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Panasonic announces debut of newest LCD home theater

This week, Panasonic announced the debut of its newest LCD home theater projector with 1080p (1,920 x 1,080 pixel) native resolution: the PT-AE2000E. Designed for savvy home theater enthusiasts and audio video professionals who desire an immersive home entertainment viewing experience, the new projector delivers 1080p images with a carefully-tuned lens system to reproduce remarkable detail and clarity with 1,500 lumen brightness and 16,000:1 contrast ratio.

The new PT-AE2000E model is the next evolution of its predecessor, the PT-AE1000E, which has been widely accepted and used to display professional movies. The new projector reproduces the original picture quality intended by Hollywood movie and television directors – all within the comfort of consumers’ home theaters.

Beautiful Picture Quality with Improved Clarity

The PT-AE2000E model comes equipped with Panasonic’s new optical system that’s designed to display beautifully detailed images with a captivating brightness of 1,500 lumens. Careful craftsmanship is incorporated into each individual optical system by highly skilled technicians to fully optimize the image for full high definition (HD) resolution. The projector’s new Detail Clarity Processor analyzes frequency characteristics of each frame in three dimensions (horizontal, vertical, and along the time axis) and applies necessary sharpness at varying degrees to create natural, life-like images with exceptional clarity.

The PT-AE2000E projector reproduces Hollywood movies, independent films and other entertainment with exceptional color accuracy. Its enhanced unique Pure Color Filter Pro uses optical adjustment to achieve a higher purity level of the three primary colors; it also helps displays deeper, purer blacks. The color space has been extended even more to match the approximate level specified in the digital cinema industry.

For the full specification, and more information about the Panasonic PT-AE2000E, read here.

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SMART Technologies receive two Legacy Awards

SMART Technologies has announced that it has been awarded two Legacy Awards in the prestigious Technology & Learning Awards of Excellence program for SMART Board™ software 9.5 and SynchronEyes™ classroom management software 7.0. The category recognizes previous award-winning products that have stood the test of time and continually offer the highest quality experiences for educators and students.

The Technology & Learning Awards of Excellence program is now in its 25th year and is recognized as one of North America’s premier education technology judging programs. This year’s winners were chosen by more than 30 educator judges who test-drove over 120 entries. Ease of use, quality, effectiveness, creative use of technology and suitability for the school environment were some of the judging criteria.

“This year’s winning products reflect an impressive effort to respond to the real needs of schools,” says Susan McLester, editor in chief of Technology & Learning magazine. “The offerings being honored are practical, innovative and central to a variety of district and site operations.”

“SMART works directly with educators to develop products that meet their needs and make a difference in the classroom,” says Nancy Knowlton, SMART’s CEO. “The Legacy Awards recognize SMART’s long-standing commitment to education and reaffirms its position as a leader in quality technology products for educators and students.”

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Toshiba Introduces New Super Narrow Bezel REGZA HDTVs

  • Filed under: News on 24 Oct

Toshiba’s Super Narrow Bazel line of REGZA LCD HDTVs has expanded by two, including a new 40” and 46” model. Both boast 1080p resolution, and a bezel that measures a mere 1” wide, allowing the TV to fit in smaller spaces.

“Our REGZA LCD line has already been a huge success by setting new standards in picture quality, and we will now set a new standard in design with the world’s thinnest LCD TV bezel,” explained Lindsay Takashima, Senior Director Marketing, Consumer Electronics Group at Toshiba. “These premium models are not only strikingly beautiful, but they also allow you to put a larger TV in a smaller space. In fact, our new 40” SNB model fits in the space of a standard Toshiba 37” LCD TV, which means that many consumers can now fit a 40” model into their existing home theatre furniture.” (Read More…)

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Do clickers add anything to the classroom?

COLLIN McCONNELL / TORONTO STAR

Teacher Rod Zimmerman watches his Grade 6 students at Ellesmere-Statton Public School use remote control devices to answer questions.

 

Kids are so enthused they’ll even skip recess

Oct 22, 2007 04:30 AM


Education Reporter
They’re pumped up like it’s a game show; remote-control clickers clutched in their Grade 6 hands, racing to work out the answer and press the right button before time’s up. They’ve been known to skip recess for this. But are these clickers a hot new teaching tool, or just a tech toy paid for by taxpayers?

“We choose math for 40 points!” calls out Team 3, and teacher Rod Zimmerman brings up the question overhead.

After a huddle, teams point their remotes at an infrared receiver and punch in the answer, then wait to see who was right and how many – but not who – got it wrong.

“Woo hoo! We’re still in first place,” cheers Jonathan Fletcher, 10. “Clickers are really cool – they make education fun.”

Adds teammate Kinshasa Phillpotts: “You don’t even know you’re learning.”

But learning comes, under cover of fun, when Zimmerman flips to a blank screen using his hand-held wireless “chalk board” and reviews the mistake, something the class had covered days before.

Far beyond university lecture halls where they’re used to personalized classes for the masses, “clickers” have landed in Ontario schools as a new way to get children to take part, especially those who are shy, or unsure, or self-conscious about special needs.

The wireless hand-held remotes let students send answers to multiple-choice questions, with the click of a button. With a class set of 20 to 30 “clickers” a receiver, software, a computer, projector and screen, these Classroom Performance Systems are being used from grade school to grad school to get today’s tech-crazed students to plug into classroom discussion.

While teachers warn about using them too often – Zimmerman pulls them out only once a week, despite daily pleading from students, because he says it’s “only one tool a teacher should use” – they are drawing positive reviews.

“Tech for tech’s sake can be a complete waste of time and money,” says education professor Robin Kay of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

“We found teachers who use it for formal evaluations cause students far too much anxiety and stress,” says Kay, who is tracking clickers in 45 Waterloo classrooms from Grades 5 to 12. “But if you use clickers to provoke dialogue – like the Grade 5 teacher who used clickers to ask kids if they had been victims of bullying, and so many responded, they spent the whole class talking about the issue – then it’s an amazing tool to stimulate debate.”

Or to check your teaching smarts.

“When you ask, `Are there any questions?’ who’s going to raise their hand and draw attention to themselves?” says Kay.

“But put clickers in the students’ hands and ask them a question to see if they got it? I’ve found up to 60 per cent didn’t get the concept I was teaching – even when I thought I was being crystal clear!” he admits. “You have to go back and try something different.”

Clickers have been bought in bulk by at least a dozen Ontario school boards and are being tested by individual teachers in dozens more schools in the GTA – and that’s just the ones from eInstruction Canada, one of several firms that sell them.

The company’s infra-red models cost about $1,600 per class set of 32 eight-button clickers and are used more in grade schools. The more complex radio-frequency versions work better in large halls and have more options and a screen.

They cost about $2,600 per set and are more popular in high schools and post-secondary classrooms, says eInstruction’s John Paul Copeland.

“The biggest draw is the anonymity they provide students, who are more likely to participate when it’s a risk-free environment.”

Zimmerman, a teacher at Toronto’s Ellesmere-Statton Public School, agrees it pulls more kids into the lesson: “Look at this room; they’re all engaged – even the kids you never hear from all year.”

A growing body of research, much of it in Canada, shows the gadgets, if used properly – not for marks, never for tests – can engage more students and boost attendance.

Biologist Tom Haffie of the University of Western Ontario is tracking the use of clickers in two first-year biology classes with 600 to 800 students each.

He presented his findings this summer at an international conference in Edmonton.

“We had 85 per cent participating with clickers – and you never get 85 per cent of students to do anything, especially in a group of 800 people,” says Haffie, who uses clickers three to five times in a 50-minute lecture.

The software keeps a record of each student’s responses so teachers can see who is struggling and needs help. Haffie emailed each student their clicker record over several weeks, and 85 per cent said this prompted them to change their study habits, attend more often and 40 per cent sought extra help.

“Suddenly you’re not waiting six weeks until midterms to see how you’re doing,” says Haffie.

“Clickers have the potential to transform learning,” he said.

Kay agrees the enthusiasm clickers can spark is more than half the battle.

“It’s a promising tool for engaging students, especially the 40 per cent who never raise their hands. And if I’m engaged, the chances are a lot better that I might learn something.”

This article was extracted from TheStar.com. 

** For more information about Senteo, the clicker solution from SMART Technologies, contact Advanced Presentation Products at esales@advanced-inc.com .**

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Advanced in the news: Teachers and students get ‘SMART’

BY STEPHANNIE JOHNSON North Star Staff PARRY SOUND – The world of learning stepped into the future for three St. Peter’s School classrooms last week.Chalk and markers have been replaced by new SMART Boards in the three rooms. During Monday’s professional development day (PA Day) 13 teachers learned the ins and outs of the newest technology from John Palbom, an employee from Advanced Presentations.

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The new SMART Boards installed at the school combine the technology of a computer with the simplicity of a whiteboard.The touch-sensitive display allows teachers to control applications right on the board using their finger or digital pen.Principal Dave McDougall said he was mesmerized by the board after meeting Mr. Palbom at a workshop last year.“I sat back and watched his demonstration for maybe a half an hour,” said Mr. McDougall. “They say it’s been known to increase attendance, believe it or not, in schools. In New Brunswick they’ve done studies around the board and they’ve found that student learning has increased with the SMART Boards.” Mr. McDougall said after installation, programming, and training, the boards have cost the school about $5,000 each.“The teachers that got them are technology-literate,” Mr. McDougall joked. “It’s a different teaching tool.” 

Cody Storm Cooper/North StarSt. Peter’s school principal Dave McDougall demonstrates the versatility of the SMART Board during a training session for teachers Monday. Using the board’s touch screen technology, Mr. McDougall is showing how the board can be used to teach students math. The school recently purchased three of the boards that allow creativity in teaching a number of subjects. 

Board to help teachers engage kids 

It’s just another thing teachers can use in their bag of tricks,” said Mr. McDougall. “We don’t want everybody to just be teaching using SMART Boards, there’s still the chalk and the blackboard for a lot of things and in a lot of instances, it’s quicker. If you become efficient with it, it’s a good tool.”Although only implemented into classrooms last week, Mr. McDougall said students are enthralled with the new technology.

The kids love it,” he said. “Even the little kids, the first week, they’re calling it the magic board. They’re really excited to draw on the magic board. The kids just love coming up to the board and writing with that pen, because it’s a novelty.”Special education teacher Anastasia Rioux has a SMART Board in her classroom and has been using it daily. “I’m working with a group of weaker math kids and I find it’s really good,” said Ms Rioux. “It’s more hands-on, it gets kids up and out of their textbooks. I will implement it into my daily (routine) when I’m working with really little kids with their reading and writing. You can use it like a scratch pad using ‘markers’, so the kids are excited, because they get to go up there and write on the board.” 


This article was reproduced from Parry Sound North Star, issue 39

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ViewSonic Introduces New LCD Monitors

  • Filed under: News on 15 Oct

According to MarketNews.ca, ViewSonic, who are known for their leading range of LCD monitors for desktop PCs, are introducing a range of new models that offer wide screen, High Definition viewing, to make then just as useful as small TVs.

MarketNews also reports that more and more consumers are using their PCs to watch video content; and according to a recent IDC study, 40 per cent reported they’d likely watch TV on their PC monitor. Called the Diamani DUO, the new Series consists of the 19” NX1932w and the 22” NX2232w, both available for sub-$420.

ViewSonic’s general manager Colleen Browne said: “The ways in which consumers are integrating displays into the home are as varied as the households themselves, the Diamani DUO line allows consumers to save money and gain more features by purchasing a single, dual-purpose display that brings high quality video or computer viewing to any room.”

The LCDs offer 5ms response time, 2,400:1 dynamic contrast, and wide viewing angles. Each model has six inputs, including HDMI and VGA.

The N1932w and NX2232w offer 1,440 x 900 and 1,680 x 1,050 pixel resolution, respectively, and come housed in a high-gloss cabinet. They can be placed atop a flat surface via the integrated stand; or wall-mounted.

ViewSonic’s Diamani DUO NX1932w and NX2232w are currently available for ESPs of $339 and $419, respectively. They come backed by a one-year limited warranty on parts and labour; while optional two- or three-year extended warranties are also available.

(Source)

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Toshiba Launches 2,000 ANSI Lumen Projector with Integrated Document Camera

Toshiba’s Digital Products Division, a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., today announced the release of the TLP-XC2000U LCD projector with integrated, advanced CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) document camera. The projector’s high-quality document camera features a 3-mega pixel resolution, 16X zoom and built-in LED light for capturing 3D images, fine text and microscopic details for big-screen display for a value-price of $1,099 (ESUP)1.

“The Toshiba TLP-XC2000U projector with advanced, integrated document camera will capture any audience’s attention and give presenters and educators the ability to show the latest products, archeological samples or a page from a textbook instantly,” said Sam Malik, director of projector sales and marketing, Toshiba Digital Products Division. “The TLP-XC2000U projector is another example of Toshiba’s dedication to creating the best quality presentation solutions at unbeatable pricing for educators, small-to-medium businesses and corporate trainers.”

Featuring Toshiba’s Natural Color Enhancer3 (NCE3), users can project images with exceptionally sharp and brilliant clarity. At just 8.8 pounds, the TLP-XC2000U projector sports an impressive 2,000 ANSI lumens, XGA 1024 x 768 native resolution and 400:1 contrast ratio to deliver bright, captivating images. The projector is HDTV/DTV compatible and the lamp life can be extended up to 3,000 hours in Eco-Mode for energy and cost savings.

The projector is designed with a sophisticated approach to security, a removable palm-sized control panel. When the security panel is removed, the projector is no longer operable unless the password is entered on the remote control or when the removable panel is replaced.

The TLP-XC2000U projector also includes the following leading-edge features:

  • One-touch auto setup on a fully-loaded presentation remote to ensure worry-free, professional presentations even in the most unforgiving environments;
  • Instant power shut down capability that enables the projector to power off instantly once disconnected from the power outlet with no cool-down time required;
  • Digital zoom function on the remote control allowing the presenter to zoom in on a specific image presentation element such as spreadsheet numbers or other important details;
  • A variety of connectivity options, such as composite video and S-video inputs, audio in and variable audio output capabilities;
  • Special monitor-out capabilities that allow users to display and view images on a monitor and screen simultaneously, allowing the presenter to face their audience directly rather than turning around to read slides;
  • Automatic vertical keystone correction (plus or minus 30 degrees) that instantly projects a square image even when the projector is set up at a steep offset angle to the screen;
  • Quiet operation of only 31 decibels (dB) (in low mode) – quieter than a soft conversation.

The TLP-XC2000U is currently available through Toshiba’s authorized distributors, VARs, mail-order outlets and www.ToshibaDirect.com.

(Reference PR web)

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LifeSize Advances Its HD Video Communications Product Line

LifeSize, a global leader in high definition video communications, announced the release of LifeSize 3.0, the latest software revision to the world’s most advanced and affordable high definition video products, LifeSize® Room™ and LifeSize® Team™.

New features of LifeSize 3.0 include increased embedded multipoint functionality with support for 6-way voice activated switching and 4-way continuous presence, allowing for four on screen participants plus data streaming. Significant camera enhancements in auto focus, auto exposure, and color correction were also achieved in LifeSize 3.0 which allows for optimal performance in any lighting environment.

“With LifeSize 3.0 we deliver a rich, immersive telepresence experience that is even more vivid and lifelike than ever before. As with our complete portfolio of video solutions we continue to innovate and enhance the performance of our products,” said LifeSize CEO, Craig Malloy. “We strive to make it the best video communications solution in the marketplace.”

“We believe in the power of video and the ability it has to truly change the way people communicate. We remain committed to making our high definition products affordable, accessible, full-featured and easy to use for everyone, everywhere.”

“LifeSize Room turns any room into a telepresence environment simply by using your existing broadband network,&rdquo said Casey King, CTO LifeSize. “”Additionally with LifeSize 3.0, not only are up to 6 participants able to join a video call, but because the embedded multipoint conferencing feature is fully integrated it is far easier to use.”

In addition to the release of LifeSize® 3.0, LifeSize unveiled LifeSize SDI Adapter. This easy-to-use hardware device connects third party HD cameras, including the Sony EVI-HD1 HD camera, to the LifeSize® Room™ video solution.

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Ultra-thin OLED TV to hit the market

According to BBC news – Sony are due to release “an ultra-thin television” that is “brighter and crisper than current generation screens”

The TV, which is due to go on sale in December uses organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) to produce the image, resulting in a screen only 3mm thick.

OLED screens are said-t0-be more energy efficient than the popular LCD panels – as they do not need a backlight to boost brightness.

The BBC also states that it is  “difficult and expensive” to make large screens using the [OLED] technology. Sony’s first OLED TV costs £850 (roughly $1700 CAD) and has an 11 inch display.

OLED screens are brighter than LCD panels and also have better contrast ratio – resulting in sharper pictures.

The diodes emit a brilliant white light when attached to an electricity supply and are also being developed for use as replacements to traditional light bulbs.

Sony has hailed the new television as a signal of its returning strength as a technology innovator.

Sony’s president, Ryoji Chubachi said at a news conference at its Tokyo headquarters: “Some people have said attractive products are slow to come at Sony despite its technological strength”

He added:”I want this world’s first OLED TV to be the symbol of the revival of Sony’s technological prowess.

“I want this to be the flag under which we charge forward to turn the fortunes around.”

Sony’s executive deputy president, Katsumi Ihara said: “I don’t think OLED TVs will replace LCD TVs overnight. But I do believe this is a type of technology with very high potential, something that will come after LCD TVs.”

The new TV goes on sale in Japan on 1 December. There are no plans for a global launch as yet.

The OLED TV has a lifespan of about 30,000 hours of viewing – half that of Sony’s LCD televisions.

(Reference BBC News)

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The World’s largest plasma HDTV – Installed in New York City’s High Tech City Hall

  • Filed under: News on 01 Oct

New York, NY (July 23, 2007) – Panasonic, a leader in High Definition flat panel displays, announced that its103-inch 1080p Plasma HDTV – the world’s largest High Definition Plasma TV on the market today – has been installed in New York’s newly renovated City Hall. In addition to the 103-inch Plasma, Panasonic also installed its BD-10A Blu-ray Disc Player for playback of 1080p High Definition video content.

The Panasonic’s 103-inch 1080p Plasma HDTV will help the Mayor’s Office monitor news and play back other video content in High Definition. In addition to television channels, the Plasma HDTV will display real-time 311 call statistics and live video feed from NYC-TV’s City Drive Live traffic cameras.

“Panasonic has been a great corporate citizen, and I would like to thank them for their generous donation,” said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “New York’s City Hall is the oldest in the nation to still house its original government functions, and this desperately-needed renovation, including this 103-inch High Definition Plasma display, has given the building new life – making our office safer, more efficient and more technologically advanced.” “It is a great honor for Panasonic to have the flagship of our market-leading 1080p Plasma HDTVs become a part of New York’s City Hall,” said Joseph Taylor, Chief Operating Officer, Panasonic Corporation of

North America. “Just as this cutting-edge display provides amazingly sharp, crisp video for entertainment purposes, it is also a great way for the city’s leaders to share remote video and other data vital to the safe and secure operation of the city’s systems.”“It is wonderful to see New York’s City Hall moving so quickly to utilize such an advanced flat panel display for information display and video needs,” said

Tom Campbell, technology adviser to the project. “City Hall has set the standard for high-technology implementation in the municipal space.”
The Panasonic TH-103PH9UK provides stunning widescreen progressive display featuring full HD pixel resolution of 1,920 horizontal x 1,080 vertical, a contrast ratio of 5,000:1, and 4,096 equivalent steps of gradation for excellent color reproduction and pristine, lifelike video. Its effective display area is more than 89.3” wide by over 50.2” high with a size equivalent to four 50-inch Panasonic plasma displays. Panasonic also offers a free three-year in-home limited warranty on the 103-inch plasma display, unprecedented in the industry, via its Panasonic Plasma Concierge customer support program.

The 103-inch Plasma TV is a part of Panasonic’s line of industry-leading consumer and professional large-screen Plasma HDTV’s available in 37” (professional model only) 42”, 50”, 58” and 65” diagonal screen sizes.

For more information on the Panasonic 103-inch HDTV, please visit www.panasonic.com/proplasma. If you are interested in sales or rental of the 103-inch Panasonic in Canada, please go to www.apgdisplays.com .

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