Taking HD Technology to New Heights

Savvy Meetings Planners Embrace New Technologies

By Kevin Sanford Director of Sales & Marketing, Island Hotel Newport Beach | October 14, 2012

Gone are the days when a single-lens motion picture or lantern slide projector displayed rudimentary images – such as short films and slides – on a canvas screen. Today's über-sophisticated meetings technology features crisp, pristine high-definition, high-resolution projection and mega screen technology that enhance any meeting experience.

While it has evolved significantly, high-definition (HD) technology is not new. It was introduced in the United States in the 1990s by the Digital HDTV Grand Alliance, a group of television, electronic equipment and communications companies, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

HD technology has exploded in recent years, which is not surprising. Studies show that audiences retain only 10% of what they hear and 20% of what they see; however, when these same audiences are presented with a communication that combines voice and visual elements, retention soars to 65%. With this in mind, the latest HD technology is critical to today's meetings industry.

Signifying an image that has a much higher resolution and is clearer than other formats, HD video refers to any video system of higher resolution than standard-definition (SD) video, and most commonly involves display resolutions of 1,280×720 pixels (720p) or 1,920×1,080 pixels (1080i/1080p). High-definition image sources include terrestrial broadcast, direct broadcast satellite, digital cable, high-definition disc (BD), Internet downloads and the latest generation of video game consoles.

These newest options, with wide-screen and crystal-clear video technology, have made it possible to have bigger, brighter, more dynamic displays – providing a definite "wow factor" at meetings and events. Surprisingly, many event planners and hotels are still using outdated equipment, and don't realize they are losing revenue and falling behind the proverbial curve by not investing in the latest generation of modern display technology.

So when Island Hotel Newport Beach refurbished its 20,000 square feet of meeting space in 2009 – including a 6,000-square-foot ballroom, five meeting rooms and five additional meeting suites – offering up-to-the-minute meetings technology was tantamount; and the hotel partnered with leading hotel, resort, meetings and conference center industry technology expert Swank Audiovisuals to facilitate the new services. For decades, the AAA Five Diamond property has been one of the region's top business hotels, and it was time to keep pace with ever-evolving technology.

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