Pacific Media Associates has announced their Buckaroo winners for best-of-show products exhibited at InfoComm 2009. The Buckaroo award is named for the pioneering cowboys of the Great Basin country of the American West, which includes portions of California, Nevada, Idaho, and Oregon. These cowboys were known for fancy gear that displayed lots of silver ornamentation, so the name is particularly fitting as a recognition of products that produce the best-looking pictures.
The Buckaroo Awards recognize those products in the front projector category that lead the herd by enabling projection of attractive images in a broad range of situations. This year’s winners demonstrated they could satisfy some challenging requirements for viewing due to mobility, installation, and cost-effectiveness considerations.
Just when it looked as if Classic (500+ lumens) projector technology advances had all but stopped, Texas Instruments has rolled out some advances that breathe new life into the category. TI wins a Buckaroo for taking advantage of their DLP technology to enable some related technologies that have the potential to both offer important new capabilities to projector companies and open up new market segments for front projectors. These include dramatically broadening the range of uses of 3D, offering possible longer-term savings and ecological benefits of improvements in both LED illumination and improved reflector design for conventional lamps, and expanding the range of customers who can have Crestron control over their projectors. PMA finds their single-projector 3D initiative particularly interesting, as it brings the technology down from the lofty peaks of digital cinema and technical/military simulation to the much broader and cost-sensitive markets of education, business, and the home. LED illumination has already shown up in the earliest of the New Era (sub-500 lumen) projectors and continues to make great strides there, but now it is being put forward by Luminus for the 500+ lumen range, where it will compete with conventional lamps and improved reflector designs from the likes of Wavien. And by embedding a “lite” version of Crestron’s software into the DLP chipset, education and small business customers can have a Crestron control/network solution without having to install a full-blown Crestron control system.
Easy-Mounting Ultra Short-Throw Projectors
SMART Technologies earns a Buckaroo for their UX60 ultra short-throw projector integrated with the new 685ix widescreen interactive whiteboard. Short-throw projectors have been the hottest new category in Classic projectors, and the UX60 stands out as the first of a new generation of extreme short-throw products. Unlike any other product on the market, the UX60 can be mounted directly onto a wall and the picture adjustments made on the projector itself. In addition to easy mounting, the image emerges from the projector only 40 cm (16 in.) out from the screen, eliminating the shadow problems experienced with longer throw projectors. The UX60 specification ticks all the boxes: easy mounting, WXGA resolution, 16x10 aspect ratio, filter free operation, and DLP high contrast with BrilliantColors.
Pico Screens for Pico Projectors
A projected image is only as good as the surface that it is projected onto. For battery-powered pico projectors, while that surface of choice in the long run might be a white T-shirt or nearby wall, business folks need something better. When there isn’t a convenient or suitable wall, some form of screen is needed. PMA has seen at least as many attempts at screen designs as at pico projectors, but the best one at InfoComm comes from Japanese giant DNP (Dai Nippon Printing). The inexpensive A4-sized screen is a simple thin, flat, rigid piece of Supernova material that features a fold-out stand on the back, and is available in two versions, high-brightness silver or high-contrast gray.
Congratulations to the winners of the InfoComm 2009 Buckaroo awards.
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