High definition video cameras, multi-format disc burners, high-speed printers, and a host of other productivity tools are making it easier to create and distribute vibrant business content.
To rise above the welter of information your customers receive from a multitude of vendors, your presentations should be eye-catching and compelling.
If you haven't already done so, it's a good time to start working high definition video into your presentations. It will give your messages a modern and exciting look and feel. Capturing, editing, and delivering HD video is easier than ever with new tools designed for small business applications.
Panasonic's Proline AG-HSC1U, a 3-chip HD camcorder, records awesome 1080i video in the new AVCHD format. Weighing only 1.1 lbs., the unit features a 12x Leica zoom lens, a 3-inch widescreen (16:9) LCD monitor, and a 5.1-channel surround sound system. Optical image stabilization works well in the AG-HSC1U. We were impressed with the crisp and smooth images from this small and compact unit, even when shooting from a moving boat. The $2,099 package includes an external 40GB hard disk drive for transferring content from the unit's 4GB SDHC memory card.
With a fast computer and AVCHD editing software, such as Pinnacle Studio version 11, you can create stunning presentations that will keep your message alive in the memory of your customers.
Lighten UpAn element of fun in multimedia presentations can increase both impact and retention, particularly among younger business audiences.
For starters, try Claymation Studio from Honestech, which lets you create your own stop-motion animation with a digital camera, webcam, or camcorder. The Windows-based program ($40) also makes it easy to add special effects, such as chroma-key backgrounds, and narration.
Another simple to use program, Morpheus Photo Animation Suite from Smith Micro, turns still photos and graphics into animation by morphing and mixing images. The finished animations can be saved as Flash, AVI, and other popular file formats for use in presentations or on websites. The $50 program is available for either Mac or Windows computers.
Customize With Ease Multi-format disc burners enable you to customize your message each time you deliver it to a different group.
The Plextor PX-B900A http://www.plextor.com/english/library/boxes/boxes.htm is an internal, multi-function drive that can record content onto Blu-ray disc (BD), DVD, and CD media. This Windows-based $999 unit is bundled with one rewritable 25GB BD-RE disc, and a complete software package, including Ulead VideoStudio 10 and InterVideo WinDVD BD.
To spice up the look of your discs, consider using Verbatim's new LightScribe DVDRs. The 4.7GB capacity discs are available in five colors; a multi-color 25-pack costs around $35. These discs can be used for direct-to-disc burning of silkscreen-quality graphics and text on the label side.
Extending Your Reach High-quality laser printers and disc duplicators are making it easy to distribute handouts of your presentations.
Konica Minolta's new magicolor 4650 series printers output color graphics remarkably well and are ideal for workgroups. The speedy 4650DN is rated for a fast first page of 14.5 seconds in color or black-and-white, and 25 pages per minute for multi-page documents. The versatile $799 unit also features a built-in automatic duplexer for two-sided printing.
High-performance tech solutions will enable you to efficiently convert your business information to digital content.
Speedy disc duplicators, content conversion software, portable projectors, versatile scanners, and high-capacity Flash drives can extend the reach of your business information, as well as boost efficiency while you're away from the office.
Need to duplicate a small quantity of discs but don't have time to make copies? With the Bravo SE Blu Disc Publisher from Primera Technology, you can batch copy 20 at a time. The multi-format disc (CD, DVD, or Blu-ray) duplicator will set you back $2,995, but will enable you to frequently and speedily make copies of important business materials, and print labels directly onto discs.
Mobile multimedia players offer an innovative way to reach a larger audience. But first, you need to prepare your presentation for playback on a variety of devices. Pinnacle Mobile Media Converter ($30) software application lets you convert Windows Media Videos, DVD video, and many other formats for playback on a smartphone, video iPod, PSP, or other portable multimedia device that accepts MPEG-4 and other common video formats.
Ready for the Road
Ultra-portable projectors make it convenient to display information from your laptop on a big screen, even when communicating with a small workgroup. The latest Optoma EP1691 ultra-portable, DLP projector weighs only 3.2 lbs. It features a native 16:9 widescreen to match the latest widescreen notebooks, so that you won't have to make technical adjustments before projecting your presentations. The sub-$1,000 unit with WXGA resolution (1280 x 768) delivers bright, crisp, 2500-lumen images with a 2500:1 contrast ratio.
High-performance mobile devices can provide an easy way to work efficiently even when you're away from the office. The new Fujitsu ScanSnap S300l is a portable color scanner that measures 11.18 x 3.74 x 3.03 inches, and weighs only 3.08 lbs. (without the power adapter). The $295 unit features an automatic document feeder, and automatic color and black-and-white detection. Designed for use with Microsoft Windows the S300 can scan both sides of a document, and is capable of continuously scanning up to 10-pages in a batch. It supports a wide range of paper sizes, from as small as a business card to as large as legal length.
The latest DataTraveler Mini -- Migo Edition USB Flash drives from Kingston Technology are available in 1GB, 2GB, and 4GB storage capacities, and cost $16, $28, and $62, respectively. With these Flash drives you will be able to take numerous and large data files with you wherever you go. The drives are preloaded with Migo Software/ for Windows-based PCs that enable you to replicate your desktop on virtually any PC. When synchronized with a host computer, Migo can copy e-mails, Internet favorites from supported browsers, and other content including files and folders.
With these new tools, you and your staff will be able to increase the impact of the information your company distributes, and improve productivity in the office or while on the road.