightweight, comfortable polarized glasses for a better 3D effect with minimal crosstalk. Perfect for commercial spaces and mass viewing, the glasses do not sync with an emitter, allowing viewers to watch from nearly any angle in the room. Moreover, these glasses are affordable, making large deployments financially realistic.

Best Show Control Product

Dataton WATCHOUT

Creative integration and production companies should look no further than the 2010 version of Dataton WATCHOUT. WATCHOUT is a sophisticated multi-display production- and timeline-based presentation software system. Using a standard PC architecture the software was upgraded in 2010 to feature advanced user interactivity, comprehensive control functions, and enhanced productivity. The software has auxiliary timelines, compositions, stage tiers, movie, and audio export capabilities to form a bridge to other commonly used systems using familiar DMX512, MIDI, TCP/IP, and serial data control capabilities.

Best Video Projection Product 10K Lumen Range

Digital Projection International TITAN WUXGA Dual 3D Projector

Digital Projection International’s TITAN WUXGA Dual 3D is the brightest, highest performance 3D projector in the TITAN series. Employing 3-chip DLP technology to produce 10,000 ANSI lumens and 2000:1 contrast, the TITAN WUXGA Dual 3D delivers 1080p and more with a 1920x1200 WUXGA resolution. The TITAN 3D enlists FastFrame technology to remedy image blur, as well as a Direct-to-DMD input for close to zero latency. For installations needing extreme mechanical rigging/precise mechanical alignment, the TITAN 3D is fully RapidRig enabled. RapidRig frames provide integrated pitch, roll, and yaw adjustments, simplifying staging installation and alignment accuracy.

Best Video Projection Product, 3-7K Lumen Range

NEC Display Solutions NP4100W Projector

Designed for 24x7 heavy usage and easy remote management, the NEC NP4100W is WXGA for large venues, featuring DLP and 5500 lumens. It utilizes optional bayonet lenses and incorporates either dual- or single-lamp operation, which provides redundancy. Multiple light outputs extend lamp life. ECO Mode increases lamp life by up to 50 percent for 3000 hours and decreases noise, and the Quick Power Off protects the lamp. The NP4100W has 2100:1 contrast, a power draw of 315W single lamp, and 580W with dual lamp in ECO Mode.

Best Video Signal Processing or Distribution Product

Gefen ToolBox Extender for HDMI 3DTV

Wall mountable sender and receiver units deliver a 1080p 3DTV signal from any source to a display up to 330 feet (100m) away using just one Cat-5 cable. This extender also sends multichannel audio with Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio, as well as IR control using the same Cat-5 cable — a reduction from the previous two cables that were needed. It delivers totally lossless video, making this one of the first extension solutions to support 3DTV with IR control over a single Cat-5 cable. Installers can utilize in-wall cabling or run one Cat-5 cable to reach long distance locations.

Best Video Signal Processing or Distribution Product– Matrix Switching

Analog Way EKS500 Multi-Layer Seamless Switcher

Eikos is a powerful and versatile multi-layer mixer scaler seamless switcher that offers 12 inputs, including four fitted with SDI and two fitted with DVI-D. In Mixer mode, Eikos can display up to six layers and three PIPs, and offers a variety of effects that can even be combined during transitions. Classic and Still Mosaic Full Preview are available. Used as a 12x2 scaled matrix, Eikos offers PIP feature and true seamless switching. In Quadravision mode, Eikos can display four multi-format sources according to 12 preprogrammed presets.

Most Innovative New Product

Christie Digital YK100 Integrated Moving Yoke/Digital Projection System

The Christie LED100-32K, a new addition to the Christie product line-up, gives stagers another choice to make a show stunning, as well as maximize the return on investment. The Christie LED100-32K, compatible with the Christie YK100 yoke, is a large format light equipped with motorized focus and is a great LED blinder with wash light. It offers 342 x 3W LEDs and delivers over 29,000 RGB lumens with great beam size control (10 to 22 degrees) and without any output loss. As part of Christie’s Nitro Solutions, the Christie LED100-32K is backed by Christie’s warranties, service, and support.

Best Audio Control or Mixing Product

Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Inc. M7CL-48ES Digital Audio Console

The Yamaha M7CL-48ES main I/O interface is the SB168-ES remote stage box, connecting via a single Cat-5 cable. Features include a built-in EtherSound interface with third port for PC control/monitoring, eight Omni Ins, eight Omni Outs, and three MY card slots. The M7CL-48ES supports up to three SB168-ES units and, like the M7CL-48, you can mix up to 48 mono plus four stereo inputs to 16 mix buses, eight matrix outs, and stereo and mono outputs. Direct file compatibility exists between all M7CL models. New Version 3.01 software includes Direct Sends on Fader access from M7CL knobs in Sends on Fader mode, Sends on Fader in M7CL Editor; Recall Safe parameters (Input Patch, Output Patch, Direct Out Patch, Insert Out Patch); and inclusion of VCM Effects (Comp 276/276s, Comp 260/260s, Open Deck, EQ601). Additionally, Omni In 1-8 can be used for talkback.

Best Digital Signage Product– Hardware + Software Package

SpinetiX HMP200 Hyper Media Player with embedded Fusion Software

The small and robust HMP200 hyper media player is a full HD, high-end digital signage device. Zero config technology allows for quick installation. It’s non-PC based, has no moving parts, and requires no maintenance. With the HMP200, SpinetiX offers a simplified way to publish information, audio, and dynamic content (rss, widgets) to your screen. This is done through the SpinetiX Fusion software, which runs inside the HMP200.

Best General AV Product– Mounts and Enclosures

Premier Mounts GB-MS2 Tilting Storage Mount

The tilting GB-MS2 storage mount for flat panels up to 63 inches (diagonal) packs all the features needed to securely mount a flat panel display and discretely store a PC media device behind the display, making it perfect for digital signage applications. The mounting brackets feature the patented Clevis plateand- sliding-rod system for effortless, continuous tilt up to 12 degrees to achieve the optimal viewing angle. The included the patented Griplates help the installer to align and tiden a display to the mounting brackets. Mount the GB-MS2 to a wall or use a Premier Mounts adapter to mount it to a cart, floor stand, or ceiling. This versatile mount includes cross straps that allows the flat panel to be mounted anywhere along the width of the mount, even at the center.

Best Projection Screen

Da-Lite Screen Company, Inc Fast- Fold Deluxe Screen System in 16:10 Format

Da-Lite’s Fast-Fold Deluxe Screens are durable, easy-to-use, portable projection screens that are designed specifically for the rigors of the rental industry. Fast-Fold Deluxe is a folding frame system that includes a front or rear projection screen surface, frame, legs, and durable carrying case. The Fast-Fold Deluxe frame is constructed of durable 1-1/4-inch aluminum tubing with easy release Snap Latches. With the expansion of this product line to include 16:10 wide format sizes, rental professionals can be prepared for any projection aspect ratio that clients may need. Wide format sizes include 62x96 inches, 69x108 inches, 77x120 inches, and 92x144 inches.

Best Video Broadcast or Video Streaming Product

Extron Electronics VN-Matrix 300

Extron VN-Matrix 300 series of encoders and decoders enable real-time transmission of high resolution of SDI, HD-SDI, and 3G-SDI video across standard IP networks for live viewing, collaboration, storage, and playback. With the highly scalable VN-Matrix system, you can turn your IP network into a virtual routing matrix switcher that is practically limitless in size and geographic reach. VN-Matrix applies Extron’s PURE3 codec, a unique wavelet-based compression technology that offers several key distinctive advantages — low latency delay of audio and video, visually lossless picture quality, and advanced compression techniques that yield very high quality images at low bit rates.

Best Rental Management Software

IntelliEvent 7.0 and IntelliEvent Cloud Suite

IntelliEvent is a supplier of rental and production software for event-focused companies specializing in audio, audiovisual, hotel AV, lighting, theatrical, staging, back line, and special effects. Thousands of users effectively track and manage event resources with IntelliEvent. Track inventory, labor, and routing, and manage your entire business with one complete software.

Best Video Projection, High Lumen

Sanyo PLC-HF15000L Projector

A professional projector with an extraordinary brightness of 15,000 ANSI lumens, the PLC-HF15000L utilizes SANYO’s exclusive QuaDrive technology engine to advance beyond conventional 3 LCD systems by adding a yellow color control device to the existing red, green, and blue elements. This produces superior color accuracy with a very wide color gamut, providing Real 2K digital cinema performance that exceeds full HD requirements at 2048x1080 resolution. Designed for the mid- to large-venue presentation, staging, and digital signage markets, the PLC-HF15000L was released in December 2010.