Product Updates

By Heather Baldwin

Crestron unveiled its UPX2 Universal Presentation Processor, a complete AV presentation system in a single, self-contained package. The UPX2 integrates a seamless video switcher, a multiwindow processor, a multichannel video scaler, a line doubler and deinterlacer, a wireless pen-based annotator and a touch screen controller on an embedded PC platform. The UPX2 provides a single, multiwindow display that integrates and simultaneously displays control interfaces for room control and AV equipment and preview displays for multiple video sources and computer applications. The product cost is $9,000. www.crestron.com

Apple has updated Keynote, its presentation slideshow application. The new version includes cinema-quality text animations and transitions, a built-in iLife Media Browser and an expanded set of themes for photo portfolios, digital storyboards and education. Keynote 2 also creates self-running, interactive slideshows. Keynote 2 is part of a new application suite called iWork ’05, which sells for $79. www.apple.com

PLUS Vision Corp. of America announced the PLUS V-332, a 1200-lumen, XGA projector weighing less than 3 pounds. The V-332 is the first to feature Unplug & Go, a patented PLUS feature that allows the power cable to be unplugged immediately after use while a battery-operated fan cools the projector. The unit also includes a new dial-type Iris Lens Cover design that better protects the lens, makes it simpler to remove and attach the cap and eliminates the risk of losing the cap. The V-332 sells at a street price of $1,995. www.plus-america.com

ViewSonic Corp. unveiled the PJ755D, a 7.5-pound front-projection display for both business and home entertainment. The unit puts out 2,700 ANSI lumens of brightness, has a 2,000:1 contrast ratio and native XGA resolution. According to the manufacturer, the PJ755D is “the first projector to expand the maximum fidelity and clarity of DLP technology beyond the micro-portable category.” It sells for a street price of $2,299. www.viewsonic.com

Casio launched three new data projectors – the XJ-360, XJ-460 and XJ-560. All include a zoom lens with a 2x zoom factor and an aspherical lens for extremely high image quality from distances as close as 0.8 m. The flagship model, the XJ-560, offers 3,000 ANSI lumens of brightness. The XJ-460 and XJ-430 offer 2,500 and 2,200 ANSI lumens, respectively. The XJ-460 and XJ-560 are both fitted with a phase differentiation sensor that identifies any horizontal or vertical image distortion and corrects it automatically. The system also features an auto-focus function, enabling undistorted images to be projected from angles of up to 30 degrees to the projection axis. A direct power-off function lets users disconnect from the power supply and store the projector immediately after use while the cooling fan continues running. The three new projector models are available beginning March 2005. www.casio-projectors.com