AV Expo

Articles September - October 2023


AV-ICN Expo Magazine shares a brief of latest installations from the world of pro AV in this recurring feature of AV installations. read more

Articles September - October 2023

PLAY Technologies Transforms AV Experiences at Aljamea New!

Sachin K. Jain, Principal Consultant, PLAY technologies, shares insights on the state-of-the-art facility as he recounts the installation experiences with AV-ICN Magazine. read more

Articles September - October 2023

Unwinding The Changing Dynamics of Sennheiser with Naveen Sridhara New!

During the latest 'TCC Medium' and 'TC Bar' launch, Naveen Sridhara, Director of Sales, Sennheiser, shared Sennheiser's big leap in the UC market and strategies to stimulate growth in the pro-AV segment. read more

Articles July-August 2023

PALM Expo 2023 Achieves Recognition from Global Brands New!

PALM Expo 2023 returned with its 21st edition, drawing exhibitors and at¬tendees from around the globe, simultaneously placing the Indian pro audio and lighting indus¬try on the map. read more

Articles July-August 2023

Pro AV Mass Market Momentum Emphasizes AV-ICN Expo Success New!

AV-ICN Expo 2023 took place at the BEC, Mumbai, once again marking its presence as the torchbearer for the AV industry in India. read more

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BENQ Product Design Responds to Market

From L to R: Rajeev Singh, Jeffery Liang, Smita Rai and Anil Chopra

What stands out about BenQ, anchor exhibitors at AV-ICNx expo, is that product design is motivated in response to market needs. Analysing the market needs and fulfilling that need, is what has ensured that BenQ products are successful. Market integrity in product design and their ‘always can be better’ attitude has today made BenQ one of the leading brands in the AV Industry. Their booth at the recently concluded Infocomm expo in Mumbai attracted a lot of buzz and attention and AV-ICNx caught up with Jeffery Liang- President of BenQ APAC Region and Rajeev Singh- Managing Director, BenQ India, to learn more about product innovation and their drive to keep giving the market what it needs.

AV-ICNx: India is a different, special and tough market, which equates quality at the best price level. Did BenQ devise any special strategy to succeed in the Indian market?

RS:About almost a decade ago, maybe 2010-2011, India saw the use of projectors in education but it was still primarily used for higher education, wherein professors would use projectors to show PPTs or video presentations. The big opportunity however, was the school segment in India as no one was using projectors in the school segment. This was because school teachers did not make PPTs; they had a set curriculum and came prepared with lessons which they taught students using a textbook. Since, India has always been a powerhouse in software, we targeted all the education software companies in India. A lot of the companies were focusing on creating software in multimedia format for school curriculums to facilitate interactive and multimedia teaching. They needed a device to deliver the content in the classroom and we needed content to be used with the projectors. As the mode of learning for higher education and schools was completely different, they needed a different kind of content. We were the first ones to collaborate with these software companies and sell a complete solution, which included having their software, our projectors, interactive white board and a small PC because all this content had to be on some computing device. We started out this way and gradually developed a special projector for the Indian classroom environment. Since, even the private schools weren’t air- conditioned, temperatures could go up to as high as 50 degrees, plus there was also a lot of dust and electricity could get very unstable with frequent outages. Keeping all of these factors in mind, we tailor made a projector for India which was a short throw projector and was dust resistant. There was also a special provision for the lamp to not get damaged if there was a sudden electricity outage. Our projector along with the software was a complete solution and created a reliable and affordable experience in the classroom. This made us No.1 in the projector business in the Indian private education sector; our share is as high as 65% even now. Out of three classrooms in a school, at least two use BenQ projectors. This is a very unique to India; no other country in the world boasts of such a model.

AV-ICNx: BenQ is a very old name in the Indian market and seen as a serious and professional brand; are you satisfied with the projector sales In India?

DuoBoard Corporate Interactive Flat Panel for Extended Collaborations

The new generation of 4K DuoBoard corporate interactive flat panel (CP6501K/CP8601K) facilitates efficient multitasking by enabling users to open two applications simultaneously, while Duo OS achieves cross-platform compatibility between Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows OS, for more collaboration. The Duo Boards function combines two panels side by side, to double the collaboration space and develop borderless ideas under the powerful whiteboarding app EZWrite. The 65” and 86” DuoBoard CP6501K/CP8601K also provides seamless video conferences with the embedded FHD camera and array mic, as well as intuitive display interactivity by incorporating the advanced P-cap (Projected Capacitive) touch technology. The P-cap touch enables accurate, precise touch responses on the screen for realistic handwriting, also features with InstaShare app for ease of wireless mirroring, open-platform software compatibility, smart eye-care solution, and hassle-free maintenance.

JL: I always say this, there’s no best, it can always be better. Nevertheless, Rajeev Singh is doing a fantastic job for us. Even though we are selling projectors, which are much more expensive than so many other brands, we are still number one in the projector business, because of the brand reputation that BenQ has. Because of Rajeev and his leadership, in terms of projectors, BenQ India is definitely a role model for the entire global market.

AV-ICNx: Is the entire R&D and Manufacturing done in Taiwan? Or is some of it done in India too?

Smart Projectors for Instant Wireless Presentation

The newly launched Smart Projectors feature a powerful built-in operating system with useful business apps, enabling wireless mirroring across multiple platforms, video conferencing, collaboration, and direct reading of files from USB drives to maximize meeting efficiency in the BYOD trend. Besides the standard throw models EH600, EW600 and EX600 with resolutions of Full HD, WXGA to XGA respectively, the short throw models EX800ST and EW800ST even incorporate hassle-free management apps to manage across BenQ smart projectors and interactive flat panels in one company, such as Account Management System (AMS), Device Management Solution (DMS), and X-Sign Broadcast to deliver instant messages into the projection screens.

JL: So far, both R&D and manufacturing is still done in Taiwan, because there are certain economies of scale that need to be considered. The projector market is actually very complicated. You need a good place and stable labour skills and so far no brand has been able to manufacture projectors in India. The total volume of projectors is about 7.5 million a year worldwide, with India accounting only about 350K and that’s not enough to set a manufacturing unit in India and get a benefit out of it.

RS: And off this 350K, majority are data projectors and for data projectors there is no custom duty anyways, so if you manufacture anything locally, there is no advantage.

AV-ICNx: What are the new trends in display that we can look forward to?

RS:Today, the biggest trend in display is of course Interactive display. There are so many other things coming up with a whole lot of features as compared to normal interactive displays. Displays are becoming very segmented. There are different set of features for every use. Be it classroom, conference room or huddle room. The displays fulfil very specific set of uses and features. All of this results into a very immersive meeting environment since otherwise the retention of information during a meeting or a lecture is a big problem. The problem is that the retention rate or the take home information, is very low by the end of a meeting. People are constantly distracted by their phones, or their mind is elsewhere and this is where these new-age interactive displays play an important role of immersing and connecting with the audience so that their take home is much more. Also, all the data that is displayed can be directly sent to them through Wi-Fi or it can be emailed to them. There’s no need to take a picture or take notes. Every screen can be sent to them.

AV-ICNx: So with these interactive displays and collaborative displays, are all the connected people getting data of the entire thing in auto mode?

RS: They can, but only if they have permissions. All these devices have enterprise level security features in them. It’s not that anybody can connect to it, only if they have access then they can connect to it, otherwise you can either send it to them whenever you want or give them the access to connect to it. Also, for each person the level of access can be pre- defined with the help of an NFC card. So all the devices are very intelligent and most importantly they meet up with all the corporate security requirements.

AV-ICNx: So which is the next growth sector you are looking at in terms of displays and projectors?

RS: Our primary focus is Interactive Flat Panels as our next growth segment because as I mentioned earlier, in the beginning we sold only a part of the whole solution which was the projector; everything else was from other manufacturer, but, now, we have our own Interactive flat panel which contains everything in a single device except the software. So the hardware together with the software is a full solution. Therefore, we are focusing on the interactive panel in the education and corporate sector as well.

The corporate sector comes from a non-interactive usage background, but in this new digital era, the need for collaborative working has arisen in the conference room, for which you need interactive displays; the passive displays will not do the job. We have launched a new series for the corporate segment called Duo Board. It is AV over IP ready. It has two screens that you can use together and there is dual operating system. It is primarily for collaborative working and is very feature rich.

In terms of projectors, we have launched a smart projector. Up until now, all the projectors including our laser projectors were just pure hardware devices. There was no operating system or computing inside. Now we have come out with a smart projector for the corporate sector wherein you have an in-built android, which eliminates the need of connecting a laptop. All you need is a pen drive or a hard drive that you can directly connect to the projector. Since it is android, it has many apps that you might need in office for video conferencing needs. One can also either connect a keyboard and a mouse, wirelessly or connect it to the projector itself. This again, is a very different way of using projectors in the corporate environment as the projector has interactivity and you can do so many things around it.

JL: So as Rajeev mentioned, in the past we were only a part of the total solution, but when we started IP, the device itself is a total solution. Because of our R&D, sales and marketing team, we are getting stronger and stronger in both hardware and software. Our smart projector are not just passive displays, they have intelligence inside.

RS: We have also launched a 7000 lumens laser projector, which comes with a passive 3D support. 3D support is an add-on feature; otherwise it’s a fantastic high brightness projector by itself. 7000 lumens are good enough for a typical Indian sized theatre.

AV-ICNx: Will LED screens soon replace all the film projectors?

World’s First Pantone Validated Digital Signage

Featuring 4K2K UHD clarity, Smart Signage Series 65” SL6502K, the world’s first Pantone validated digital signage, assuring on-screen color fidelity and matched interoperability with Pantone-qualified color production devices. SL6502K delivers professional color - performance to fulfill the absolute precision and consistency from design to in-store deployment and broadcast via digital signage for retailers, fashion trendsetters, product brands and design studios who trust the Pantone system to deliver accurate color production. The greater flexibility in horizontal or vertical view makes it perfect for retailing space or meeting room display. With a built-in OS and pre-loaded X-Sign software, SL6502K facilitates effortless content creation and management including scheduling distribution or monitoring display performance in real time.

RS: Laser projectors will replace all the conventional projectors. LED cinema screens are very expensive. It is not going to change anything.

AV-ICNx: Has BenQ tied up with UFO or any other chain?

RS: No we have not. But, we will be tying up with one of the chains very soon.

AV-ICNx: Who is your main competitor for the smart projector?

JL: There is no one. We are the first ones to launch this kind of a projector.

AV-ICNx: What is the biggest challenge here?

JL: This is a new product, we are the pioneers and the challenge here is to educate the end- users and the public in general.

AV-ICNx: Is this projector competing with the smart displays?

RS: Yes, it is, but it’s more of a solution than a competition. For every price point or every feature there is a customer. And, the choices available need not replace each other; they can also complement each other.

AV-ICNx: How big is the hospitality sector for you?

RS: We have signages for the hospitality sector; however, for us our major focus is interactivity. Every brand has its own focus. Currently we have 30% market share of the Interactive flat panel market.

In displays, we are focusing more on unique solutions, like the one we have launched here. We have launched a new display, which is the world’s first Pantone certified display. This is the only display in the world that is certified by Pantone. Many corporates have this requirement because their logo has a certain Pantone shade, when you want to display the logo, the display should show the true colour, and this is the only display that ensures that. Wherever you have a colour critical application, is where you need this display.

Current Issue : May-June 2024


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