For many years, the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) used inexpensive projectors, and experienced the repercussions of lower quality products. The projectors were failing, and getting them fixed was a hassle. Bulbs were constantly dying, and the cost of replacing them began to outweigh the upfront low-price of the projectors. Moreover, the service they were getting from the existing vendor was inadequate, and didn’t feel like a true partnership.
The Office of Instructional Technology and AV team at the private Catholic school in San Antonio, Texas saw the inefficiencies that were happening at a massive scale, and how that was costing the school both time and money. They had the foresight to make a long-term change, and transform the campus from analog to digital.
Rodney and his colleagues took everything into consideration and were “exceedingly pleased” with how the projectors performed. Added Rodney, “We also wanted projectors that wouldn’t whirr during class and compete with the instructor’s lecture. We loved that the Panasonic projectors were quiet, and that we could camouflage them in the classrooms because of the optional black colors.”
Understanding the importance of consistency, the school made Panasonic the campus standard, and deployed projectors across campus – primarily in classrooms – including 40 PT-EZ580s, 40 PT-FW430s, 20 PT-VW440s and 40 PT-DZ580s, as well as a large venue PT-DZ770 projector.
It was important for the projectors to mirror the color of the content being used in the classroom, fed in from local PCs, wireless phones and laptops. Previously, instructors had experienced issues with the content’s color being replicated from the source images. For example, whites looked very dark. “When we switched up Panasonic to be in the classroom, the instant feedback was glowing. The colors are perfect, which makes a tremendous difference in classes where imagery is detailed - such as art history and graphic design.”
The university was so happy about the performance of the projectors and its experience with Panasonic that two years later, it added four TH55-LFV70 professional displays to create a panel video wall and a TH-42LF6U flat panel display to deliver clear, eye-catching digital signage where each department can promote news and events. The displays deliver a wide viewing angle (178 degrees), meaning they can be seen by students from right and left angles as they walk by. They also offer continuous 24-hour operation, thanks to a built-in cooling fan, which allows the signage to reach students walking to class in the morning, or late at night after coming out of the library.
Adds Rodney, “We couldn’t be happier that we made the switch to Panasonic. The move to such dependable projectors has saved our AV team countless maintenance time, reduced lamp replacement costs, and relieved headaches. What’s more, Panasonic has been a true partner in ensuring that all deployments are seamless and successful.”
There were myriad applications that UIW’s AV team needed to solve for: the projectors needed to work for many different schools – ranging from optometry to physical therapy. For this reason, clarity and high brightness were a priority for both the faculty and the administration. Working with Summit Integration Systems in San Antonio, the AV team organized a shoot-out for a select group of manufacturers. At the shoot-out, each manufacturer had the opportunity to showcase the quality of their projected images side-by-side, demonstrating color reproduction, brightness and clarity.
Rodney Evans, the AV coordinator who has been with the school for 15 years, reports that it was an easy decision. “Hands down, Panasonic came through with flying colors. The projectors had everything we were looking for: luminosity, low power consumption, and eco-friendly filters.”
Ana Gonzalez, Director of Instructional Technology at UIW, points out the role Rodney’s keen understanding of AV technology played in the success of the project, noting: “Rodney is incredibly knowledgeable about AV and has truly lead this change. I completely trust his judgement and count on his ability to work with our partners to make sound decisions and be good stewards of the university’s resources.”