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NEC's NYC Showcase

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NEC Display Solutions’ annual New York Partner Showcase took place at the Affinia Hotel in midtown Manhattan this week, and the company once again had a number of vibrant new products on display. Some are already on the market, others will be coming down the pipe in the next year, and all feature the rugged pro-level engineering that NEC has become known for.

For the digital signage market, the 43-inch NEC X431BT has gained some ground because of its unique shape: though 43 inches diagonal, it is about 32 inches wide and only about 12 inches high. It’s a nice solution in areas where space is tight, like above airport gates or in retail outlets with low ceilings.

Also for the digital signage space is the X462UN, the one with the ultra-narrow bezel you’ve probably seen displayed in a 3x3 configuration. Up close you notice right away the lack of a “halo effect” from center to edge, and from panel to panel, which is taken care of via NEC’s EdgeComp technology. The company is working on a 55-inch model for next year, and will possibly migrate to LED backlighting in the future.

As LED has been one of the more popular demands from customers in the past year, NEC is working on two new 46- and 55-inch LCD displays with LED backlights. Expected around April 2011, the NEC MultiSync X461S and X551S will feature many energy efficient properties, and will be ADA-compliant, since the panels will be quite thin due in part to a new, slimmer expansion slot that features new technology from Intel. But creating a thin display that can run 24/7 requires more than that.

“We’re working with LED manufacturers to find the right solution,” said Keith Yanke, director of product marketing at NEC Display Solutions. “We want to provide our customers with a professional product they’ve come to expect, and we’re on that path.”

Expect to see a lot more from NEC on large format displays in the coming year—InfoComm should feature several new options and upgrades as the company does more to address needs in the entry-level segments of the market.

On the projector side, NEC is packing more networking and eco features into its units. The M Series gives educators a USB Viewer and an HDMI input, while the new dual-filter shouldn’t need to be replaced until the lamp does too. The NP-U310W short-throw DLP projector is 3D-ready, and can be bundled with a mount if desired.

Starting in early 2011, look for larger models in the NEC line to use the same Intel technology as the displays and to incorporate more networking options. Projection solutions for markets beyond those that NEC has typically addressed are also on the horizon.

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