In this year's Special Supplement - scope out the latest technologies available to the ProAV Community. Read about what was involved in setting up the Starz "Disaster Relief Center" facility, discover what the latest advances in video conferencing can offer your company and how system integrators are changing the way business does AV. So read on and enjoy.

   
PROJECTORS: Cast a Giant Shadow

With a growing number of American homes having 5.1 surround sound audio and DVD video, along with falling projector prices, many consumers are looking at projectors to provide a superior home theater experience. Now that the 5-pound barrier has been breached, rugged mini-projectors weighing 3 and 4 pounds are growing in popularity providing sales people on the road with the ability to give high-quality video and graphic presentations. Two of the most popular areas that have adopted the new generation of video projectors are boardrooms and classrooms. Installations of handsome projectors abound. Lastly, more and more large nightclubs, concert tours, television shows and even motion picture theaters are looking at projectors as a way to achieve what video monitors and noisy film projectors cannot.
VC: Next Best Thing

Today's video conferencing offers choices for every budget and need, from home users and family wanting to visit regularly to Fortune 100 and US government organizations using video and the Web. All offer the benefit of being there in real time via the Internet, dedicated land line or private network. Teleconferencing in all its various forms is considered to be a $1.5 billion dollar market, according to Frost & Sullivan a global leader in international strategic market research. According to Wainhouse Research of Brookline, MA business videoconferencing systems will reach sales of $1.67 billion by 2005 -- an increase from $588 million in 1999. Given today's business climate and the lowering cost of high speed Internet access, it's easy to see this is a technology whose time has come.
SI: Systems Integrators Answer Industry's Needs

"We provide sort of a soup to nuts package for our customers," says Tom Canavan, President of A. F. Associates, a leading systems integrator located in Northvale, NJ, (http://www.afassoc.com/), "helping them outsource their needs for growth and expansion on the technology side. And I'm glad to say the biggest trend affecting us is that broadcasters and cable system operators are turning to systems integrators more often than they did even just 10 years ago."
PROFILE: Starz "Disaster Relief Center"

"A lot of people talk about doing something like this, but few have actually accomplished it," says Ray Milius, V.P. of technology for the Starz Encore Group. "Basically, this will be a scaled down version of our main satellite uplink center in Englewood, Colorado. We aren't just concerned about a 9/11 type of incident although that's always a possibility. The Englewood facility is located right next to both an airport and a major freeway, and Colorado is sometimes subject to severe tornadoes. So with an annual revenue flow of almost a billion dollars, we felt the best insurance policy would be to create a mirrored operations center that could continue sending out our product no matter what disasters may occur."