Planar Systems is demonstrating a major commitment to commercial 4K video adoption with its InfoComm 2014 announcement that it’s expanding its 4K lines with the launch of new displays ranging from 28- to 98-inch.
The new 4K models include additions to UltraRes Series and EP-Series and a new IX-Series of 4K desktop monitors.
A lot has changed in the 4K landscape since Planar launched its UltraRes Series in February 2013.
“At the time we were really the first of this new generation of commercial 4K displays,” says Steve Seminario, senior director of product marketing.
“There were some TVs, but there was absolutely nobody doing commercial—we designed in a lot of capabilities that TVs don’t [have].”
If that was a risky launch a year and a half ago, Planar now views it as having paid off in a couple of ways.
The company got feedback about the features customers most value in commercial 4K displays. One feature is Planar’s UltraRes MediaPlex software, which allows multiple sources to be viewed simultaneously and offers ability to upscale and downscale content to full screen or quadrants of the screen. “We found that commercial customers really valued that,” Seminario says.
The other critical feature, Seminario adds, is touchscreen capability.
Meanwhile, Planar’s 4K products are now 4K certified by Crestron, according to product marketing manager Becky Connors. The “Crestron 4K Certified” moniker is “important to both Crestron and Planar,” she says.
“We think about 80 percent of our integrators are using Crestron and [Crestron’s] message about 4K is very, very strong. Our message about 4K is very, very strong. We’re also partnering with the leading media player, BrightSign and it’s all allowing for a better ecosystem.”
The alliances with Crestron and BrightSign also reflect lessons Planar has learned, Seminario says. “One thing we realized in working on the [initial UltraRes Series 4K rollout] is that the ecosystem would contribute to the success [of 4K products]. It’s critical for us to stay really close to those vendors that are leading the way to put the whole eco system together.”
Planar is seeing wider demand for commercial 4K than initially predicted, including conference room adoption.