Saturday, June 14, 2008

Using High Definition Hd In Installations

Writen by David Gray

HD stands for High Definition (HD) and is a digital video format and offers the promise of sharper, clearer pictures and sound than currently available using analogue video and television formats using the PAL, SECAM or NTSC standards. There are two standards of HD which are 720 and 1080.

PAL has only half the resolution of 720 HD and a fifth of 1080 HD.

HD based display systems are a vast improvement on PAL systems with a significant improvement in the clarity of image, amount of visible detail and improved colour rendition.

The use of HD orientated systems in the installation field offers significant opportunities to increase the impact, content, clarity and reception of presentations; be this in the boardroom, lecture hall, presentation theatre or videoconference suite.

HD uses square pixels and the 16:9 film format screen ratio. The latest generation of DLP projectors, plasmas and LCD screens are also based around native HD resolutions - this enables source material to be shown exactly as intended.

HD enables display screens to be larger. HD uses more pixels and of a smaller size in consequence large screen images DO NOT look blocky, fuzzy or having jagged edges to diagonal lines, pictures, numbers and text. This includes pin sharp PowerPoint text, graphics and excellent colour rendition; for Apple Mac users Footnote is as the designer intended – no reduction in quality from PC to the large screen. Camera feeds, image stills and video sources offer clear, bright and lifelike rendition.

Allied to digital source control and manipulation, displayed imagery may be made up of multiple sources each in its own window. Each window is dynamic and may be sized, positioned and its entrance and exit method selected.

This enables displayed content to reflect information from say a PowerPoint slide alongside a photograph of the subject matter and a live head shot of the presenter, enhancing the all important eye to eye contact for an effective presentation.

Clear close ups of artefacts, components, graphs, data feeds, spreadsheets, CAD drawings are a reality with enhanced clarity previously achieved only with great difficulty and at significant cost.

The most important aspect of the use of HD displays is simply that your presentations are clearer, the audience is focused and attentive for longer, the message is delivered with increased retention levels.

Applications of HD and allied digital control systems in the installed environment would encompass the following scenarios:-

Videoconferencing – using HD endpoints display on the same screen the near and far point(s) in their own windows, enable window sizing by the endpoint currently speaking. Show both endpoint and share on the screen documents and working documents be this figure, work, text, drawing or other.

Conference suite – use various sources and display these concurrently side by side or overlaid such as PowerPoint, Product picture/ video, Presenter head shot enabling eye contact for the audience and the presenter without moving.

Presentation/ Hire Suite – Switch between multiple sources all up rated to HD quality such as DVD, Blu-Ray, Betacam, Satellite, Camera, Internet, Computer, Videoconference – additionally relay this displayed feed to other locations within the complex for repeat display for overflow rooms, discussion groups, press rooms etc.

David Gray is Technical Director at Status AV - a high end audiovisual company based in the UK. He has experience of a huge range of installations and event productions, including high definition and widescreen projection.

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