Display and Projection

InFocus Buys Jupiter Systems

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InFocus

Many industry observers will tell you that InFocus created the market for projectors by developing and selling the first digital projector. Yet, isn’t it a little ironic that "the inventor of the modern day projector" has had to spend the last 10 years diversifying (as the projector market matured into a huge competition distinguished by dwindling margins.)

Of course, InFocus still sells projectors, lots of projectors. But new InFocus products and services now focus on bringing people and teams closer: from MVP100 video phones to Mondopad (the first-ever large-format, touchscreen), to all-in-one video conferencing and collaboration solutions.

Continuing that trend, the company recently announced LightCast Technology, which allows users to display content from laptops, smartphones and tablets on a variety of InFocus devices, including Mondopads, JTouch Whiteboards, and the new DigiEasel smart displays.

And now the transformation of InFocus may be complete: new CEO Mark Housley (a long-time board member promoted at the end of September 2015 to CEO) announces the acquisition of Jupiter Systems, adding video wall, control room, and smartphone solutions for end-to-end collaboration.

Jupiter Systems

InFocus Corporation has acquired video wall and enterprise collaboration innovator Jupiter Systems.The acquisition expands InFocus’ offering to include display wall processor technology and "bringing a 360-degree view of operations to any control room, conference room, and mobile device."

This acquisition says the company, enables InFocus to provide end-to-end collaboration solutions and become the single provider for customers’ collaboration technology needs.

“We know our customers need collaboration technology on their smartphones and tablets, at their desks, in their conference rooms and in their control rooms. With one provider offering simple, enterprise-ready solutions that work together seamlessly, we can serve the full set of our customers’ requirements with powerful, integrated solutions. The convergence is inevitable and we intend to lead it,” says Housley. “Now InFocus can be that one-stop-shop for complete end-to-end solutions.”

Effective immediately, Jupiter Systems, which operates and manufactures in Hayward, CA, becomes an InFocus’ branded product line for control room and enterprise collaboration solutions. All Jupiter employees are now InFocus team members and both the Jupiter product line office in Hayward, and InFocus corporate headquarters in Portland, Oregon will operate business as usual.

No word yet of the significance for European distributors: but one can assume the current distributors of each company will stay in place while the company explores any possibility of synergy.

Go InFocus Buys Jupiter Systems

EIKI Debuts 12K Lumen EK-800U DLP Projector

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EK-800U

Eiki International launches its EK-800U single chip DLP projector which can be installed in any vertical angle (360 degree vertical configuration).

It’s specified at 12,000 ANSI Lumen brightness and a 5000:1 (DA:ON) contrast ratio. The WUXGA (1920×1200) resolution EK-800U inputs include VGA, HDMI, HDBaseT and 3G HD-SDI.

Integrated with powered zoom and focus as well as vertical and horizontal lens shift (V: +- 60%, H: +/- 25%), the new model also has image blending, warping, color matching.

It’s a high quality, top-of-the-range installation projector but despite the good specs, the most interesting feature is its ability to meet any configuration angle when installing. For example, it can even be mounted to show content in portrait mode.

Go Eiki EK-800U, 360 Degrees Vertical Configuration

Christie Boxer 4K30: Projector of the Year

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AV Awards 2015

Christie picked up the award for Projector of the Year for Boxer 4K30 at the AV Awards in UK.

The Award was given by the panel of judges at the annual event organized by AV Magazine in UK who said, “At last there is a 30,000 lumen projector that isn’t the size of a small car.”

James Belso, senior sales manager for the UK and Nordics, accepted the award on behalf of Christie with enthusiasm, saying, “I can’t say how pleased I am about Boxer being recognized. We had an internal launch at our global headquarters - with the boxer Lennox Lewis as guest of honour. The entire team came back with a buzz; we all knew we were on to a winner as soon as we saw it.”

Belso built on the judges’ tongue-in-cheek observation: “To halve the size of a projector and introduce a host of features at the same time isn’t easy," he commented. "Boxer was the result of vision and over three years of work by Jeevan Vivegananthan, our senior director of product management, who I would really like to mention.”

Vivegananthan worked with some 30 engineers to bring the vision of Boxer to life; and throughout, rental stagers across the world were asked what they wanted in the ideal projector. “We knew we had the technological ability to build a 30,000 lumens projector at 68Kg,” he says. “We went backstage with our customers to see their challenges. For me, being able to see customers’ reactions was one of my greatest rewards. We spend years building their wish-list.”

Go Christie Boxer 4K30: Projector of the Year, Says AV Magazine Awards

Leyard to Buy Planar Systems

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China's Leyard Optoelectronic Co., Ltd. (provider of LED display products and ancillary systems) will buy America's Planar Systems, Inc. (display and digital signage technology).

Leyard at ISE 2015

Leyard will acquire all of the common stock of Planar for a purchase price of $6.58 per share or a total value of approximately $156.8 million.

While the deal may be done, the transaction is subject to specified closing conditions, including approval by the shareholders of both Planar and Leyard, and antitrust and other government clearance.

The pending acquisition augments Leyard’s existing range of LED display products and enables Leyard to expand its position outside its Chinese home market. As far as we know at this point, the intention is that Planar staff retain their positions.

Victor Li, Chairman of Leyard, says, “We believe that Planar and Leyard complement each other and that this acquisition will create significant synergies. We intend to strongly support the continued growth of the Planar business, with standalone management, under the broader Leyard umbrella. This acquisition demonstrates Leyard’s ongoing commitment to expanding its global presence. The combination of Planar's strong customer relationships, respected product offerings, and history of innovation across the organization, together with Leyard's market leading position in emerging video wall technologies create inspiring solutions for customers.”

We told you this was coming: Chinese companies that have grown exponentially based on a huge home market will eventually buy their way into US and European markets.  Planar has experienced a solid year, and it's on track to boost this year's overall revenue by 17.6%. Meanwhile, the China home market is weaker with the yuan devaluing and other domestic issues. This is the time when China turns outward-- when the home market stalls.

Expect more deals by end of 2015 as Leyard's Chinese competitors react, not willing to let Leyard get too big a headstart in overseas markets (because Leyard will turn any overseas profit to financing attacks to take more domestic market share).

Go Leyard to Buy Planar

World’s Fastest LED Video Wall Scaling, Says Calibre

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Tim Brooksbank

Calibre launches its range of scaler-switchers (HQView625 and Calibre HQView770) built from its own HQUltra, the world’s fastest single-channel 4K presentation switching performance technology.

Calibre’s own virtual-ASIC video processing technology provides these scaler-switchers with three functions in one product. The more powerful in the range, HQView770 scaler-switcher, offers…

In Projection Mode, HQUltraWarp provides real-time adjustable 4K warp & blend for fast and easy screen calibration.

In LED Mode, HQUltra provides LED-optimized 4K scaling with a pixel-accurate algorithm that preserves image detail even with significant downscale, a key requirement for driving LED videowalls with good quality images.

In Presentation Mode, HQUltraFast gives the user unprecedented switching speeds, changing visually instantly between input channels in 0.25 seconds.

HQView770

The 11 video inputs and four identical video outputs include 4K HDMI with 4K50 & 4K60 4:2:0 support, HDBaseT and 3G HD-SDI.

Tim Brooksbank, Chairman at Calibre says: “The HQView770…It’s the ultimate live events scaler-switcher.”

Go Calibre Launches HQUltra, World’s Fastest Single-channel 4K Presentation Switching