Founded in 1925, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University attracts students of the highest caliber: those who are tech-savvy, curious, and determined to succeed.
That’s why when Embry-Riddle designed a new, state-of-the-art student union building, it knew it had to support the advanced technology that its students were interested in and accustomed to engaging with. After breaking ground in the Fall of 2016, the school embarked on its most ambitious and expensive project yet to meet this need.
“Embry-Riddle had an existing relationship with Panasonic having deployed its projector solutions in other areas of our campus previously,” said Rob Davidson, AV project coordinator at Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus. “Given the reliability, quality and level of service that Panasonic provided, it was the obvious choice for the robust display needs of our new student union.”
“Technical support and partnerships, before, during, and after the sale are of paramount importance to us,” said Tony Petro, AV support specialist for the Daytona Beach Campus. “From concept to deployment and testing, Panasonic provided both remote and onsite support as well as onsite training and the software tools necessary to keep our display systems operating at their peak. On a campus this size, a key factor in AV support is consistency. By partnering with Panasonic not only for our student union display needs but also in our 140+ classrooms, Panasonic provides the consistency and reliability we need to deliver an exceptional experience for our students, faculty, and staff.”
In partnership with Mediatech, Inc., an AV consultancy that services and installs all new technology on the Embry-Riddle campus, the school deployed over 100 Panasonic display solutions in the student union, including one 3x3 video wall in the Student Gallery, 27 55-inch digital signage displays in group study spaces and hallways, one 90-inch 4K professional display in a training room, and 12 projectors in the event center, including 10 1-Chip DLP Fixed Installation laser projectors and two 3-Chip DLP Large Venue laser projectors.
The student union building was designed for the students, and naturally, administrators want students to feel empowered to come up with new uses for the AV technology in addition to the more traditional applications in conference rooms, group study spaces, and communal areas to share information, inform students’ studies, and help them relax in between classes. This kind of innovative spirit is intrinsic to the university’s approach to student learning.
As part of the building’s construction, Embry-Riddle designed an event center that can be configured into multiple different options depending on the need, from one large room to six independent rooms and various other configurations in-between. Because of the flexibility provided by the space and abundance of projectors within it, the event center can be used for meetings, conferences, or even concerts. With the PT-RZ970U and PT-RZ575U 1-Chip DLP Fixed Installation laser projectors, users can expect high brightness and excellent image quality during any event hosted at the student union. The two PT-RZ12KU 3-Chip DLP Large Venue laser projectors also offer 12,000 lumens and 120Hz high frame rate for superb and sharp motion pictures, enabling any large event to have superior projection capabilities.
Although Panasonic’s solutions are for the students, Embry-Riddle also wanted to ensure they are easily manageable and serviceable to reduce tickets into IT support. For example, video walls are often difficult to install, taking between 24 and 36 hours on average for one the size of Embry-Riddle’s. Yet the Mediatech team was able to install the 3x3 TH-55VF1 solution in only 10 hours thanks to Panasonic’s Magnetic Video Wall Mounting Kit (TY-VK55LV2) and Auto Display Adjustment software (TY-VUK10).
The mounting kit interconnects using magnets, eliminating the need for manual surface and bezel adjustment upfront, and preventing panel shifting overtime. Auto Display Adjustment software uses an externally connected camera to automatically calibrate video walls, adjusting the colors and brightness levels of multiple displays, typically in just minutes. Finally, the TH-55VF1’s built-in Digital Link technology simplifies installation by transmitting video, audio, and control signals over one inexpensive CAT6 cable rather than three separate cables. These features combined minimize both labor and installation costs as well as potential points of failure.
“Sometimes the simplest task can lead to hours of research during an installation, but with the responsiveness of Panasonic’s team and how easily the displays can be mounted and calibrated, we were able to save on time and cost,” said Mauricio Barrientos, project manager at Mediatech.
Despite the robust video wall solution provided by Panasonic, Embry-Riddle’s staff nevertheless received calibration training on how to color balance and troubleshoot the displays, helping them effectively mitigate potential issues. Barrientos said of the display manufacturer, known for its mission-critical approach to product development and servicing: “Panasonic is truly a partner, not just for our team, but for Embry-Riddle as well.”
“When we began this project, our main goal was to match the cutting-edge technology our students interact with across Embry-Riddle’s campus. But with the deployment of Panasonic’s professional displays and laser projectors, we’re future-proofing our school for today’s students and tomorrow’s,” said Davidson. “We’re already looking into using Panasonic’s one-of-a-kind LinkRay technology in the future, and with students as creative as ours, the possibilities are endless.”
With an influential alumni network that consists of multiple astronauts and pilots, students know that from their classes to the hands-on technology deployed throughout the campus, the sky’s the limit.