The University of Stirling is implementing a rolling programme to upgrade its AV across its estate.
It urgently needed to replace the projectors in two 250-capacity horseshoe shaped lecture theatres in the Cottrell Building.
The university also needed a bright projector for its 210-capacity main lecture theatre in the Pathfoot Building to replace its old XGA model, located in a projection booth 19 metres back at the rear of the room.
And the facilities team were getting feedback from users that the 4x3 rear projection system in its Iris Murdoch Building Conference Suite was no longer fit for purpose. The bright 16 metre long 120 capacity suite, which is used frequently by external users, has large east facing windows and divides into three separate spaces.
When looking at the possible solutions for the two 250-capacity lecture theatres, the team investigated re-utilising concertina lift brackets that had been installed in both spaces before the projection booths at the back of the spaces were used for projection. The lifts were still operational and the Optoma ZH510T laser projectors had the perfect throw ratio to fit onto these existing brackets.
The ZH510T is a bright and compact Full HD 5,400-lumen laser projector. With a low operating noise of 28dB, it is the quietest projector in its category. It offers up to 30,000 hours light source lifetime in full brightness mode and an independent dust certification of IP5X. Its lamp-less laser light source provides consistent brightness and colour accuracy.
The old 4x3 screens were replaced with 3.5 metre wide 16:9 Da-Lite screens. HDBaseT in the projector simplified the installation as the team needed just one cable for everything.
Fred Phillips, Operation Support Specialist at the university researched the AV equipment that was needed and managed the installations. He said: “It was brilliant that the ZH510T projector fitted within the parameters of the lecture theatres perfectly. They are installed 5m up above tiered seating which makes it pretty inaccessible. This is why we opted for laser projectors as they need less maintenance and no lamps to replace. And having HDBaseT has made installation so much easier.”
Fred chose the Optoma ZU660e laser projector for the 210-capacity main lecture theatre in the Pathfoot Building. The projection distance is 19 metres and the 16:9 screen is 5.6 metres wide, so the Optoma A13 long throw lens was used.
He chose the Optoma ZU850 laser projector for the Iris Murdoch Conference Suite. Fred explained: “We wanted a bright projected image that could be seen from the rear of the long 16m space but the projector needed to be installed 4.5m from screen so that it sits in front of the first room divider.”
The 8,200-lumen ZU850 WUXGA resolution projector, featuring MultiColor Lasers, offers flexible installation with HDBaseT, four corner geometric adjustment, 360° and portrait orientations and five lens options giving a throw distance from 0.81m to 35.5m. This flexibility guaranteed the projector would fit the projection distance perfectly. Like the ZH510T, the ZU850 needs minimal maintenance as the airtight optical engines has been independently certified as IP6X and engineered for 24/7 continuous operation.
Fred added: “The ZU850 has an amazing amount of shift and zoom from the remote control which made it easy to install.”
The university then installed an HDBaseT scaler switcher, Crestron control system, and height adjustable 75 inch repeater monitors in the other two spaces. These can either mirror whatever is on the main screen or can be used independently if a client wants to use the two other spaces as breakout rooms.
Presenters now have control over all elements of the room via an AV lectern at the front. Fred said: “The scaler switcher works seamlessly with the Optoma ZU850 projector and repeater monitors. Switching between sources takes just one second. Previously, we could not be certain that if visiting presenters or clients plugged in their source device it would display correctly on the screen. The new system takes whatever source is plugged in and outputs this onto the screen correctly. For visiting presenters and clients hiring the room - it just works.”
Fred said: “Everyone has commented on how much better the facilities are. It is a huge improvement – especially in the Iris Murdoch building.”
“We were surprised how small and compact the ZH510T projectors are. For 5,400 lumens and a 30,000 light source lifespan, these are really impressive projectors!”
“We are also really impressed with how quiet the projectors are – and they are not even running on Eco mode.”
The university will be changing all projectors across its 11 lecture theatres from lamp-based to laser in a rolling programme as the old projectors eventually fail and will be installing Optoma ZU660e and ZH510T projectors.
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Pictures Copyright ©Fred Phillips