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Portland State University Completes Projector Rollout

After years of wrestling with outdated, unreliable projectors that often broke down during class, Portland State University's (PSU) Director of Instructional Technology Services Doug McCartney decided it was time for a change. The 30,000-student university, located in downtown Portland, recently completed a refresh initiative of more than 130 projectors.

PSU's refresh began more than four years ago when its Instructional Technology Services (ITS) team discovered that projectors often "required replacement lamps after only 1,700 hours of use, needed clean filters after only 100 hours of use and had constant problems with image quality because the LCD panels were not aligned properly," according to a statement from Panasonic who worked with PSU on the refresh project. Frustrations mounted as instructors spent increasingly more class time troubleshooting a faulty device or waiting for a member of the ITS team to finish servicing a projector.

McCartney began the refresh by looking for projectors that came with lens shift capability, extended lamp life, and long-lasting filters. After completing an extensive review with his team, McCartney selected Panasonic to be PSU's new projector provider.

McCartney wanted to standardize the devices in the general access classrooms. Panasonic's team helped identify the projectors that were best suited for these areas, according to McCartney. Over the last four years, PSU has installed 136 Panasonic projectors—including the PT-FW300, PT-DW5100, PT-D5700, and PT-DW10000—in its general access classrooms.

The new projectors include zoom lens/lens shift functionality, which means projected images can be moved without having to physically remount the device. The lamp lights last up to 18 months—instead of 12 months—saving the university more than $60,000 in replacement costs over the refresh period. The new devices also include Auto Cleaning Filters or Eco Filters, which has eliminated the need for routine projector filter maintenance.

"We constantly found ourselves being taken away from our pressing projects to clean projector filters," said McCartney in a prepared statement. "The Panasonic projectors have filters that do not need a lot of attention. On average, we only check the Panasonic projectors twice per year and the hours spent working on the projectors have dropped significantly."

The move to the new projectors has freed up McCartney and his team to retrain their focus on more pressing technology projects on campus.

"The projectors we now use are reliable and have saved us time and money," said McCartney. "Being able to reduce maintenance hours has been crucial. Now, my team can focus on technology innovation without having to constantly worry about checking on lecture-room projectors."

About the Author

Kanoe Namahoe is online editor for 1105 Media's Education Group. She can be reached at knamahoe@1105media.com.

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