You recently attended DSE 2012. What were some of the trends you saw at the show?

RC: The themes at this year’s show were advancements in interactive displays, large format video walls and content creation. We saw these themes play out in a variety of ways, from interactive technology on educational panels, easy-to-set-up video walls and advancements in software – all making content creation and editing easier and more flexible than ever before.

The industry leaders are redefining the possibilities of digital signage, developing additional ways for companies to deploy and manage well-executed commercial display solutions that weren’t previously possible. Through these technologies, companies can develop and deliver bold, personalized messages that draw customers in and increase revenue for their business.

What specifically did ViewSonic announce during the event?

RC: ViewSonic announced several new additions to its LED commercial display family, including the CDP7030-TL, a 70” interactive LED display, as well as new full HD 42” CDP4237-L, 47” CDP4737-L and 55” CDP5537-L models. The four displays provide businesses seeking stunning full HD resolution digital solutions with the ideal combination of features for all digital signage environments, including video conferencing, hospitality and advertising.

We also launched OPS compatible LCD commercial displays at DSE 2012 – the 46” CDP4635 and 42’ CDP4235 – some of the first commercial displays to support Intel’s specifications. These displays provide a great value for complex environments, such as those experienced by the retail market, that wish to maximize ROI and promote visually compelling messages in high-traffic areas. The commercial displays offer full HD, each boasting 1920×1080 resolution, and come video wall-ready with up to 5×5 tiling functions.

In addition, we announced a new, ultra narrow display – the CDX5550-L. The LED backlit display targets the video wall industry, providing high definition brightness and beautiful HD images.

For the latest in media player technology, we rolled out our new NMP570w, an innovative media player that can connect to content found on the web and incorporate it into any digital signage display, showing content found on computers, smart TVs and mobile phones. The device is HTML-5 compatible and can support all media types, including MP3, JPEG, WMV and H.264.

What are some of the features that differentiate ViewSonic projectors from the competition?

RC: ViewSonic offers a variety of projectors designed to meet the needs of mobile employees, meeting and conference rooms, home theaters, consumer and even large installation projects. Our mobile projectors provide lightweight and bright presentations; the professional multimedia solutions available for conference centers offer brilliant HD performance at an affordable price point; and our commercial grade projectors ensure crystal clean images are seen from every seat in the house. Lastly, we stand behind all our projectors with an industry-leading three-year limited parts warranty, as well as a one-year guarantee on the lamp.

Where are most of your professional displays used?

ViewSonic’s professional displays are used in commercial businesses of all sizes including restaurants, sports bars, hospitality environments and business lobbies.

What considerations need to be given to projector screen choice in high ambient light environments?

RC:  A few things need to be considered when looking for a projector screen for high ambient light environments. First is the screen gain. It’s necessary to pick a screen with high gain such as 1.8, 2.2 or above for high ambient light environments. They produce a brighter image than screens with 1.0 or 1.1. Second is the viewing angle. Try to find a screen that has wider viewing angle at least 120 degrees – 160 degrees would be perfect. Last is the screen type, as it is close related to screen gain. For high ambient light environments, it’s good to use a screen with silver white, high gain or even ultra high gain. And typically you will find these screens have higher gain.

What are the benefits of a projector over a video wall?

RC:  With a projector, one single unit can have adjustable viewing sizes from 30” to as large as 300” diagonal. This offers installers (users) tremendous flexibility for mounting and ease of installation and management. Imagine a display size of 150” diagonal; you will need 3×3 large format displays to form the area. With projectors, you can easily achieve it using one single unit with the appropriate throw distance. When it comes to installation, mounting a projector and screen definitely requires less work and resources than setting up 9 displays. In terms of content management, you can use one single source, such as a PC or media player to drive content with projector. With a video wall, you will need content creation software and video splitters to display content to the video wall. So, projector offers an effective and cost saving installation than video wall.

Can the Pro8400 be used for rear projection?

RC: Yes, the Pro8400 offers 4 different projections – front table, font ceiling, rear table and rear ceiling.

What’s the difference between your commercial and consumer products?

RC: ViewSonic offers consumers a variety of products at a comfortable price point that exemplify quality and brings in the latest innovations in technology hardware and software. ViewSonic’s commercial line of products integrates these same qualities in an offering fit to meet the needs of small to large businesses.

Our commercial TVs for example offer a robust feature set designed to enable businesses to automate display controls including programmability, duplication, and custom calibration abilities. Our consumer projectors offer high performance features and essential connectivity options at an affordable price. Our commercial projectors offer various features, such as high brightness, wider optical zoom lens, short throw (short distance) capability and network management designed for businesses, education and custom installations.

Where are most of your professional displays used?

GO: ViewSonic’s professional displays are used in commercial businesses of all sizes including restaurants, sports bars, hospitality environments and business lobbies. 

How can even calibration be guaranteed in video wall applications?

GO: There are many variables involved in being able to guarantee the calibration of a video wall.  In order to deliver the best performance one must use the same product model for all the displays in the matrix. There are many models in the market to choose from and in some cases brands look very similar.  Different brands use different electronics and possibly different panels so the calibration may be impossible.  In addition, there are screen set-up settings in all displays ranging in brightness, contrast, color temperature, and black level. Their criteria must be set the same in all displays.  Depending on the critical nature of the application’s 3rd party visual calibration, equipment is available so one can exactly match all screens to each other.  Other areas to be careful with is in the quality and length of the cables connecting the video source to the matrix of displays.  Each video cable needs to be of the same quality and length so no outside distortions are introduced and all displays are receiving the same quality and video level. 

What are the benefits of HTML5 support in digital signage players?

GO: The introduction of HTML5 is making digital signage much easier for the masses.  With HTML5, small to mid-sized business can now utilize the WEB to host and deliver content at lower cost.  Using HTML5 also opens the door to “widgets” that can be used in screen designs to show time, date, RSS feeds and even complete web pages.

What is the maximum resolution of a Multi-view video wall?

GO:  When designing a video wall one has the option of tiling a video image by the number of displays or utilizing the maximum resolution of each display.  The benefit of ViewSonic’s Multi-view video wall software is that it works in all resolution configurations.  In the case of advertising and entertainment, it is common to configure a matrix of displays where the displays are connected in a loop-through configuration and set up where each display showcases a portion of the complete image – e.g. tiling.  In the case of a 2×2 video wall, using full HD displays (1920×1080) each display represents 960 x 540 pixel resolution.  In the case of a scientific or critical application where full HD is required on each display, multiple output computer video cards are available

Can you tell us about any really unique and cool Digital signage applications you have seen ViewSonic products used in?

GO: On application that comes to mind is how ViewSonic’s large format displays are used in visual entertainment in casino applications. ViewSonic’s large format displays are experienced by thousands as they top multiple slot banks in casinos operating as the main theme display.  Typically thee displays are delivering an entertaining visual experience – themed in a gaming environment showing exciting video, player messaging, casino signage, progressive counting and advertising.  These displays run 24 hours every day and demonstrate ViewSonic’s product quality and supreme reliability.    

The digital signage industry has seen some big shifts over the past few years. Where do you see it going in 2012 and beyond?

GO: We will experience rapid growth in digital signage applications in 2012 and beyond.  We will see digital signage and public display kiosk in more locations now that the hardware cost and content management software has become affordable for the small to mid-size businesses.  In addition, we will see a big growth in the QSR (Quick Service Restaurant) application as digital sign boards and POS systems begin to come merge together.  The benefit of dynamically linking advertising to the checkout counter is being discussed among all retailers.  The key to growth continues to be driven by efficiency, consumer impact, and visual emotion to stimulate a purchase.