Study Finds that 70-inch Display Unreadable By Half of Students

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Radius Global Market Research has released findings from a recent study conducted that evaluated the readability of content displayed on a 70-inch flat panel in an average-sized classroom. According to the new research, 58 percent of students in an average classroom can’t read content displayed on a 70-inch flat panel.

The study was conducted with a sample group of 106 students ages 12-to-22 in groups of approximately 30 at a time. Students were asked to read typical education content including charts and text-based information displayed on a top-selling 70-inch flat panel in a traditional 30-foot-by-30-footclassroom, and then write down six short items of information from what they saw. The students sat in five rows 22-feet wide (six seats per row) with the first row approximately eight feet from the display, and the last row about 27 feet from the display.

The results indicated that, on average, 17 out of 30 students per classroom were not able to read the content on the 70-inch flat panel. Inability to read the content was defined as writing down at least one item incorrectly.

"The majority of students evaluated in the study clearly had difficulty reading the content displayed on the 70-inch flat panel,” said Shira Horn, vice president, Radius Global Market Research.

The research findings support the 4/6/8 Rule for display size recommendations. The 4/6/8 Rule is a long-standing guideline commonly used by AV integrators and installers for determining the appropriate sized displays for different environments including classrooms, conference rooms, and large venues.

The results of the study are also consistent with the InfoComm DISCAS draft standard published by InfoComm International, the trade association representing the professional audio/visual and information communications industries worldwide. Using the DISCAS draft standard to calculate the farthest viewing distance for basic decision making –a 70-inch display would not be recommended for viewing text based educational content at distances of approximately 18 feet and beyond.

“Display size in the typical classroom has a direct impact on a student’s ability to read and comprehend the information presented – no matter where they are in the room,” said Jason Meyer, education product manager, Epson America. “This research shows that if the classroom display image size is too small, student comprehension is at risk. With the ability to display bright, high-quality images much larger than 70-inch, projectors continue to be the best and most affordable display technology for schools today.”

“When we decided to upgrade all of our 6,100 classrooms with new projection technology, we did our research and found that interactive flat panels tended to cost much more than interactive projectors for the same viewing space. We also looked at non-interactive flat panels, however we felt it was important to have finger-touch interactivity to allow students to interact with the projected content,” said Timothy Dunn, director of operational information technology program management at Fulton County Schools. “We chose the Epson BrightLink 595Wi interactive projector because it met our needs for brightness, image size, interactivity, compatibility with popular software and price.”

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