With a response time of 12 milliseconds, the BenQ (www.benq.com, 866-700-2367) FP767-12 and FP783 17" LCD monitors provide a smooth, clear image for the classroom. The lower response time ensures better image quality and smoother transitions without still-image retention or delays in motion. The FP767-12 features a pixel pitch of 0.264 mm, a 500:1 contrast ratio and SXGA resolution. It also comes with a D-sub input connector and built-in speakers. In addition, the FP783 offers a 500:1 contrast ratio and a 16.2 million-color palette, which helps ensure accurate color reproduction. It also comes with a USB 2.0 interface and optional 2Wx2 speakers with surround-sound effects and a webcam.
Epson America Inc. (www.epson.com, 800-GO-EPSON) has two new products for displaying documents, photos and much more - the ELPDC02 High Resolution Document Imager and the ELPDC03 Motion Presentation Camera. The crystalline white surfaces and repositionable top lights of both Epson products ensure true color reproduction, while tilting heads, zoom lenses and auto-focus features make them easy for educators to use in the classroom. The ELPDC02 features true XGA resolution, a wireless remote control and a built-in base light that provides optimal viewing of negatives, slides and X-rays. The ELPDC03 runs at 50/60Hz, and its fast image refresh capabilities and one-touch freeze-frame function enable it to demonstrate products in motion.
The InFocus ScreenPlay 61" microdisplay television (www.infocus.com, 800-294-6400) is a revolutionary 6.85" thin rear-projection display that is wall mountable, which makes it simple to incorporate into virtually any classroom setting. The ScreenPlay features native high-definition resolution (1,280 x 720) using DLP microdisplay technology developed by Texas Instruments. The high-definition display, which is scheduled to be released this fall, also has an integrated HD tuner and Web browser, and is digital-cable ready.
The AVerVision 280 portable document camera from AVerMedia Inc. (www.avermedia-usa.com, 408-263-3828) works with most desktops, laptops and projectors to display 3-D objects and documents. At a mere 3.7 lbs., this document camera can be easily transported between classrooms as needed. The AVerVision 280 has two presentation modes: camera mode, which displays 3-D objects or documents onto any monitor or projector with VGA inputs, and VGA mode, which displays PC presentations on VGA monitors or projection screens. Supporting up to XGA resolution, the AVerVision 280 also features an 8X digital zoom and pan, as well as night view, freeze, reverse and mirror functions.
The classroom experience can be made more dynamic with the ACTIVboard, part of the ACTIVboard Classroom Collaboration System from Promethean (www.activboard.com, 888-65-ACTIV). The ACTIVboard uses electromagnetic sensing technology that provides pin-point accuracy. Each purchase of an ACTIVboard comes with six licenses for ACTIVstudio, the software program that enables the ACTIVboard to collaborate with other devices. This optional function allows students to remotely communicate with the ACTIVboard to enable whole group participation. It also lets instructors communicate with the ACTIVboard from anywhere in the classroom.
The BOXLIGHT BV1100 Visual Presenter (www.boxlight.com, 800-884-6464) enables the entire class to take part in interactive learning when there are not enough materials for each student. When hooked up to a projector or monitor, the visual presenter allows teachers to display physical objects for viewing by the entire class. It includes a standard 220X power zoom lens, so displaying science dissections or mechanical parts for auto-shop class is an easy feat. The BV1100 has multiple inputs and outputs that provide educators with the ability to flip between live images on the visual presenter and a Web site or video on a computer. The unit also has the ability to store images. In addition, the BV1100 has a CCD camera head, an integrated base light, auto and manual focus options, and easily folds for transport between classrooms and buildings.
The newest offerings from Panasonic (www.panasonic.com) are the touch-panel modules for its professional 42" and 50" plasma displays. The TY-TP42P6S is the touch panel module for the 42" plasma display, while the TY-TP50P6S touch-panel module works in conjunction with the 50" plasma display. These add-on touch panels allow users to interact with the screen with a light touch of their finger or the use of the optional TY-TPEN6 touch pen. These aluminum panels are equipped with a reliable optical sensor system and offer high resolutions - 1833 x 1033 for the 42" module and 2201 x 1241 for the 50" module.
Samsung Electronics USA (www.samsung.com, 800-SAMSUNG) has a great selection of high-end plasma displays that are loaded with special features. The 42" PPM42H3, the 50" PPM50H3Q and the 63" PPM63H3Q all offer Digital Natural Image enhancement (DNIe) technology that provides improved detail, contrast, 3-D motion and color to ensure maximum image quality. The displays also offer dual analog and digital inputs and picture-by-picture functionality, which is ideal for videoconferencing. In addition, the displays feature advanced Anti-Burn Technologies, including Auto Pixel Shift, which keeps images moving imperceptibly. Rounding out the features are composite video for terrestrial and cable connections; component video for DVD and HDTV that provides 480i/p, 720p and 1080i viewing; S-video for gaming applications; and an RGB input for use with a PC.
The LCTV-30W LCD TV is just one of the many impressive displays from NetTV (www.net-tv.net). Featuring WXGA resolution, the LCTV-30W offers a crisp, clear image with capabilities to display more than 16 million colors. The 30" diagonal display fits easily into any classroom and comes with two 5-watt speakers. Additional features that add to the picture quality include a 500:1 contrast ratio, 15:9 aspect ratio, 0.5025 mm dot pitch and a 0.16 ms response time. The 45-lb. LCTV-30W comes standard with inputs for composite, component and S-Video. It also includes a TV tuner, as well as features picture-in-picture and picture-on-picture display modes.
Sharp Electronics (www.sharpusa.com, 866-4-VISUAL) has announced a new line of large-format LCD monitors that are packed with features beneficial for most schools and universities. The LC-M3700 is a 37" display that offers an impressive 1,366 x 768 resolution for a 16:9 HDTV. With an 800:1 contrast ratio and exclusive Bright Pixel Reduction, the LC-M3700 ensures exceptional image quality. Sharp's LC-M3700P incorporates all of the key benefits of the LC-M3700, with the addition of an integrated acrylic protective overlay that makes it ideal for use in high-traffic areas such as classrooms and lecture halls. The LC-M3700P's anti-glare and low-reflection properties also allow it to work well in bright classrooms. In addition, both displays feature 60,000 field-replaceable backlights for extended longevity.
The L30W36 by Zenith Electronics (www.zenith.com, 888-865-3026) is a truly flat LCD HDTV monitor that delivers superior quality images. The 30" HDTV display offers WXGA resolution and a 400:1 contrast ratio, which together produce extremely detailed images. With a 170 degree by 170 degree viewing angle, students seated almost anywhere in the classroom will achieve distortion-free viewing. The L30W36's digital visual interface provides an uncompressed transfer of high-definition video from a digital video source to a digital display device, while High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection ensures copy protection of the content displayed. In addition, educators will find that multiple inputs allow the L30W36 to be connected to DVD players, VCRs or computers.
NEC-Mitsubishi Electronics Display of America (www.nec-mitsubishi.com) has added a 20" LCD monitor to its award-winning NEC MultiSync LCD 60 Series line. The new NEC MultiSync LCD2060NX display is ergonomically designed to maximize computing comfort with a thin-frame cabinet design, as well as a height-adjustable stand that offers tilt and swivel capabilities. It delivers a sharp 0.255 mm pixel pitch, 600:1 contrast ratio and a maximum resolution of 1,600 x 1,200. A high-bright backlight enhances readability and its No Touch Auto Adjust feature automatically attunes the screen settings for optimal viewing when the monitor is first turned on. Equipped with Rapid Response technology, the monitor provides full-motion video display with typical response times of 25 ms or less, which virtually eliminates ghosting or blurring. In addition, the monitor includes NaViSet software that allows users and administrators to easily adjust display settings with a mouse and keyboard through the On Screen Manager.
New and improved features abound in eZediaQTI 2.0 for Mac OS X (www.ezedia.com, 877-408-0195), which takes advantage of the new Panther OS and supports QuickTime 6. This multimedia authoring software program from eZedia includes a new interface, six free themed templates, and an automatic update feature that keeps the program updated at all times. Improved text functions allow for advanced formatting capabilities, including color, style and paragraph formatting with built-in spell check. The document window in eZediaQTI is also equipped with a ruler and grid for easy alignment. In addition, with this updated version of the application, users can edit and save default project settings.
The newest version of Mediasite (formerly Mediasite Live) by Sonic Foundry (www.sonicfoundry.com, 877-783-7987) helps teachers capture, encode, stream and archive their classroom presentations. Mediasite works by capturing data output from devices such as laptops, projectors, document cameras or electronic whiteboards in real time. This means that PowerPoint or Excel files, Web pages, video and images can be integrated into one live lecture, eliminating the need to prerecord lectures or presentations. Mediasite instantly synchronizes the various media with the instructor's audio and video, and then saves it for later Web streaming or on-demand archive viewing.
With Serious Magic's Visual Communicator software (www.seriousmagic.com) students and teachers can create digital presentations that have the look and feel of a TV newscast. The program enables K-12 students to create multimedia book reports, term papers, show-and-tell presentations, or news reports. Teachers can also use Visual Communicator to create video lesson plans instead of utilizing PowerPoint or Web pages. The software includes a teleprompter to help narrate the presentations; a library of templates, graphics, effects, backgrounds and music; a green-screen background for superimposing; and even a professional quality clip-on microphone. In addition, once presentations are completed, they can be published to the Web, burned to a CD or DVD, or saved as streaming video for the Internet.
C D & DVD PictureShow 2 Deluxe from Ulead Systems Inc. (www.ulead.com, 800-85-ULEAD) lets teachers and students create multimedia slide shows that incorporate images and photos with sounds and themes. The software suite includes two software titles: Photo Explorer 8 is the editing software used to find, edit and fix photos. It also allows users to organize their photos into virtual catalogs of image CDs. Once the images have been manipulated, teachers and students can then use PictureShow to create and burn photo slide shows onto CDs or DVDs. The software also comes with 70 holiday-themed templates that add creativity to any teacher lesson plans or student presentations.
This article originally appeared in the 05/01/2004 issue of THE Journal.